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Annual Conference roundup - The Best Bits

11 July, 2017

So, you might possibly have noticed that 26 September was a big day for Boring Money… we hosted our 2018 Annual Conference!

Back for our third year, we organised a full day which put you, the consumers, firmly in the spotlight, and asked experts from the finance sector to think about how they can do a better job of connecting and communicating with their customers.

We found the best speakers from both inside and outside the industry to help us ask (and answer) our big question of the day, ‘how can financial companies talk to customers better?’.

With experts all the way from CEOs, investment experts and journalists to advertisers, psychologists and futurologists – of course, we got some pretty interesting answers.

So we've picked through all the jargonistic industry insights from the day, and put together a quick roundup of the bits you might be interested in.

Rise of the robo hybrids

Looking to the future of consumer investing, robo advisers were a big talking point at our conference. There’s a feeling that robo is really on track to become mainstream, but with a fusion cuisine style twist.

Toby Triebel, CEO Europe at Wealthsimple ( forward a forecast of 5-10% penetration of the overall online investing market. Currently the robo market is worth £2.3 billion, (that's about 1% of the online investing market) while total assets in the online investing space have grown 15.3%, reaching £218 billion at the end of June 2018.

Included in Toby’s predictions was his prophecy that while traditional services will stick around, they’ll probably begin partnering up with robo advisers to serve up their traditional offerings but in a new hybrid style.

He also predicted that the number of robo advisers fighting it out in this new market will end up dropping, with only the ones offering the best tech and value for money left standing. In fact, Toby wasn’t even sure if the term ‘robo’ adviser will still exist in five years.

Wealthsimple were not alone in their forecast of a robo hybrid future. Simon Rogerson, CEO of Octopus Investments and the founder of Octopus Group, felt that while “technology can do 95%” consumers still want to deal with humans when managing their money.

By predicting the combining of robo advisers with traditional investing methods, our conference speakers painted a picture of a utopia where future investors will benefit from a combo of clever tech and human empathy. Here’s hoping!

Also speaking at our conference, fellow robo adviser Exo Investing’s COO Nikolai Hack hoped that as people become more comfortable with artificial intelligence, they will embrace robo advice.

In a world where automisation and algorithmic personalisation are celebrated on Netflix and Spotify, in will likely only be a matter of time before more people are comfortable managing their money with machine-learning algorithms.

If you’re interested in the rise of the robos and want to know more, take a look at our recent article about the newest kind of robo advisers which focus on ethical investments, AKA ‘ethbos’ – ‘Here come the ethical robos (Ethbos?!)’ (

Female investors could pack quite a punch

It’s hardly breaking news that there’s a bit of a gender imbalance in finance.

However, with only 12% of women holding a Stocks & Shares ISA (compared to 19% of men), and their average balance standing at £22,907 (compared to £35,616 for their male counterparts), female investors have quite a bit of catching up to do.

With so much work to do, we brought the issue into the spotlight during our conference, to ask the industry what it will do to close the gender investment gap.

According to our CEO Holly, even if the industry doesn’t care from a sense of social injustice, it should care from the economic perspective. After all, by our calculations if the same number of women invested the same amount as men, there would be £100.8 billion more invested in the UK.

Guardian and Stylist Magazine journalist Lucy Mangan, who also spoke at our conference, set the finance industry three challenges to engage with women:

  • Understand that money is emotional – for women it is still a means to independence, freedom, security for our children, and other freighted states which men can generally take for granted.

  • Explain yourselves – be willing dismantle your own mystique.

  • Remember that women’s money is as good as men’s money – pursue it as willingly as you do theirs.

Responding to these challenges, Janine Menasakanian from Legal & General Investment Management, spoke about the company’s recent partnership with Girl Guiding UK. They hope that through this partnership and the creation of new finance orientated Girl Guiding badges, they will improve girls’ understanding of finance and saving at a young age.

Emilie Bellet from Vestpod, which specialises in women’s financial education, said that an interest and understanding of finance should start at home. Emilie encouraged the personal finance education of mums. Emilie spoke about the need to nurture a better understanding of personal finance and budgeting, so that parents can show children how money is managed at home.

If you’re a potential female investor who wants to know more but doesn’t know quite where to start, maybe give our ‘Wary Women’ ( tribal page a read.

P.S. Thanks to our lovely sponsors Architas, Charles Stanley Direct ( and EValue for supporting our conference and making it possible. Thanks also to our media partner for the event, The Times and The Sunday Times.

P.P.S. By the way, if you didn’t notice that it was our Annual Conference, props to you! (We’re assuming you were otherwise engaged in important matters, to miss the flurry of pink posts whirling through our social channels.)