Octopus Group today announced it has appointed Ruth Handcock as the new CEO for its investments business. Ruth takes over from co-founder Simon Rogerson who remains CEO of the Group and will become the Executive Chairman for Octopus Investments.
The appointment comes as Octopus Investments enters its next phase of growth as it continues to work with UK financial advisers to deliver products and services to help more people realise the benefits of financial planning. This is the first time a new CEO has been appointed for Octopus Investments since the company was founded in 2000.
Ruth joined Octopus from UK challenger bank Tandem in July 2018 as Chief Customer Officer, working across operations, sales and marketing. In her new role, she will be responsible for driving the business’ growth strategy as the company looks to expand its retail distribution network and range of products and services.
Working with more than 4,000 financial advisers, over 68,000 investors supported by its growing distribution team of over 65 strong located across the UK, Octopus is an established and award-winning business. Managing over £6 billion retail FUM it has market-leading positions across a broad portfolio including tax-efficient investing, estate planning, smaller company investing, fund management, cash management and P2P lending.
Octopus Investments is part of the Octopus Group, which is transforming the financial services and energy supply sectors to give people better service, value for money and access to products. It manages over £8.5 billion for retail and institutional investors and specialises in property financing, healthcare infrastructure, multi-manager and smaller company investments, venture capital and renewable energy investments.
Simon Rogerson, CEO and co-founder of the Octopus Group, commented:
“We’re thrilled Ruth has agreed to take over the reins and lead Octopus Investments through its next exciting stage of growth. She has already made a big contribution to the business and brings with her great skills and a shared passion to see more people benefit from financial advice. This goal remains unchanged: we passionately believe in the difference that great financial planning can make to people, their families and lives.
“Octopus Group has grown rapidly in the last few years and this feels the right time for me to focus on the wider group. I will continue to be involved with Octopus Investments and I am looking forward to working alongside Ruth, as we support more advisers across the UK by developing meaningful financial solutions and services for them and their clients.”
Ruth Handcock commented:
“Octopus Investments is an exciting business that is on a mission to help more advisers and I am delighted to have this opportunity to lead it. I’m looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as the company grows and continues to innovate. Technology is a huge driving force for change within financial services and we want to lead the charge. We’ve built up a significant team with tech expertise to help develop new solutions for advisers, following the success of Octopus Cash and Choice.
“We want to continue to broaden out the products and services we offer to advisers and expect that technology will be at the heart of this, to remove friction, increase engagement and efficiency. Octopus remains an entrepreneurial business at its core and has a talented team of people working hard to make a real difference to both our advisers and their clients. My focus will be on ensuring we continue to invest and deliver on our commitment to advisers.”
The company also announced two further appointments:
- Jonathan Digges becomes the new Chief Investment Officer for Octopus with responsibility for the fund management activity of the group. This includes oversight of Octopus Energy Investments, Octopus Healthcare, Octopus Property and Octopus Ventures. Jonathan has been with Octopus since 2015
- Sam Handfield-Jones has been appointed Growth and Innovation Director at Octopus Investments, focusing on creating completely new financial products and services for financial advisers and their clients.
Notes to editor
Prior to joining Octopus, Ruth was a founding employee at Tandem, a new UK challenger bank, and was responsible for achieving its banking licence and overseeing proposition and company build. Ruth started her career with eight years in strategic consultancy before joining Bacardi as Finance Director of their Martini & Cognac portfolios. Ruth has also spent a year working in the Ministry of Trade in Sierra Leone to attract overseas investment and remains involved with the running of a primary school in Freetown. Ruth is Governor and Founder at Bolingbroke Academy, a non-selective state secondary school and is also involved in the FTSE 100 Cross-Company Mentoring programme, which helps to increase female participation on Boards.
Jonathan has been at Octopus since 2015 heading up the Specialist Finance team in Octopus Investments. Before joining Octopus, Jonathan ran a team at Lloyds Bank that looked after the bank’s non-core equity portfolio. Prior to Lloyds, Jonathan was Head of Corporate Finance at Mecom Group plc, a consolidating European newspaper business listed on the London Stock Exchange, where he was one of the group’s first four employees. Jonathan also spent 8 years as an Investment Banker in both M&A and equity research at BNP Paribas and Robert Fleming, having qualified as a Chartered Accountant at Price Waterhouse in 1996.
Sam Handfield-Jones spends much of his time focused on building new products and services and was instrumental in launching and growing the company’s latest products, Octopus Cash and P2P lending offering Octopus Choice. He is passionate about straight-talking jargon-free financial services, the role of fintech and advocating both financial and digital education through initiatives such as the Octopus Academy. Sam joined the company in 2013 as a corporate development manager. Prior to Octopus, Sam worked as a manager of assurance and advisory at Adler Shine and as an auditor at the Old Mill Group. He originally qualified as a chartered accountant.
For journalists in their professional capacity only. The value of an investment, and any income from it, can fall as well as rise. Investors may not get back the full amount they invest. Personal opinions may change and should not be seen as advice or a recommendation. We do not offer investment or tax advice. We recommend investors seek professional advice before deciding to invest. Issued by Octopus Investments Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office: 33 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HT. Registered in England and Wales No. 03942880. Issued: February 2019.