Brooke Roberts, Sonya Williams & Leighton Roberts

Sharesies Group Limited

Imagr of Lucy Turnball

Brooke Roberts, Sonya Williams and Leighton Roberts quit their lucrative jobs in banking and technology to commit themselves to an idea that would solve a major social problem. Research showed that many people wanted to become investors, but there were big barriers to Kiwis accessing the market. For many people, investing was too expensive and too complicated.

The friends believed in a fairer world where everyone should have an equal opportunity to grow their wealth. They thought it was time to break down the walls and disrupt the industry with easy access, low fees and a jargon-free product: Sharesies was born.

Sharesies' purpose is to financially empower the next generation by giving someone with $5 the same investment opportunities as someone with $5m. The company has dramatically improved access to investing by making the minimum investment 1c, removing jargon and making investing fun.

The results have been phenomenal, leading to a massive uptake in individual investing in New Zealand – and increased community confidence. Many Sharesies customers are first-time investors, with an equal split of men and women. Nearly three-quarters are under 40 years old.

In February 2021, BusinessDesk coined the term "The Sharesies effect" when the NZX reported a 42% increase in the value of trades, and a record 12.1 million trades by volume.

Having launched as a beta in June 2017 run by the three co-founders, today Sharesies numbers 390,000+ investors, with $1.4b funds under management, 150+ staff and three offices in Wellington, Auckland and Sydney.

As the NZ business continues to grow solidly, Sharesies is now moving offshore. The team launched in Australia in May 2021 and are looking at new international markets for 2022.