Pandemic have-a-go investors force shake-up in UK wealth market


The explosion in DIY investing since the start of the pandemic has led to a scramble among Britain’s more traditional asset managers and banks to buy or build online platforms that give consumers more direct control of their investment portfolios.

While the ‘meme stock’ frenzy that saw a rush by consumers to buy shares in companies talked up on social media such as Gamestop has simmered down a notch, there’s still a growth in demand from people to pick their own investments or tailored wealth products.

This month abrdn bought interactive investor for £1.5 billion ($1.98 billion) while earlier this year banks JPMorgan and Lloyds snapped up wealth platforms Nutmeg and Embark respectively to bolt-on more customer-friendly digital products.

“If you don’t move as an incumbent, you are in trouble. No doubt,” Antonio Lorenzo, head of insurance and wealth at Lloyds, told Reuters.

Platforms offering investment tools directly to consumers are the fastest growing part of the consumer investment industry, according to data shared with Reuters by research firm Platforum.

Assets under administration at these direct platforms jumped 40% to £289 billion in the year to March, making up a third of the consumer market. Research firm Fundscape forecasts the market will more than double in size to £658 billion by 2026.

Independent online platform Freetrade says its assets had leapt to 1.1 billion pounds, from 240 million prior to the pandemic. Its best month for sign-ups was October with 115,000 joiners, compared to 75,000 in February at the height of the meme stocks phenomenon typified by social media favourite Gamestop.

“Gamestop was a catalyst for sure, but it’s not like that was the peak,” Freetrade co-founder Viktor Nebehaj said.

“It’s obvious to us that investment accounts are going to be as normal as bank accounts.”

Britain may not be as synonymous with have-a-go investors as the United States, but it’s growing a more lively retail investor community.

Around 14% of adults in Britain are interested in automated investing, behind the U.S. (16%) but ahead of France (12%), surveys by Forrester show.

UK consumers posted the highest rise in the world of those likely to invest in future, at 58% from 41% pre-pandemic, according to a survey by fund network Calastone.

More than half of new investors – with less than two years’ experience – are less than 35 years old, according to a survey by Oliver Wyman in October. Freetrade said over 55% of its new customers were first-time investors.

Source: Reuters

View our blog for market news and company updates.

Register your interest in one of our events

By clicking “Submit” I acknowledge I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy. Evenco will not share or sell your contact details with any third party sources.

Refer a colleague

Register to receive your Contributor Brochure

By clicking “Submit” I acknowledge I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy. Evenco will not share or sell your contact details with any third party sources.

Register to receive your Membership Brochure

By clicking “Submit” I acknowledge I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy. Evenco will not share or sell your contact details with any third party sources.

Register to receive your
Event Media Pack

By clicking “Submit” I acknowledge I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy. Evenco will not share or sell your contact details with any third party sources.

Privacy Policy

The data controller is: Evenco International Limited, 1 Ropemaker Street, London, Greater London, England EC2Y 9HT.

Evenco International is an executive conference organiser for the asset management community.

Your privacy is important to us. Accordingly we are committed to handling the personal information of all those we engage with responsibly and in a way that meets the legal requirements of the countries in which we operate.

This privacy policy explains the basis on which any personal data we collect from you will be processed by us in relation to the following:

Conference registration.
Email Marketing.
Face-to-face meetings with our Research team.

Except for the above, we do not process or analyse your information in any other way, including disclosing your information with third parties, unless required to do so by law.

Conference registration

If you sign up to attend one of our conferences, we will ask you to provide your professional details – in order to determine your suitability to attend our conference and share with you all logistical information. We will use this information internally to communicate with you. We request the following: name, job title, business address, email address and business telephone number. By attending our conferences we may pass the information we collect at registration to our conference sponsors. It gives our sponsors the opportunity to know who will be attending the conference. They can contact you after the conference for commercial reasons. It is, therefore, up to you whether you remain in contact with them. Evenco International will never share any of your personal data with potential sponsors without your explicit consent. After the conference, we will ask you to complete surveys regarding your experience with us. Information for us and the sponsors of the conference to which the feedback applies. We will check, of course, that you are happy to share your feedback and personal data with the sponsors. We will not share your feedback with other third parties without your explicit consent. There will be a photographer and/or videographer at our conferences. This may be used for future marketing material, our website and social media channels.

Email Marketing

When you register to attend one of our conferences, we will ask you if you wish to receive direct marketing from us regarding future conferences. You can choose to stop receiving them at any time by emailing

Face to face meetings

Evenco International meets with its audiences prior to its events – meaning we will sometimes ask to meet you and ask you questions. We do not record these meetings. Any opinions that you express may be shared with specific sponsors – anonymously – on the condition that you give us your permission to do this.


We ensure information once received is stored securely and only accessible with the correct authorisation. Electronic data and databases are stored on secure computer systems and we control who has access to information. However, a loss of personal data is known as a data breach. The General Data Protection Regulation imposes requirements on businesses to report breaches within 72 hours. We undertake to inform you if your personal data is compromised and there is a risk to your rights and freedoms as a result.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy or relating to our use of your information, write to our Data Protection Officer at Evenco International, 1 Ropemaker Street, London, Greater London, England EC2Y 9HT, or emailing

Please also contact us if you wish to exercise your ‘Right to Access’ or ‘Right to be Forgotten’ under the General Data Protection Regulation.

Terms and Conditions

Evenco Analytics offers a free trial period for three months after subscribing to the service. You will not be charged for this product during your trial period. Before the trial expires, we will contact you to see if you wish to continue using the service and subscribe to a yearly subscription, where you can cancel if desired. You can also unsubscribe from Evenco Analytics for free at any time leading up to the first quarterly payment by contacting us at Standard rate for the product is £5k per annum, charged quarterly at £1250. Early bird and referral discounts are also available for subscribing to a full Evenco Analytics subscription – please contact us for more information. As our subscription is set up via invoicing, please note that there may be a short delay before you receive access to the platform, as we will need to approve your request.

Request a demo