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Nick Hungerford is the CEO and co-founder of Nutmeg, the first investment manager for individuals of almost any level of wealth. Nutmeg (www.nutmeg.com) is a ground-breaking investing service, regulated by the FSA, endorsed by the UKTI and backed by world-renowned investors. It offers a straightforward, transparent way of making your savings and investments work intelligently towards your real-life goals.
Users can move, top-up or withdraw their money whenever they choose. An attractive online interface, including automatic, intelligent rebalancing, overseen by an experienced management team, helps Nutmeg keep its annual management fees at 1 per cent (including VAT) or less. By collecting nutmegs, a loyalty scheme based around referrals and pounds invested, users can reduce their management fees to as low as 0.3 per cent, including VAT.
MO: How does Nutmeg solve a very clear problem?
Nick: If you want to invest at the moment, you have two options: 1) Pick the securities yourself; 2) Pay an independent adviser to do it for you. The former is time-consuming and stressful, the latter is expensive – and often requires a large minimum sum.
Nutmeg is a 21st century alternative, offering flexible exposure to the stock market on your own terms. We create intelligent, diversified portfolios for our customers, whether they have £1,000 or £1,000,000. Our customers can create separate funds for different goals – from buying a house to putting money away for a rainy day – and they can top-up, withdraw or transfer their money whenever they like. All they have to do is decide how much they want to invest, how long they might want to invest it for, and the level of risk with which they feel comfortable. Then our experienced investment team does all the work for them: choosing the best balance of funds, rebalancing portfolios regularly to keep them on track with their goals and keeping a close eye on performance.
Customers can log in and view their portfolios whenever they like. They can see a clear overview of their funds’ performance in colourful, intuitive charts and they can choose to learn as much or as little as they like about where their money is invested.
MO: How has your background and experience helped contribute to the development and vision of Nutmeg so far?
Nick: As an investment manager and private banker, working in the City of London for almost a decade, I had no way of formally helping out people who weren’t millionaires. While studying at Stanford Business School, surrounded by people who worked at companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter, I realised that the internet could enable this vision to make intelligent, trusted investing accessible to all.
MO: How does Nutmeg work? Who is your average customer and what do you hope that they get out of the user experience?
Nick: In short: we learn about you, choose investments for you, and then — with your contributions — build the portfolio on your behalf, showing you the results in an intelligent, straightforward manner.
I’m not sure we have an ‘average’ customer as such. Some of the most enthusiastic users of Nutmeg are those new to investing, put off by a process they thought too expensive or complicated. We’ve also welcomed with open arms those who’ve invested elsewhere and find Nutmeg a welcome breath of fresh air.
MO: What tips or insights can you pass on for putting together an excellent team?
Nick: Sell them the idea, the future, your vision. Lots of people are bored in their existing jobs and will jump at the chance to be more entrepreneurial. And remember that each hire becomes easier. Success breeds success.
MO: Congratulations on raising $5.3m in your second round of venture capital funding. How will your investors help contribute to the growth and strategy of Nutmeg?
Nick: Thank you. We’re lucky to have such talented investors with wide experience in finance and technology. They’re invaluable when it’s come to providing strategic guidance to the team and making introductions.
MO: Can you share a bit about the exciting new program that you have recently launched?
Nick: Having been in private beta mode since April, registering thousands of founding members, it was very exciting to have a full public launch in early October. Anyone can now visit www.nutmeg.com and invest within minutes. We’re delighted by the feedback and enthusiasm we’ve seen already.
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