Doncaster tech firm grows from back room operation to employ nearly 100
Eight years ago, it was three people running a business from a box room in a Doncaster semi.
Today it is a workforce of 85 taking part in a high tech operation in a modern Doncaster town centre office, and looking to expand in the coming years.
That has been the pace of growth for MyPensionExpert.com, which has just moved into newly refurbished offices at the Colonnades, and is expecting to create more high tech jobs in the next few years.
The firm was set up by Richard Morrall, Scott Mullen and Andrew Binns, three specialists in retirement advice, and helping people find the right pension to put their savings into when they retire. A year later there were 10 working for the site, which moved its base to a site at Field Lane near Doncaster Sheffield Airport.
As confidence grew, their client numbers swelled, with the firm working with a Jersey-based technology company called Clicksco to maximise referrals via the internet, Eventually, as their relationship because closer, MyPensionExpert.com merged with Clickso in 2015, creating a Doncaster based tech and pensions firm.
The firm uses technology to find leads, and then its calls centre team works with customers to help them find the best pension for their needs.
Over the years, Mr Mullen and Mr Binns have left to pursue other projects. Mr Morrall is still an executive with the firm.
The business' current executive chairman, Andrew Megson, has been working for the business for two years and comes from a background in finance.
He said: "We use technology to generate leads, which is a more efficient way to do it, using data science. We then have a relationship with the customer all the way from their first click on a search engine, all the way to their taking their pension.
"We understand customer needs and also their level of intent.
"We've also launched new products - we now also work with equity release and wills since 2016, and we have advised on funeral plans since a few months ago.
"These were natural progressions. When we generate customers, we have the concept of nothing is wasted, so we have tried to widen what is available from us if people have clicked on us. Many not only want retirement advice, but also funeral plans. We have already paid for a lead, and having other services brings down the cost, and also means that a client has not wasted their time."
The firm has also now developed a lead generation business, called MyAquisitionExpert.com, running from the same base.
The company moved into its new offices to bring all its staff under one roof. Previously they had been based in three separate buildings, but Mr Megson believes it is important to have his team in one place. He feels it is better for discussions with staff members to be in person, rather than by emails between buildings, as it leaves less space for an misunderstandings.
Consultation with staff revealed a preference for a town centre location, for the ease of access by public transport and ease of access to activities during lunchtimes. The company now goes to Doncaster market each morning to buy fresh fruit to have in the office for the workforce.
Mr Megson is confident in the future of the town centre, and is aware of council plans to regenerate it through schemes around the station, the market place, Silver Street and Hallgate. He feels firms like his being based in the town centre will help drive its regeneration as they mean more people with disposable income will be spending it in the town centre.
And there could be even more staff in the firm's office in the future. He is looking at more development for the firm.
"I think we're looking to build our lead generation capability using artificial intelligence and data science. We would be recruiting pretty senior jobs based in Doncaster, in tech development, data science, and looking for highly skilled people. They would be good, well paid, skilled jobs.
"As we expand our ability to generate customer enquiries, everything follows on from that, and we would look to expand the team of advisors.
"Around 50-60 per cent of out staff are engaged in talking to people over the phone, providing real engagement with out clients."