EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: The High Tech Frontier With

Tom Burroughes Group Editor London 10 March 2014

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: The High Tech Frontier With

This publication recently spoke to Toby Hughes, chief executive of, a UK-based wealth management firm that sees itself very much as part of a new breed.

This publication recently spoke to Toby Hughes, chief executive of, a UK-based wealth management firm that sees itself very much as part of the new breed of companies embracing the internet and associated technologies to the fullest extent, particularly as conventional business models come under pressure from regulators and tech. WealthBriefing also questioned the firm about its strategy, why it was founded and what it foresees about industry developments. The firm was officially launched by Hughes in the UK in October 2012 after 20 months of development.

In the broadest terms, how do you describe aims to help people make better choices over their financial future. Its core technology Money Hub is a revolutionary tool that allows users to gain total visibility over their entire financial universe and plan effectively for the future. It also offers users access to financial information, products and advice.

Can you sketch out its unique selling propositions?’s Money Hub allows users to view their whole financial universe in one place, tracking their everyday expenses, assets, liabilities and much more. It also allows users to share selected parts of their financial universe directly with their financial advisor, such as a particular investment that they need advice on or goal they’ve set for the future. This is done using screen share technology creating a more efficient client-advisor relationship. The ability to plan and share this way with a financial advisor is unique to Money Hub.

Money Hub is unique in that it is available across iOS, Android and Kindle Fire app stores as part of the YourWealth app, and also via our website, Whether you choose to log in on your web browser or via the app, your data syncs seamlessly and securely across all your devices and you can even edit your plan while you’re offline.

Money Hub was named “Best of Show” at the Finovate Europe 2014 conference, the only UK technology to win this award in 2014. It was also listed in this year’s FinTech50, an annual list of “game-changing technologies across Europe that are redefining the future of finance”.

How many people work in it?
There is a core team of 17 individuals.

It is a mixture of business-to-business and business-to-client services. Are these roughly half and half in terms of the focus of the business? Do you see that shifting and if so, why? and the complimentary Money Hub technology aims to deliver the best customer experience for managing your money and planning ahead effectively.  

We put the customer at the centre of everything we do and seek to integrate and help them better understand all aspects of their financial universe. To achieve this aim we have a dedicated business to business offering and we work in close partnership with financial advisers, financial institutions and product providers to help them to deliver more efficient and enhanced services through our technology and our website.

What sort of goals do you have for this business in terms of client coverage, geographies, type of clients?
It is aimed at people who want to gain total control of their money and achieve visibility over their financial universe whatever their stage of life, aspirations or financial goals for the future.

Can you give me some views on how you regard today's wealth management market in the UK. What is being done well and badly? What annoys you most about the state of the industry? What is a cause for celebration, if at all?
The industry has experienced a significant amount of regulatory change over the last couple of years. I have welcomed the focus that the regulator has placed on making charges more transparent and simple to understand. This has resulted in firms evaluating their proposition and remodeling their charging structures.

I don’t think that the industry places enough emphasis on innovation and new technology, and firms not integrating these into their client proposition in the medium term will struggle.

Do you see your firm as part of a process whereby banks and some other traditional players are squeezed out?
No. Our technology and services aim to strengthen relationships that financial institutions and advisors have with their clients, and assist them in improving their value proposition and delivering more efficient services to an increased number of clients.

What is your take on the issue of the "advice gap"? Has it been overblown? Should new business models leave us better off in the long run anyway?   

I think that the advice gap is often misunderstood and that many advisprs have assumed that they can no longer service clients with smaller portfolios i.e. less than £50,000, but I think firms may just need to evolve new propositions for these clients.

I do believe that new business models are better for the consumer in the long-term; however, I would like to see more firms using technology to increase efficiency and drive costs down. An improvement in efficiency and reduction in costs will ultimately increase the number of people who can access advice.

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