14. Nutmeg

For bringing smart investment to the people

If there’s one tried and tested way of challenging an industry, it is to find a product or category that's usually the preserve of a few and make it attractive and accessible to the many. We have a name for this type of brand at The Challenger Project: ‘The Democratiser’

A famous example of this would be Ikea, taking well-designed furniture and finding ways to make it affordable and for the many. One could see TED as a democratiser of ideas, allowing anyone with a thirst for knowledge access to the world’s greatest minds and concepts. And at a service level, the hotel chain citizenM are a democratiser in luxury hotels, bringing hi-technology and hi-design at affordable prices by sacrificing specific elements of the traditional luxury hotel offering.

Which brings us to Nutmeg. Nutmeg are the democratiser brand within the wealth management space. A space that is notoriously cold and unwelcome; known for hidden charges; banking jargon you can’t make sense of and a lack of transparency that makes all but the most experienced investors run a mile. Nick Hungerford, co-founder of Nutmeg set out to change all of that, by making it transparent, easy to understand and approachable for everyday customers with investments starting from as low as £1000.

“We strive to give customers service in their language and engage in areas they feel comfortable. Not many people wake up saying “I want to invest in German government bonds”. Lots of people wake up wanting to save for a new house, retirement or their children’s education”

– Nick Hungerford, Co-founder.

Although Nick Hungerford states they are investing now for a strategy of long term growth, which may take a further 4-5 years before they can post a profit, their assets under management grew 28x in 2014. A rapid increase for one year and further demonstration that old and previously unchallenged industries such as that of finance and wealth management might finally have a battle on their hands.