Market Update

Brother and sister at family firm launch investment business

29 May 2019

Simon Crookall, entrepreneur and director of independent investment services firm, Ramsey Crookall has co-founded a new online investment platform with his sister, Joanna Crookall, chief executive of the family-run business.

InvestEngine, which launched last week, provides investment portfolios for people with a minimum of £2,000 to invest.

The service has a management fee of 0.45% per annum, making it one of the lowest fixed rates available.

There are no dealing fees, set up costs, custody or exit fees, and InvestEngine rebalances portfolios as part of the service.

Mr Crookall, who also co-founded Gumtree, the online classified ad website, is known to rarely give interviews,despite his success in the world of entrepreneurship.

He told Business News: ‘InvestEngine gives people a regulated, low cost and easy solution for taking control of their own investment into high quality market trackers where all the hard work is done for them.

‘We deal with carefully selected exchange-traded funds (ETFs) combined with proven methodology and market tracking technology to deliver diversified investment portfolios across global markets – essentially people don’t have all their eggs in one basket.

‘The vision for InvestEngine is to become the ultimate destination for investors and savers.

‘Over time our offering will diversify and expand to include an array of services from pensions and ISAs to investment advice and ethical investing options with green portfolios.’

InvestEngine is said to combine smart technology with more than 70 years’ financial experience via its close relationship with Douglas-based Ramsey Crookall that provides InvestEngine’s broker function.

This direct relationship with the Athol Street, Douglas, company allows the ‘intelligent’ investment service to keep costs competitive and trade more efficiently.

It is stressed that InvestEngine is not a service offered by Ramsey Crookall, but is a separate company.

Unlike many other players, InvestEngine uses a ‘buy and hold’ approach which means less room for human error, says Mr Crookall.

The online investment platform uses algorithms to assess investors against 16 risk profiles, match them with an optimal investment strategy (which is typically made up of stocks, bonds and other assets) and automatically rebalance portfolios where necessary.

For additional assurance, InvestEngine’s team monitors investments on an ongoing basis.

Prospective investors answer questions about their aims, how much they would like to invest and the level of risk they’re comfortable with, and InvestEngine gets to work selecting a low fee portfolio giving exposure to stocks, bonds and other assets (such as gold).

To boost returns, investors also have the option of topping up their portfolio with monthly instalments.

Consumers can log in at any time to check performance and withdraw money whenever they like with no exit fees. The online investment service also has a direct relationship with CREST (the UK’s Central Security Depository), to ensure customers’ investments are held safely and securely. CREST is owned and operated by Euroclear, which has custody of €28.8 trillion in assets.

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