Tillit CEO on filling 'gap' between advice and DIY platforms

Tillit CEO on filling 'gap' between advice and DIY platforms
Felicia Hjertman, founder and CEO of Tillit

Tillit, an investment platform founded by ex-Baillie Gifford investment manager Felicia Hjertman, has set itself the task of filling a "gap” by helping non-advised customers to make better-informed decisions.

Hjertman said it is focused on “reducing choice paralysis” and “going deeper” on the 44 asset manager funds it currently hosts.

Initially charging a 0.4 per cent fee of client assets, this drops by one basis point every year a client uses the platform until they reach a floor of 0.25 per cent.

“No platform today has cracked the solution,” Hjertman told FTAdviser. “You've got robo-advisers on one end for novice investors who perhaps aren't wealthy enough to go to an adviser.

"Then you've got the stock trading platforms - another angle of that…And then you’ve got the full DIY supermarkets on the other end, and you’ve got the adviser.

"They all do slightly different things.”

When she was a customer herself, Hjertman found she did not have time to sift through funds, and could not easily make fund comparisons due to the “backward-looking information” provided to her.

“We're trying to sit in that gap of people who want to know what they’re investing in, but doesn't want advice.”

Tillit, Hjertman explained, also targets those who have used a robo-adviser for a while and want to be “more hands on”, but feel overwhelmed on a platform where there's a lot of choice.

Tillit currently has no plans to go into advice. “We think that there's so much we can do on the DIY side to really help people make better, more informed decisions,” the chief executive explained.

But rather than compete with advisers, Hjertman said Tillit can be used in tandem with an adviser. “We can work well in parallel with an adviser.”

Investors can start with as little as £1 on the platform. The start-up is focused on developing tools which help customers build a profile on the type of investors they are. 

Tillit is also gearing up to enter the pensions market.

“There is no more of a long-term product than this,” said Hjertman, who suggested there’s more interest in understanding pensions now than there was years ago.

“People want to understand how their pension is invested and why. People want to be a bit more hands on,” she explained. 

“This is where a self-invested personal pension can do that. You can have complete control…A good pension pot will be defined by engagement. Pensions are complex. We’re aiming to make them easier.”

Tillit has also decided to partner with Tumelo, a company focused on garnering shareholder engagement through voting - though customers won’t feel the benefit of this until later in the year.