Meet our co-founders

To get a real understanding of Octopus and the way we do business, it’s worth finding out more about our co-founders Chris Hulatt and Simon Rogerson.
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When I first met Chris, I knew instantly he was the smartest man in the room. That's why we set up a business together.

A shared history

The early days

In 1997, Simon Rogerson and Chris Hulatt met on the graduate training programme of an investment company called Mercury. From the beginning, they felt like outsiders. Chris recalls: “We could see investors being ignored or taken advantage of, and we knew there was a better way to do things”.

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Starting out

They left to set up Octopus Investments in 2000, originally working out of Chris’s front room. They rented a tiny office above a shop in London, and began trying to raise the funds needed to build the business.

Why call ourselves Octopus? We wanted a name that even cynics would remember.

Hard times

In the early years, Chris and Simon spent their life savings keeping the business afloat. Simon sold his flat to buy the car they needed for meeting potential investors. But all of their hard work eventually paid off. Over time, their approach started to win support.

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Thank you, Mr Gower

Chris remembers when they heard from their first-ever customer: “We called him up to say thank you. He wasn’t expecting that, but we still think about how we can show our appreciation to every single one of our customers”.

Making sure people feel good about choosing Octopus is still really important to us.”

Investing in people, industries and ideas

Since 2014, Simon and Chris have helped grow the Octopus Group, by entering markets where change is most needed. Today Octopus focuses on the areas that matter most to people, like investments, healthcare, renewable energy and property.

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And what does the future hold?

Today’s Octopus is a vastly different organisation than it was when it started. Simon explains: “A few years ago, we realised that we had built something that could genuinely change the lives of millions of people.” But the customer-first attitude that started with Simon and Chris remains the same.

Octopus has always been shaped by the determination to do things better, so there are no limits to where we are headed.
That is hugely exciting.
Simon Rogerson

Meet Simon

Chief Executive and co-founder

 

Education
Tonbridge School, Kent
University of St Andrews

Awards
London Entrepreneur of the Year 2017
UK Entrepreneur of the Year 2017
Master Entrepreneur of the Year 2017
CityAM Entrepreneur of the Year 2018

Ambition
“To build a business that I’m proud to tell my grandchildren about”

Read more from Simon

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Meet Chris

Co-founder

 

Education 
Fullbrook School, Surrey
University of Cambridge

Awards
London Entrepreneur of the Year 2017
UK Entrepreneur of the Year 2017
Master Entrepreneur of the Year 2017

Ambition
“For Octopus to be remembered for the positive impact it had on the world”

Read more from Chris