Online investment startup Nutmeg has named a new CEO, weeks after reports that the board was looking to replace the company’s founder.
Nick Hungerford, who cofounded Nutmeg in 2011 and has been CEO since the start, is stepping aside to take the role of non-executive director.
Martin Stead, Nutmeg’s current chief revenue officer, is being promoted to CEO.
Stead joined Nutmeg last November from EDF Energy, where he was marketing, sales, and digital director. He sat on the energy giant’s Executive Board Supply & Services business and was responsible for a team of 130 people, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Stead says in a statement announcing his appointment: “I’m honoured and excited to be taking on the role of CEO at Nutmeg. The Nutmeg business model is proven, our unparalleled technology and operating model is built for scaling, and our strong brand is now perfectly positioned to focus on growth.”
Nutmeg offers wealth management services online for as little as £500, well below the traditional investment threshold.
Hungerford, who worked in the City at Brewin Dolphin and Barclays Wealth before setting up Nutmeg, says in a statement:
Starting Nutmeg with William Todd was one of the most exciting moments of my life and I am immensely proud of how many people Nutmeg now helps to build solid financial futures. I’m honoured to have had the opportunity to lead Nutmeg and look forward to helping the company hit new heights.
The time is right to hand over the role of CEO to Martin to manage and further accelerate Nutmeg’s growth. My role at Nutmeg is geared toward building the brand, developing the vision and making sure Nutmeg has a voice among its peer group.
The management reshuffle comes weeks after Financial News reported that Nutmeg had begun searching for a new CEO after unrest among certain board members and investors. Nutmeg is backed by the likes of fund manager Schroders, London VC firm Balderton Capital, and Carphone Warehouse cofounder Sir Charles Dunstone.
Reached by phone, Hungerford played down suggestions of unrest to BI and said a search had been ongoing since before Christmas. He told BI: “This is something we’ve been working on as a team. What we want to do is make sure we continue to grow as fast as we have been growing.”
Nutmeg, which has been advertising extensively on the London tube network recently, has grown 37% since the start of the year. The company says in a release announcing the new CEO that it “manages hundreds of millions of pounds for tens of thousands of customers.”
Hungerford says the new CEO role was about transitioning to the next phase of growth in the business, with Stead’s skills more suited for the job.
Chairman Craig Anderson says in today’s release:
Following a record-breaking tax year end and a new level of scale, it’s time for us to gear up for our next stage of growth. Together with Nutmeg founder Nick Hungerford and our other board members we have undergone a review of the leadership structure and today we announce the appointment of Martin Stead as CEO of Nutmeg. Martin, who joined Nutmeg as Chief Revenue Officer in 2015, is perfectly placed to lead Nutmeg through the next stage of its development.
Martin brings a wealth of experience in delivering growth in consumer businesses. In his previous role at EDF Energy, Martin sat on the B2C Executive Team which oversaw the £3 billion revenue retail business, where he led acquisition of new customers, customer retention, product and proposition development, digital sales and service, and all aspects of marketing.
Nutmeg is facing increasing competition from so-called robo-advisors — online-only investment advice and management, often done with a high level of artificial intelligence and automation. While Nutmeg is online-only, it still involves human fund managers at the back end.
Earlier this year Nutmeg was hit by a technical glitch that briefly allowed members to access to personal details of other customers.
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