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Nutmeg loss widens to £9.3m as it plans major UK push

Nutmeg loss widens to £9.3m as it plans major UK push

Nutmeg's 2016 losses have widened £9.3 million as it continued to invest heavily in its UK business. 

The figure, revealed in its accounts to December 2016 published on Companies House, follows the £8.9 million loss it posted in 2015. Its operating expenses rose from £10.8 million to £11.9 million over the year. 

Turnover rose by almost 50% from £1.72 million to £2.56 million.

At the end of the year Nutmeg managed around £600 million in assets under management on behalf of 25,000 clients.

During the year Nutmeg saw some key changes in the boardroom. This included the appointment of Martin Stead (pictured) as chief executive on 13 May, replacing founder Nick Hungerford who stepped into a non-executive director role. 

Other changes saw managing director Lee Cowles resign on 15 April, while Massimo Tosato resigned as investor director following his retirement from Schroders. 

Stead established a new executive team and led a strategic review of the company.     

In a statement sent to Wealth Manager on the back of the results, Stead said: 'We are on a mission to democratise wealth management, by providing a great value, high-quality investment service to all investors. We have set out to build a big business and we are on track with our business plan, with committed backers. 

'We continue to invest in our products, services and people to give investors the quality they deserve. Our focus on innovation meant we were one of only three providers to launch a Lifetime ISA on day one, and help thousands of people under 40 invest for their first house or their retirement.' 

He added: 'Nutmeg is a rapidly growing business with over 47,000 new and experienced investors choosing to trust us with their investments. We have 80% market share and everyone at Nutmeg is committed to continuing to lead the way in the digital wealth manager market.'

Fundraise

The firm got a fresh cash injection in December 2016 as Tapei Fubobn Bank (TFB), a subsidiary of Taiwan’s second largest financial services firm Fubon Financial Holdings, invested £12 million in the business. 

The investment lifted the total amount the firm raised from investors in 2016 to £42 million after a new investor Convoy, alongside existing investors including Schroders, Balderton Capital, Pentech, Armada Investment Group and Nigel Wray, injected £30 million into the business earlier in the year.  

'The new capital is to be used to expand the product offering and rapidly scale the UK business,' Nutmeg said in its results. 

'Specific focus will be on innovation including new investing options, new tax wrappers and further developing the advice offering.' 

Nutmeg said it is developing online user experience using an iterative approach, which involves testing and learning from customer feedback and from data about customer behaviours.

The company invested in both its product and technology teams in 2016. It expects this investment to increase significantly following last years fundraise. 

Fee overhaul and advice push 

At the start of this year Nutmeg announced it was overhauling its fees and launching a new fund range. 

The fees levied by the firm previously had four bands ranging from 95bps to 30bps.

Under the new structure this will be simplified to two bands. For the first £100k the fee will be reduced to 75bps and it will be 35bps thereafter.

Nutmeg, which got the regulatory green light to carry out regulated advice in March 2016, also sees this as a key growth area. 

'The recent addition of a fixed allocation investment offering, coupled with an overhaul of the company's wider pricing structure, is expected to increase Nutmeg's appeal to a wider customer base and continue to further broaden its appeal,' the firm said. 

'The company is developing the most appropriate advisory proposition, following successfully applying for financial advice.' 

Nutmeg also highlighted that investment performance had been strong, with its portfolios registering top quartile performance in 2016. 

'As well as delivering value to customers through well-founded asset allocation decisions, the business continues to focus on sustainable improvements through reductions in cost and friction associated with the trading process,' the firm said.  

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