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Historic financial institution appoints new marketing and PR agencies as it positions for growth

Howard Martin, Peter Green, Stuart Anderson

Healthy Investment, one of the UK’s oldest mutually owned providers of investment and savings plans, has overhauled its marketing strategy and appointed three new agencies to raise its profile and coordinate its promotional activities.

The Greater Manchester-headquartered friendly society has appointed West Yorkshire-based Respond Marketing to coordinate and carry out its online advertising, design and print services, social media activity and website hosting and maintenance.

Respond Marketing, which has been operating for more than 15 years, was founded by Howard Martin. Mr Martin’s 40-year marketing career began at a national building society before he switched across to work in design and marketing agencies.

Lisa Weaver of The PPC Team, meanwhile, has been appointed to look after Healthy Investment’s online pay-per-click advertising. Based in Greater Manchester, The PPC Team’s activity is being coordinated by Respond Marketing.

Healthy Investment has also engaged Alpha Public Relations, a financial and professional services specialist, to raise its profile in the media.

Alpha Public Relations, which like Healthy Investment is based in Bury, Greater Manchester, was founded in 2017 by Stuart Anderson. Mr Anderson is a former financial services and business journalist who latterly spent five years as the head of marketing and communications at the financial advice and investment management firm Clarion Wealth Planning.

Healthy Investment was founded in Salford in 1835 and has its roots in the nineteenth-century temperance movement. It has been based in Greater Manchester throughout its history and moved to its current headquarters in Bury in 2007.

Throughout its long history Healthy Investment has avoided investing in companies that are directly involved in the alcohol, tobacco, gambling, pornography and arms industries. Today the Bury-based friendly society provides ISAs, Investment Bonds, Junior ISAs (the annual subscription limit for which was more than doubled to £9,000 in the recent Budget), Child Trust Funds and savings plans to more than 110,000 members around the country.

The society invests members’ money in an ethical with-profits fund that “smooths” returns by holding back a proportion of gains in years of strong investment performance and using these to minimise volatility during years of weaker markets. It believes that a combination of recent stock market falls and increased consumer interest in investing ethically provides it with a significant opportunity, and has appointed the financial and professional services specialist Alpha Public Relations to help raise its profile.

Peter Green, chief executive of Healthy Investment, said, “Friendly societies like Healthy Investment have been going about our work quietly for decades but I believe we offer something different, for which there is a real demand. Ethically invested, prudently managed with-profits funds can potentially provide inflation-beating returns while also offering capital guarantees and, in these uncertain times, we are offering a combination of security and potential capital growth that I think a lot of people will find attractive.”

“Respond Marketing and Alpha Public Relations are both specialist firms with an in-depth knowledge of our marketplace and I look forward to working with them over the coming months to help the public, and the financial advisers they rely on, to understand more about us and what we can offer.”

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