Groovin for five years

In January we were five years old. Too old to be hip, too young to be a monument but we are groovy, I think. An interesting time to briefly reflect on what we wanted to achieve when setting out into the world and what lays ahead.

28 Jan 2014 we started out with a simple goal to take our institutional experience in investment in the UK and across the world and put it into an accessible home that was resilient and reliable. The name Edale came from a valley from my mountain biking past. The millstone was a nice logo to represent the goal of a solid object to change a simple product (wheat -> flour) into the ingredients that make up an important staple of daily life (bread). We wanted to do that for investment advice. Plus, avoid the chince that’s common in retail products and avoid the expensive marble many institutions feel the client need to see (and that the client actually pays for). Solid investments from institutional practitioners with effective cost control to give clients value for money and flexibility to change as circumstances required and their life developed.

Edale is now five years old and has agilely grown a UK based but global client-driven business.

We will continue to be investment smart, digitally driven and technically savvy with lean operations. Nice, but what’s that mean – more on that below – though understanding decisions we made along the way helps explain that mantra.

We started out with hotdesks in a posh London suburb to be accessible for those travelling through London and most people can pinpoint London on the map – not the shire town we now work – although technology changed everything. Freely available communication tools like skype reduced the need to be in a London office and we could replace commuter time for effective client time. Being flexible to wrap around the client’s day is an important service offering we feel. With digital channels, we spoke to client’s for shorter periods but more frequently, now online chat channels and instant messenger on the PC and phone put the office in the pocket. Now its a walk to the office and slipper’s await – slippers are a modern luxury in the dress down culture and can be seen as an employee health benefit. We have some smart slippers stashed under the desk and interesting our five years spans the rise and fall of mahabis. Softphones replace analogue so we can use our landline on the road, at the airport or hotel but sadly not on the plane as wifi is too slow and we are too tight to pay inflight roaming charges.

Technology has enabled us to be digitally driven but we still see clients face to face.  For Edale, we have travelled extensively in our five years. We have used tripit to monitor our travel plans and its tracked our moves and stats: distance 595,359 km, cities 76 and countries 25. We have been a backer of innovation putting many pounds and perspiration into ideas –  some didn’t work and some did (our incubating bondsmart was a project we started and are still involved in).

For the next five years, we aim to expand our hybrid advice model of digital and human. We want to embrace orphan or unadvised clients, assist people across the world and bring smart investment ideas to more people. We will continue to plough the less trodden path to find great investment products and make them available simply, digitally and with ease.

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