PensionBee, the financial technology start-up, will enable customers to become shareholders under plans to list on the London Stock Exchange.
PensionBee will this month give an “early invitation to customers to register their interest” in its IPO, which is expected later this year. This means that they can link their pension accounts to the IPO process, and buy shares when the offer launches alongside the large institutions that tend to dominate flotations.
PensionBee has brought forward plans to list on the High Growth Segment of the LSE for this year.
About 60 per cent of the company is owned by management and staff, including founder Romina Savova, with US bank State Street the biggest external shareholder. The board is chaired by Mark Wood, former chief executive of UK insurer Prudential.
None of the existing owners expect to sell shares in the IPO. KBW Stifel has been appointed to advise on the process.
PensionBee has signed up more than 119,000 people to its pension consolidation platform since its launch in 2014. The fintech has £1.4bn of assets under management.
In 2020, PensionBee reported a 77 per cent increase in revenue to £6.3m, with growth boosted as more people relied on online channels to manage their money during the pandemic.
Savova told the Financial Times that the company had almost doubled its users and assets under management every year since launch — and was confident that it could continue to grow at a “high double-digit” given the “large” market still to be addressed in the UK.
PensionBee’s online platform allows customers to track pensions, using their employment history to create a single plan. The assets are managed by Legal & General, HSBC, BlackRock or State Street.
The company is working with PrimaryBid, the retail investor platform backed by the LSE, to allow customers to register their interest in buying shares ahead of its prospective IPO. PensionBee will then connect interested customers’ accounts to PrimaryBid.
PensionBee said that a “key element” of its IPO was allowing customers to become involved. The early indications would also allow them to gauge levels of investor interest, Savova added.
“Customers can too often be an afterthought during an IPO, but our customers have always been at the heart of what we do,” said Savova. “Providing our customers with an opportunity to share in our growth journey has always been a key motivation in our reasons for listing.”
She added that investors were looking to back tech-focused companies with strong growth prospects. The government is conducting a review of the listings regime that is likely to recommend changes to the rules to attract further start-ups to London.
Anand Sambasivan, chief executive at PrimaryBid, said that “when issuers include their communities at IPO it builds trust, loyalty and engagement”.
This article has been updated to clarify that PensionBee will enable customers to become shareholders under its IPO plans.