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No inhibitions: Jane’s story

Jane Warren, CEO of Investec Click & Invest talks about the intricacies of bringing an online investment service to life

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Topic: Investing

Like all the other focus group participants, Kate was asked to test our website while we watched in silence from behind a one-way mirror.  But when she stopped, looked up from her screen and said “Yeah, I’d invest in that”, the room erupted in cheers.

It was a pivotal moment in the development of our service for me, as it was the first time that we had put Click & Invest out into the real world and it was great to see someone relate to the service in the same spirit in which it was created.

This idea of building a relationship with a client without being able to reach out and touch them has been the focus of the project from the very start. How do you gain someone’s loyalty without face to face interaction?

The simple answer, I believe, is good service. Whether you’re running a restaurant or a local garage, it’s always about trust. You only ever take your business to someone you trust, whatever that mission is.

Retail Therapy

The banking sector is still recovering from a crisis of trust following the crash of 2008, so when I first sat down with our Chief Operating Officer and Head of Marketing to talk about the possibility of launching an innovative online investment service, I looked towards the retail sector for inspiration.

Innovation can be stilted by regulation within finance, whereas the retail sector is more experimental with its approach to the customer experience, so I always stir up new ideas by giving my team the space to achieve but also the space to fail.

This is an ideology I learnt back in school, where I was taught that I could basically achieve whatever I wanted.  By the time I realised this might not always be the case, it was already too late! It meant that when I left school I came to London for the day and I basically arrived at Regent Street, walked into Burberry and got a job there on the spot. I honestly don’t know whether I’d still have the guts to do that now, but it’s this uninhibited drive that I try to instil in the team at Click & Invest.

Breaking barriers to investing

There are lots of inspiring people I look up to in the world of business, but the one who really stands out is Natalie Massenet, the founder of Net-a-Porter, the first company to deliver luxury fashion online.

I love how she broke the mould and in the process managed to bring a lot of large designer brands along with her on the ride.

Our team also have the potential to really rewrite the rules with Click & Invest because we’ve started with a good model from our core business but we’re now trying to bring active investing to a very new audience.

I’ve always thought the main reason why some people aren’t investing is because of fear; they don’t understand the risks. Click & Invest not only provides a wealth of content to explain the basics of investing but also allows you to do it all from the comfort of your own living room. You don’t have to feel embarrassed about not being able to understand what a dividend yield is, for example. That anonymity gives you the opportunity to learn without embarrassment.

I never did get the chance to speak to Kate after that focus group but if I ever met her again I would thank her for her candour. Honest feedback has shaped Click & Invest from the very beginning and will continue to influence every future development so get in touch via Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and tell us what you think.

Opinions given within this article are my own personal views. My views and opinions are effective from the date of publication but may be subject to change without notice. I have no affiliation with the companies mentioned in this piece and all research has been independent.

 

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