Mergers and acquisitions  

Octopus coaching service 'can help advisers grow'

Octopus coaching service 'can help advisers grow'
 Simon Rogerson, founder and chief executive of Octopus Group

Octopus has said its new financial "coaching" service can help advisers grow their businesses.

Yesterday (April 7) Octopus announced it had bought Hatch Financial Coaching for an undisclosed sum.

The deal will lead to the launch of Octopus Moneycoach which will work primarily with employers who offer its services as part of their workplace benefits.

Simon Rogerson, the founder and chief executive of Octopus Group said his company would be happy to enter into partnership with a financial advice firm to roll out Octopus Moneycoach in a client's business.

He said: "We are massive fans of financial advice it but there are 18m people who would benefit from it who don't currently get it.

"Financial advice firms in the market have lots of company directors in their client bases.

"[Octopus Moneycoach is about] going in where you can solve this for the entire organisation."

Adam Price, the founder of Hatch, said if Octopus Moneycoach was working in partnership with an advice firm with a particular employer, then it would be able to refer clients to it if they needed advice rather than guidance.

He said: "We would refer a client to a traditional adviser [if they needed advice] and this is why this model works so well along an advice firm in a workplace.

"If we were working in partnership with an advice firm with an employer we would refer them to that firm.

"The majority of people in the workplace don't have needs that warrant the fees that advisers charge. But we are each doing what we are good at and everyone is happy."

Price, who is also the founder of adviser directory VouchedFor, explained Hatch was regulated to provide financial advice but its coaches do not recommend products.

Originally founded in 2017, Hatch Financial Coaching offered both robo-guidance as well as human help, intending to appeal to those who benefit from a human relationship to help make financial decisions, but don’t yet have sufficient assets or complex needs that warrant traditional advice.

Octopus plans to invest £10m into the company over the next two years, growing the number of its financial coaches from 30 to 200.

Asked why Octopus invested in financial coaching, rather than investing in advice as many other providers are, Rogerson said: "Our mission at group level is to invest in the ideas, people and industry that will change the world.

"People don't understand and relate to money and it causes them an enormous amount of angst.

"People cannot get that help [with their finances] and they need that help. It is a massive problem and we want to solve that.

"It is partly why we have invested in businesses like Seccl to bring the cost of advice down.

"The platform is key and central to most businesses. Most don't scale as efficiently as we believe Seccl does."