SCM Direct launches MoneyShe
Digital wealth manager SCM Direct is marking its 12th anniversary with the launch of MoneyShe – a female focused information and resource centre on scmdirect.com aimed at increasing women’s confidence about investing.
Founded in June 2009 by Alan and Gina Miller as a reaction to the Global Financial Crisis, over the last 12 years, SCM Direct has been steadfast in focusing on transparency, putting customers first, and being an ethical activist brand.
As vocal consumer campaigners, SCM has produced extensive research, calling out failings by both the self-interested industry trade bodies and the regulator, challenged anti-consumer behaviours in respect of hidden fees, closet index tracking, liquidity and mispricing, fund labelling, lack of holdings transparency, and greenwashing.
Gina Miller says: “There is much said about the gender pay gap, but not enough about the enormity of the investing and pension gender gap. The sector has been aware of the gap for years, yet little has changed. We believe this is because there has been too much focus on designing female-focused products, but our experience is that men and women do not necessarily want different products. What women want is to be communicated with and treated in a straightforward, uncomplicated manner.
"Aspects of female financial vulnerability have been amplified during the Covid pandemic, and it is important to us that we try to practically help. As a business 39 per cent of our clients are female and we know from them that increasing investment and pension knowledge, understanding and confidence is vital to making them active investors.
We launch MoneyShe today with brochures, a Retirement Tip Sheet and Cost Questionnaire and will be adding to these on a regular basis ensuring we check in with women on what they want. We will soon be launching a blog section, hosting our own and partner events, and a Story Board area where women can share their finance experiences, stories, and feedback. We hope to inspire confidence and trust, not just in us but the wider investment industry.”
Since launch the Millers have invested across the core SCM Direct ETF Portfolios, on the same fees, terms and asset allocation decisions as their clients.
SCM Direct has been encouraged to see growth in the online wealth/investment/management sector but anxious that despite large external fundraisings, and substantial expenditures on advertising and promotional activity, profitability and sustainability is still proving to be a challenge as this significant spending does not appear to have translated into profitability within the sector. Four of the largest UK digital wealth managers lost a combined GBP42.8 million according to their latest available accounts, which was more than 3x their combined turnover.
In terms of the last 12 months to end of May 2021, SCM has also experienced an increase in AUM of 27 per cent and an increase in clients of 20 per cent. SCM Direct believes this organic growth makes it the first UK digital wealth manager to reach profitability – having recorded an overall profit for the six months to end April 2021.