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Nutmeg wants to attract more female clients

Nutmeg has shared its plans for 2016 with FTAdviser, revealing a desire to increase the number of female clients the firm deals with.

Chief executive and co-founder Nick Hungerford said 2015 was a year of heavy technology building for his business, making sure it had the infrastructure in place to grow.

He said next year was going to be the year when Nutmeg “activates the afterburners” on the customer-facing product and aims to increase the percentage of female customers.

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“Less than 50 per cent of our customers are female, and women need to invest, create and build pensions, preparing for the future just like men do. We don’t feel relaxed about this imbalance and want to learn why it exists.”

He confirmed Nutmeg will also be moving into new offices in February, explaining that the move was necessary as the firm had doubled staff numbers in 2015, with plans to keep growing fast in 2016.

Mr Hungerford said that customers should continue to get Nutmeg’s service for a minimum investment of £1,000, rather than the £50,000 (or far more) required by peers.

On the subject of rivals entering the ‘robo-advice’ market in 2016, he said Nutmeg would keep promoting FinTech in the UK and welcomed competitors.

“We’re thrilled that new rivals are following our lead in challenging the opaque, expensive model of wealth management and helping to explain to customers that a top-class product and service is no longer available only to the wealthy.

“We’re especially happy that a number of established companies have thrown their hats into the ring, when it would be easy to sit on top of high-earning but anti-customer businesses.

“We expect to launch our automated financial advice service. We haven’t got a launch date yet, but we know we need to move fast – robo-advice will be a transformative tool, giving a mass market of savers access to good, affordable advice, and we’re not the only ones who have realised this.”

When asked about his role on the Financial Conduct Authority and HM Treasury’s Financial Advice Market Review expert panel, Mr Hungerford said he planned to continue shaping innovation-friendly regulation through the process.

“It’s an important review for the UK’s financial advice market and the participants hope it will lead to a new and sustainable regulatory environment for a fast-changing sector.”

Options being considered to boost access to advice by the FAMR include: encouraging advice in accessible locations like libraries or post offices, supporting the development of online advice and sharing the costs of advice with employers, or subsidising the cost.

emma.hughes@ft.com