The managing director of Octopus Investments has not ruled out buying consultancy firms as part of his expansion plans in the future.
Ruth Handcock told FTAdviser there are no limits when it comes to expanding the company’s offering.
“I’m excited about more and more ways to help people get the most out of their money and reduce the stress they feel managing their money,” she said.
“Nothing is on the table.”
Handcock also said she recognizes a lack of “guidance” for people who want help managing their money but aren’t yet ready to see a financial adviser.
That’s why Octopus bought Hatch Financial Coaching last year, which has since been renamed Octopus Moneycoach.
The financial coaching firm offers robo-guidance as well as face-to-face assistance for those who benefit from a human connection to help them make financial decisions, but do not yet have enough assets or complex needs that warrant traditional advice.
“I think robo-advisors help investors who are self-directed, [but] there are a lot of people who still want to have a conversation and get a financial plan that works for them,” Handcock said.
” At one point [in the future]their situation will be complicated enough that financial advice is the right answer for them.
Octopus Moneycoach prices start at £20.75 per month, with the option to commit to a wage sacrifice to save on tax.
Meanwhile, Handcock said she finds the decline in the number of financial advisers “terrifying”.
“There will always be a demand for advisers, but there is now more demand than supply.
“We know of more councilors leaving than new members and that’s terrifying,” she said.
“I don’t believe that at any time in the future robo-boarding will be the answer for everyone, just as I don’t believe you will get therapy from a computer.”
Success in the private market
Handcock joined Octopus Investments, part of the Octopus Group, as Chief Client Officer in July 2018, and was promoted to Managing Director eight months later.
She joined Tandem Bank, a challenger bank in the UK, where she was Chief Client Officer and Chief of Staff for four years.
Octopus Investments has grown under Handcock’s oversight and offers a plethora of services in property finance, healthcare infrastructure, multi-manager and small business investments, venture capital and renewable energy investments. .
The company has seen particular success with its VCT fundraising rounds, including its flagship Octopus Titan VCT which raised £200m in 28 days last year.
On Monday, Jan. 31, the company launched its first new VCT in 10 years, which will invest in early-stage companies that disrupt industries and “generate positive outcomes” for the planet and society.
The vehicles have grown in popularity in recent years due to the attractive tax advantages and income potential they offer. They offer up to 30% income tax relief, plus tax-free dividends and a £200,000 allowance.