PensionBee: Romi Savova
The female entrepreneur and finance professional talks about how she wants to solve the UK's pension problem
Name: Romi Savova
Company Name: PensionBee
Location: Greater London
Date Launched: 01/11/2015
No. of employees: 8
Tell us what your business does:
PensionBee is an online pension manager that helps you combine and manage all your pensions online.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
A personal experience moving my pension from a previous employer. I made such a mess of it! I’m a finance professional and I found it so very complicated.
The more I spoke to people, the more I realised that I was not alone and that the UK urgently needed a solution to help people take control of their retirement savings in a hassle-free way.
How did you know there was a market for it?
9.1m UK workers between 25 and 50 will have a pension under the auto enrolment changes. Most of them need to save more than the minimum to have a good retirement.
Nobody is serving that market well.
What were you doing before starting up?
I was heading up Corporate Development at Credit Benchmark, another very successful start-up. I began my career at Goldman Sachs and prior to joining Credit Benchmark, I worked in the Investment Banking Division of Morgan Stanley.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
No, but I have always been very entrepreneurial.
In your professional career, if you really want to make a difference and feel like you are creating change, there is no better (or more challenging!) way to do great things than to run your own business.
How did you raise the money?
Through my network. When your idea is very young, you need to find investors who believe in you, know how hard you work and know that you won’t give up.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
We find all your pensions and prepare a summary snapshot for free. If you want to pick one of our three plans to combine and manage your retirement savings, we take a part of that annual management fee.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Not enough time to do everything and wishing I could replicate myself. The trick is to let your team take on more.
What was your first big breakthrough?
When our very first customer decided to combine his pensions with PensionBee, I literally jumped out of my chair with a fistpump! We had helped this particular customer save thousands of pounds in pension fees and he was grateful! All of the hard work was worth it at that moment.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Don’t give up when the going gets tough. If it was easy, somebody else would already be doing it.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
Celebrating having helped 300,000 people in the UK take control of their retirement savings. Not a small feat!