A London start-up aiming to combat the transparency of financial asset management has raised £2.6 million funding.
ClearGlass Analytics is targeting a £9.5 trillion governance and communication problem as it says big finance, and the clients of big finance, don’t always communicate effectively.
It is aiming to deliver greater accountability to pension funds and the wider asset management market through its digital platform.
The company was founded by Dr Christopher Sier, a World Bank and FCA expert who previously developed the cost transparency standard at the request of the FCA, and tech experts Ritesh Singhania and Kunal Varma.
ClearGlass, a Founders Factory accelerator alum, acts as the data interface between asset managers and their clients, offering pension funds a digital platform where they can see all of their investment costs in one place.
It allows its clients, pension funds, to get much more data from more asset managers and other suppliers, which helps them see the true cost of what they are paying for the management of their investments.
“Finding your costs are so much larger is shocking, but also something to be celebrated. These incremental costs were always there, they just weren’t exposed, and now you can identify those and bring about change. You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” said Dr Sier.
The £2.6m seed round includes European VC Lakestar and Outward VC as well as several significant angels from both the asset management and pension fund worlds.
These include Ruston Smith, a well-known professional pension trustee, Richard Butcher, Chair of the PLSA (UK pension trade body), Chris Wilcox, former Global Head of JP Morgan Asset Management and his former JP Morgan colleagues Rob O’Rahilly, Sikander Ilyas and Alex Large.
Tim Giles, EMEA MD of Aon Investments, said: “We’ve been working with ClearGlass since launch and not only have they improved our productivity by doing the data chasing for us, but the analysis they have produced has been of material benefit to many Aon clients.
“This new funding is great news as it will give Chris and the team what they need to expand into Europe and to develop their service. We look forward to continuing to work with them.”
Louis Warner, COO at Founders Factory, added: “We are proud to be early backers of ClearGlass and particularly the outstanding founding team of Chris and Ritesh.
“With Chris’ deep knowledge and authority in the sector, and Ritesh’s drive for product and customer-experience excellence, we believe their vision to bring transparency and innovation to the pensions industry will be transformational.”