Nutmeg seeks to empower investors to achieve their financial goals
Nutmeg | Best European Digital Wealth Platform using ETFs - Q&A with James McManus, chief investment officer, Nutmeg.
Why do you think you won this award?
It’s always an honour and a privilege to see the hard work of all Nutmeg staff being recognised with an award. When Nutmeg launched a decade ago with an ambitious mission to democratise wealth management, we knew the importance of what we were trying to achieve. To empower nations of investors to achieve their financial goals would require hard work, dedication and the commitment of our team, and winning this award is a testament to everything we have achieved so far, and the projects we’re working to deliver in the coming months and years.
What is the size and scale of your business at the moment?
The business has had a very impressive past two years for growth, benefiting from our digital first proposition and the flexibility and hard work of all the Nutmeg team, which made it possible to continue to deliver the same great level of service, investment and wealth management and feature development that our clients have come to expect. We’re proud to be managing over GBP4.5 billion of assets on behalf of more than 170,000 UK retail investors. Given our scale and position as the largest digital wealth manager in the UK, we’re well-positioned to continue to see further strong growth this year and beyond.
What trends have you seen over the past year?
Looking back to pre-pandemic, digital wealth management and digital investment services were often belittled as being just for millennials and a nice-to-have, in the last two years we’ve seen a lot of businesses invest in their digital capability as they attempt to play catch up. For financial advice and planning in particular, there has often been a resistance to digital services, with traditional face-to-face meetings with clients held up as the gold standard. The world has moved on and being able to provide wealth management and advice to clients on their terms is becoming the focus. The pandemic has shifted the perception of what can be achieved via video calls, digital interactions and how digital can be leveraged to deliver a truly personal service.
This has coincided with a greater shift from consumers to focus on their finances. Almost irrespective of your financial position at the start of 2020, people have thought about what is important to them – whether that’s building a more significant rainy-day fund, helping children to get a financial head start in life, or taking the time to set out plans for retirement. As a nation, we’re much more engaged with our finances today than we have been in the past.
Where do you see the ETF industry going in terms of products over the coming year?
We expect to see global ETF assets continue to rise this year; an ongoing trend that shows no sign of slowing. The primary drivers for investors to focus on ETFs – choice, simplicity, diversification, transparency and cost – all remain at the forefront of investors’ minds. The expansion of the ETF product set to include further active, thematic and responsible strategies will be significant drivers of further growth. The longevity of global environmental and social policy initiatives that pose structural societal challenges, such as climate change, will ensure responsible and environmental index approaches will be at the forefront of asset gathering. And thematics that focus on longer term structural trends, such as electric vehicles and clean energy, will also continue to attract attention.