Home North Pole Economy The tech-savvy consumers behind the 2021 AFR Fast 100 financial success stories

The tech-savvy consumers behind the 2021 AFR Fast 100 financial success stories

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One example is the Stock Trading Platform and the Top 10 Fast 100 Companies. Self-wealth.

Founded in Melbourne around nine years ago as a company dedicated to helping more Australians access the stock markets by introducing the country’s first fixed-fee equity trading platform, Managing Director Cath Whitaker said it was a purpose-built company that “cares deeply about our members. And our team.”

“In a super competitive space, where others are pounding their chest, our mantra is that we will be there for Australian investors for decades, not days and we will continue to grow and evolve as the needs of our members change. . “

According to Whitaker, this commitment to stay with investors throughout their investment journey stems from the genesis of the company as it was not initially established to be a transactional platform.

“SelfWealth started out as a place where individual investors could meet and form communities. This means we’re constantly on the lookout for ways to help retail investors, whether it’s better education and content, an easier-to-use platform, or access to additional investment options such as cryptocurrencies.

“It’s not about what SelfWealth does – it’s why and our goal is to empower people to achieve financial freedom,” Whitaker said.

Over the past 12 months, this commitment to investors has broadened to provide clients with insight into one of the biggest investment trends of recent years – how companies measure up on environmental, social issues. and governance (ESG).

Whitaker says the company has introduced ESG data to their platform for free because “our team is very passionate that SelfWealth should embrace ESG both as an organization and to be able to offer this investment view to everyone. the members “.

The Simply Wall St team has grown from 15 employees last year to 60 this year in five countries.

When it comes to the challenges of operating and continuing to grow during the pandemic, Whitaker says COVID has had a big impact on the industry in a short period of time.

“The key to our success has been responding quickly to what our community wanted. We are an extremely agile organization and we have allocated resources where we have seen the greatest need. “

Plus, she says, much of the company’s growth over the past 12 months can be attributed to its commitment to diversity and inclusion, which starts at the top.

“We have a proactive stance on diversity and inclusion. We don’t see much in our industry, and it allows us to think and act differently, ”says Whitaker.

Simply Wall St provides a new generation of investors with analysis of every stock in the world.

Looking ahead, Whitaker is excited about the continued growth of the retail investor space as “we are excited to support retail investors by providing access to more community activity and content and by delivering new types of assets that will give retail investors a choice no matter what. the market cycle is ”.

Another Fast 100 player who has seen substantial growth over the past two years is Simply Wall Street, which provide a new generation of investors with insight into every stock in the world.

Company operations chief Nandini Meka said the team has grown from 15 employees last year to 60 this year in five countries.

“We are building strong engineering and product teams to achieve the goal of becoming the first place in the world where retail investors can get help making the best possible investment decisions,” Meka said. .

“We’re also proud of our growing user base and are excited to help 4.5 million investors around the world (doubled in the past twelve months) make more informed decisions.”

Daniel Wessels, CEO and Founder of Jacaranda Finance.

Similar to SelfWealth, the company is dedicated to being more inclusive and developing everyone’s understanding of investing wisely and recently launched a series of Share Club events for female investors because “we believe there is an opportunity to invest. improve participation, independence and financial results for this user segment ”.

“Investing in equities has traditionally been a male dominated business and we hope to play an important role in changing that,” says Meka.

Consumer lender Jacaranda Finance is also helping more Australians access financial services.

The CEO and founder of Jacaranda FinanceDaniel Wessels says the company has a narrow niche in the consumer lending industry.

“Those with poor credit scores are usually targeted by cowboy payday lenders or payday advance style applications, from which our clients don’t want to borrow money because of their sky-high rates and low rates. short-term repayments.

“We offer a product that falls between these two options for creditworthy borrowers who are rebuilding their credit history. Our clients are about to borrow money from traditional traditional lenders and we want to help them do that, ”said Wessels.

The company has seen its loan portfolio grow by more than 100% in the past 12 months, but for Wessels it remains a cautious lender approving only around 5% of applications.

He says in the interest of helping the remaining 95 percent of applicants rehabilitate their credit scores, the company will launch a suite of consumer-focused tools next year to help them finally find themselves in a predicament. financial “where they can borrow money from us or even traditional lenders”.

“When the tools are used together, you can think of them as a hyper-personalized digital financial coach who gives consumers monthly advice on how to improve their personal financial situation,” says Wessels.

The new tools fit into what Wessels calls the corporate mantra – a technology-driven company that is “fast, fair and responsible”.