OpenMoney has found a new home in the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce following its rescue deal.

The stricken FinTech was taken over by turnaround specialists Will Mallard and Patrick Leahy for a nominal sum then put into Company Voluntary Arrangement, making a reported 50 staff redundant earlier this month.

OpenMoney ran into financial difficulties after co-founder and lead investor, Duncan Cameron, decided to stop putting any more money into the loss-making business at the end of March.

Accounts filed at Companies House show the FinTech lost £9.3 million before taxation in 2021 against revenues of £593k, compared to £7.6m and £582k respectively in 2020.

The new owners have decided to focus their attention on the two subsidiary businesses – OpenMoney Adviser Services, which offers digital financial advice, and WorkLife by OpenMoney, an employee benefits platform. Both will relocate from the ABC Building in Quay Street to Elliot House on Deansgate in the centre of Manchester.

GMCC says the partnership will help them further support and collaborate with local businesses and the Greater Manchester community.

With over 4,200 members, GMCC provides businesses in the Greater Manchester area with a platform to connect with other businesses, communicate their message and create opportunities for a skilled workforce.

“Manchester is our home and it’s our community. When we were looking for a new office, there was no question of it not being here,” said Leahy, CEO for OpenMoney and WorkLife. 

“We want to work more closely with local businesses and being a part of the GMCC network has really helped with that and hope we can extend this further now that we’re all under one roof.”

Revealing Manchester Startups 2.0

OpenMoney was launched in 2015 by Cameron, co-founder of MoneySuperMarket, and Anthony Morrow to make financial advice accessible and affordable to everyone.

An insider told BusinessCloud that eyebrows were raised at the hefty salaries paid to some senior managers and the decision to move everyone to a 4.5-day working week at a time when they were trying to find a buyer.

At its height OpenMoney grew customer numbers to around 20,000, had £145m of assets under management and employed 92 staff – but the business continued to burn cash at an alarming rate.

Cameron invested an estimated £30m+ of his fortune in the startup before deciding enough was enough at the end of March.

The decision triggered a frantic search for buyers before Mallard and Leahy, who run a financial wellness company called Elva, bought everything for a nominal sum.

As part of the deal Cameron wrote-off loans that he was owed by the business, which ran into the millions.

Lewis Crowe, head of membership & commercial at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce said: “We’re thrilled to be welcoming the OpenMoney and WorkLife staff to the Chamber as our newest tenants. We are keen to further develop Elliot House as a home for various businesses – whether this is through our office space offering, our venue or our Members Lounge. 

“We are delighted about this addition to our community and look forward to working together going forwards.”

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