When you think of the coolest industries to work in, I’d hazard a guess that ‘investment management’ wouldn’t feature very high in most people’s top 10. More immediate candidates might be ‘entertainment’, ‘fashion’, ‘travel’ or ‘aerospace’.
Perhaps the lure of glamorous celeb parties and a global jet-setting lifestyle are more appealing than responsibly managing other people’s financial concerns. Well, not any more. Whisper it quietly, but 2015 is going to be the year personal finance becomes the sexiest industry on the planet.
A radical revolution in the sector has been slowly brewing for a few years now and it’s about to take off in a big way over the next 12 months.
When I started Nutmeg in 2011, the industry was extremely conservative and stuffy; entrenched in archaic processes; refusing to embrace the wonders of digital technology or social media. Don’t get me wrong, vast swathes of the industry remain with their head in the sand, but there has certainly been a significant shift since those days, with trailblazing entrepreneurs dreaming up fresh concepts and building businesses that harness the power of digital technology and community.
The revolution is here
There are now hundreds of exciting new companies changing the way people think about their money and financial management. Along with Nutmeg, there are the likes of Transferwise, Ratesetter, eToro and of course the stratospheric rise of Bitcoin, all very different businesses and all creating dynamic and inspiring financial services.
As a result, finance is fast becoming a hotbed for the best tech and media talent in the world too. I’m not just talking about roles pertaining to security and compliance, as has been the traditional focus of technology teams in the finance space. Cutting-edge developers, UX specialists, platform integration experts and social media gurus are finding they have great freedom and creative scope in the financial technology (fintech) start-up environment and the opportunity to genuinely transform an industry.
Embracing the future
At Nutmeg, most of the team don’t wear suits and carry briefcases, the stereotypical finance uniform for so many years. We dress casually, we have a pool table in the office, we have people working remotely from different countries and we have lots of people who have never worked in finance before – many have come from roles in broadcast, retail and digital media. We work hard but we are not afraid to express a different view and everyone realises they’re involved in something that is genuinely making a difference.
A series of regulatory changes in the wealth management and financial advice sectors over the past two years have added significant momentum for change. The Retail Distribution Review (RDR) has forced companies to be more transparent with the services they offer and the fees that they charge. Meanwhile, the government has introduced a number of changes – such as the introduction of the New ISA earlier this year and the changes to pensions proposed for 2015 – that have handed the British public more control of their long-term financial destiny and provoked fresh impetus to save and invest.
So on all fronts, there is dramatic change afoot and it can only grow and grow from here. As the giants of the internet (Facebook, Google) react to the possibilities in this industry we’ll see a huge step change. The notion of ‘being smart with your money’ is set to become mainstream, interesting, popular and accessible. And by the same token, the number of people who want to work in our industry will shoot skywards.
As with all investing, your capital is at risk. The value of your portfolio with Nutmeg can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest.
Nutmeg® is a registered trade mark of Nutmeg Saving and Investment Limited, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, no. 552016, registered in England and Wales, no. 07503666, with a registered oce at 5 New Street Square, London, EC4A 3TW.