Engaging the Millennial investor - tickr

Simon Binns Fingopay Stahler

In its first year, Liverpool-based fintech tickr is set to hit 33,000 users of its social investment app. The single representative of Liverpool’s fintech sector, tickr is making waves in the investment and fintech spaces, its impact proven by its nomination for two UK FinTech Awards in the WealthTech and Investment Tech categories.

 

 

Engaging the incoming generation of socially responsible investors, Co-Founder Matt Latham shared the start-up’s vision for success, the differences in recruiting talent in Liverpool and London, and how social impact is front-of-mind for first-time, Millennial investors.

tickr is an impact investing app that allows you to invest in the causes you believe in. Their aim is to prove that you can make money and have a positive impact on at the same time.

From as little as £5, you can invest in portfolios designed with the future in mind. Invest in Climate Change, Equality, Disruptive Technology and a Combination of all three. Tickr’s on a mission to make Impact Investing the default option for investors.

tickr logo

Conceiving the idea

Launching tickr with business partner Tom McGillycuddy in February 2019, the co-founders both met at the Barclays Wealth Management graduate scheme in 2011.

“Tom and I met in 2011 joining the Barclays wealth management graduate scheme together in London. Neither of us had ever worked in finance world and we both probably felt it was all a bit alien.”

“As our careers progressed and shifted, we worked in various locations around the world and ended up in similar situations. Tom was employed at a company called Wellington Management and one of the first people working on their impact investment fund, whilst I was with Barclays in Liverpool, advising charities on their socially responsible investment portfolios.”

“This way of investing a dual focus – both for profit and to have some sort of positive social or environmental impact – resonated strongly with us personally. However, we found there was nothing in the market that was designed for first-time or retail investors - the next wave of investors are Millennials with a social conscience.”

Investing in the Millennial generation

“Observing this gap encouraged us to develop a product that not only reduced the barriers to investing, like the majority of investment apps, but one that inexperienced investors could identify with. If you start throwing terms like FTSE100, the S&P500, asset allocation, bond vs stocks, at people in their twenties or thirties with no investment experience, they will just glaze over. Even if you have invested before, it’s not exactly the most engaging subject in the world!”

“80% of tickr’s first-time users are attracted by the fact they can put money into companies spanning four different themes: climate change, equality, disruptive technology or a combination of the three. With the ability to make a minimum investment of a fiver, we’re trying to inspire people to take action by providing a product that resonates with our target audience, simultaneously delivering an institutional grade portfolio from an investment point of you.”

Liverpool’s only fintech

“It seems a bit ambitious to refer to ‘Liverpool’s fintech sector’, since as far as I’m aware, tickr is the only FinTech in Liverpool.”

 “We didn’t plan to have a London office and a Liverpool office – it happened by accident. I was living in Liverpool, Tom was living in London and we hired people to join the team as and when we had a requirement, with no preference over location.”

“We found it easier to hire tech professionals and people with experience of being involved in fast-growing start-up companies in London. In contrast in Liverpool, we have a similar advantage to Manchester in the fact that there are a lot of big financial companies that have operational HQs in Liverpool, including Tilney, Rathbones, Investec. This has given us a wealth of talent to draw on in terms of operations staff, compliance staff, customer services staff, as well as some tech hires.”

Recruiting across two cities

tickr’s presence across two locations enables the fintech to leverage the talent pools in both Liverpool and London and offer more geographical flexibility than other start-ups, but what are the differences between hiring regionally and in the capital?

“We find for certain roles is very easy – there’s plenty of talented customer services professionals working for financial services companies in and around Liverpool.”

 “We’ve found the benefit to hiring tech talent in Liverpool is that people want a salaried job and want to commit to a role, whereas in London, you can find talented developers much quicker, and there’s a richer talent pool, but their salary expectations are considerably higher, and up until IR35 changes were known to be coming into force, everyone wanted to be a contractor.”

“There’s advantages to hiring in both locations, as someone from the North West, we would love to build the business out in the North West, and over time, as we grow, we’ll have more staff in Liverpool than London.”

Branching out of London

Looking at some of the biggest fintech companies in the UK, Monzo has an office in Cardiff, Starling in Bournemouth, Revolut in Lithuania. Will we see more fintechs setting up operations regionally?

“As fintech’s grow, they take advantages of knowing that if you’re going to hire a third or 40% of staff in a customer service function, the vast majority of them will be found remotely. We’re seeing a lot of UK fintech companies have a London HQ, but they are not 100% London-based, because they can’t stretch their recruitment budgets to hire all their staff in London - it doesn’t make sense financially. It’s about leveraging talent available across the UK, rather than solely focusing on London.”

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