Munnypot is a robo-advice and investment service that anyone can use to get straightforward financial advice in a language they can understand, at a fraction of the cost of a financial adviser or wealth manager.
Our questions are in bold.
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Who are you and what’s your background?
I’ve been working in the financial services industry for nearly 25 years. I started out at RSA insurance working as a financial advisor and went on to found the Cavanagh Group with Andrew Fay – eventually selling the business to Close Brothers in 2011. After serving three years as Head of Advice at Close Brothers I set my sights at starting a new service – Munnypot – with the help of my co-founder Andrew Fay.
We now run Munnypot together – a solution we feel is a game changer for the savings and investment market. Our aim is to open up investment and savings advice by making the process simple, cost effective and engaging.
Aside from my work in financial services I live in West Sussex with my wife Jo and three boys. Interests include good food, fine wine and country living.
What is your job title and what are your general responsibilities?
I’m the managing director and co-founder of Munnypot. I, alongside my co-founder take car of the day to day running of Munnypot, as well as a strong emphasis on networking and business development.
Can you give us an overview of your business?
Munnypot is a robo-advice and investment service that anyone can use to get straightforward financial advice in a language they can understand, at a fraction of the cost of a financial adviser or wealth manager. It was designed to allow people access to direction and advice that previously was elusive through either cost or knowledge of where to find advice.
We want to ensure everyone has access to good, easy to understand, affordable financial advice.
To this end, we aim to ensure that the advice we give is easy to understand. Our ‘chat-based’ user-interface uses conversational and jargon-free questions, coupled with state-of-the-art technology. The information is then used to advise customers on whether they should invest via an ISA and/or a General Investment Account and then where to invest their money to achieve their lifestyle goals.”
Unlike some other robo-advisors on the market, Munnypot doesn’t just track customer accounts, it works 24/7 to help ensure they achieve their goals– alerting people, in real time, when they reach an investment milestone and, if ever their goals veer off-track, provides straight-forward financial advice to help get them back on track.”
Our fees are clear, all-inclusive and affordable – not hidden behind layers of jargon or buried in lengthy T&C’s. Munnypot’s quick and easy fee calculator is designed to remove any confusion for investors by presenting costs upfront. For example, those looking to invest a total contribution of between £250 and £2,500 would pay a £5 one off fee for initial advice and a £0.42p monthly monitoring fee.”
Munnypot can work as well for a £250 investment as it does for a £1m investment. Everyone gets the same standard of advice and dedicated customer service.
Tell us how you are funded.We are a privately owned, partly self-funded Limited company, backed by a team of private investors. Most of whom we have known in our previous occupations or personally and all of whom were inspired by the Munnypot concept.
Why did you start the company? To solve what problems?
Munnypot is a new generation of financial advice, designed to shake up a market that has grown complacent.
We feel there is a growing sense that in some cases consumers have been on the receiving end of unnecessarily expensive financial advice for years. Many advisers continue to offer generic investment advice, whilst delivering returns for consumers often no greater than they would have seen from tracker funds. With the evolution of better technology there is now an opportunity to offer a lower cost solution.
Munnypot is designed to make people fall in love with saving again. By combining the latest technology with human expertise we aim to offer highly cost effective and straightforward financial advice tailored to help customers achieve their specific goals.
Who are your target customers? What’s your revenue model?
Munnypot is a service for anyone looking to make their money work harder for them, but we are initially targeting the 16 million people in the UK who are trapped in an advice gap. People who would benefit from financial advice, but are currently locked out of a system they see as confusing and unaffordable. We charge a low upfront fee and ongoing monitoring fee.
If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change in the banking and/or FinTech sector?It would be great to see clearer and lower touch regulation for services like Munnypot. This would help us be even more cost effective and offer even more value for money, making financial advise available and accessible to all.
What is your message for the larger players in the Finance industry?
Technology is reinventing the Financial Services Industry, opening it up to more customers and creating more efficient processes. Don’t look at business like Munnypot as a threat but instead consider what we can build working together.
What phone are you carrying and why?
iPhone 5 because honestly, that’s what my PA got for me.
Where do you get your industry news from?
Key publications for me are Money Marketing and the Financial Times. Essential reads every morning.
What’s the best FinTech product or service you’ve seen recently?
I’ve been watching Moneyhub for a while now. A great tool that holds all of the information about your money – where it is, what you’ve borrowed, investments, what you’re spending it on etc. – in one place, with a great consumer friendly interface.
Finally, let’s talk predictions. What trends do you think are going to define the next few years in the FinTech sector?
Consumers need new options when it comes to growing their money. With the big banks offering slim to no returns and the incumbent investors peddling complex strategies with high fees, limited service and a lack of product innovation FinTech is poised for a significant land grab.
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