A new FinTech aimed at helping people invest is on track to hit £1m turnover next year – but its co-founder insists that’s just the beginning.
Anthony Morrow launched OpenMoney alongside MoneySuperMarket.com co-founder Duncan Cameron in April 2017, when it was called evestor before it rebranded.
Aimed at savers and investors it combines technology and human advisers to make financial advice and investing accessible and affordable to everyone – whatever their age, wealth or experience.
Based in WeWorks at One St Peter’s Square, in Manchester, the company has grown to 35 staff but Morrow said the aim was for the app to become a ‘one-stop shop’ for other services like buying energy and getting the right mortgage.
OpenMoney currently has 25,000 customers but has a run rate to grow to 75,000 by the end of 2019 and 250,000 in the next two years. Morrow predicted the company would hit £1m turnover by 2020.
The 44-year-old told BusinessCloud: “We want our app to be the place that people go for all their financial requirements. We’re heavy adopters of open banking for our app. Customers can see all their current accounts, savings accounts, credit cards and whatever investments they’ve got with us. At the click of a button you can see what your personal balance sheet looks like and that drives a lot of our advice.
“With the data that open banking allows us we can really understand the areas where we can save people money and ultimately we want to save people money.
“That could be saving into an ISA of saving on day-to-day bills. Ultimately we’ll build the product out into any areas where we can save our customers money.”
Morrow has spent most of his career working in the financial services industry, including at KPMG, Arthur Anderson and Deloitte before becoming founding partner of discretionary fund manager Tatton Asset Management, previously known as Paradigm Partners.
The father-of-three said it was while he was at Tatton Asset Management, which floated in 2017 for £95m, that he saw a gap on the market for people who needed financial advice but couldn’t get it.
“There are millions of people across Britain who would benefit from financial advice but can’t afford it or don’t know how to access it,” he said.
“They’re caught in something called the ‘advice gap’. As a result, many of these people get caught in financial cycles that they struggle to get out of. It could be running out of money at the end of every month, not knowing how and where to invest, or leaving money and savings in poorly performing investments.”
He said OpenMoney is the tech solution to the problem and allows people to invest from as little as £10 a month – but most people are advised against investing at all.
The process works by getting potential clients to answer some basic questions such as their age; income; outgoings; savings; and any short-term debt before they’re given recommendations based on their circumstances.
Remarkably 70 per cent of people who fill in the questionnaire are advised against investing because they have more pressing calls on their money.
Morrow said: “One of the benefits of being privately owned and privately funded is we can take a slightly longer term view of things. I genuinely think we are making a difference that can improve people’s financial affairs.
“By combining sophisticated technology with real people, we offer financial advice through our online platform, and offer tools to help people get out of their financial cycles through our OpenMoney app.”
Morrow is speaking at promanchester’s FinTech lunch on July 24 alongside Amir Nooriala, COO of OakNorth; Lee Stretton, COO of Raisin UK; and Anish Kapoor, CEO of AccessPay. They’ll be joined by Alderman Peter Estlin, Lord Mayor Of The City Of London; Susan Hall, partner at Clarke Willmott; and Paul Vlissidis, technical director and senior advisor at NCC Group. To buy tickets go to https://www.pro-manchester.co.uk/event/pro-manchester-fintech-lunch-2019/