Nutmeg targets a million customers

Nutmeg targets a million customers

Nutmeg has boasted that its customer base could easily scale to a million customers after it revealed it added 10,000 customers in the past six months, taking overall numbers to 30,000.

The comments were made by Shaun Port, chief investment officer of the digital wealth manager. He also revealed that Nutmeg now has £700m in assets under management.

He said: "There is a tipping point going on in terms of general acceptance of this as a third way of investing rather than through a platform or an IFA."

He added that one of the advantages of the Nutmeg model was that its use of ETFs means makes it more scalable than a traditional discretionary fund manager.

He said Nutmeg could sell its entire portfolio within a single day and "book a million transactions in a minute".

"If you are building your business around ETFs, it gives you massive power and massive scalability and a position that could scale to a million customers very easily," he said, adding that he believes the potential scale for such digital wealth management in the UK is 10m people.

He sees personalisation as the future for the model.  "I would characterise where we are as digital wealth management 1.0," he said. "The 2.0 level will be around using data and personalising individual experience to add modular bits of advice to improve the feedback and investor education. What we have done so far is take a wealth management experience and make it digital, the really exciting stuff is to come."

Nutmeg has faced scepticsm from the industry for not having yet posted a profit after five years of trading. Its latest 2015 figures showed it made a £9m loss.

Martin Bamford, chartered financial planner at Informed Choice, said there was a place for digital wealth managers, but queried the speed of Nutmeg's growth.

"£700m for a business that has had that much invested in it is possibly not the scale we would expect to see at this stage of its journey," he said.

 "They have had a huge amount of capital. If they believe they can hang in there until they get to that higher number and reach a profit at some time in the future that is great as we do need digital wealth management solutions." 

He added that a couple of the 400 clients at Informed Choice had tried out Nutmeg.

"They tried them out with some spare change and have then been disappointed with the service and have come back to us to have it advised by financial planners."