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Profile: How Strawberry plans to shake up discretionary distribution

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by David Campbell on Jun 06, 2014 at 11:37

‘[For the name] we literally just thought Apple/BlackBerry/Orange – people seem to just like fruit. And Strawberry has the association with pick-your-own, which seemed appropriate to us.’

The discretionary platform business is going through a fertile period – in addition to Nutmeg see also former Wealth Manager cover star Money on Toast (issue 250, 20 March) – but Priday says he has paid little attention to the competition.

‘I honestly don’t know if it was stupidity or inspiration, but we really haven’t looked all that closely at what other people were doing.

‘We didn’t want it to be influenced by their decisions, and we wanted it to be much more organic. A lot of [platforms] look very much the same, with a lot of the same information and research,’ he says.

‘It is always going to be a work in progress. We are feeling our way toward what people want, and we fully want people to engage with us and tell us what that is. We are trying to put ourselves across as a service for savers, not “investors”.’

The company has so far signed up 190 accounts on the platform, although not all have actually executed an investment yet.

Bullish outlook

Priday remains bullish on the outlook, saying he has a ‘very manageable’ target of 1,000 accounts by the end of the next financial year and £10 million in assets under management ‘at which point it is commercially viable’.

Clients pay 0.35% up to £50,000 invested, tapering down above that figure. IFDL still manages all asset custody reporting and so takes 0.25%.

The development of the service has been so rapid, the feature that is the killer app of the online model for rivals – the ability to distribute in-house models nationally or even internationally – is still a work in progress.

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