Chris Wheal’s latest editorial project, Capital.com, is now visible worldwide and the app that funds our editorial work is downloadable from the UK app store.
The editorial is provided by a team of (currently) eight UK freelance journalists. We operate through a Brighton-based agency, Lark, which handles the admin and covers the management expenses.
For example, as a team we all get together quarterly for face-to-face discussion and brainstorming, plus we use a project management system, Wrike, for which Lark pays per user.
Variety of content
We write about markets – stocks, forex, commodities and general economic news. We also produce features on sometimes complex investment and trading issues. A third strand is writing about trading psychology and biases – behaviours that affect the way individual and groups trade and make investment decisions.
We have produced a mix of
- Scripts for animated films
We started producing content in February and some of the early content is still being uploaded to the site, as the content management system came on line after we had started. We now put all our content straight into the CMS.
Join Capital, see the world
As part of the job, I have had to visit Minsk, in Belarus. The company is officially based in Cyprus, but that is an administrative HQ, staffed by the legal and regulatory team. The bulk of the staff are in Minsk. This is where the mathematics and technical experts work.
Minsk is also home to the copywriting team, which is our main contact point. Although I went ostensibly to help train them in writing for the web about complex financial matters, the trip was hugely useful for me in terms of better understanding the business.
It is also much easier to have a long-distance relationship via email and Skype after you have met face to face, sat alongside each other over a computer screen and been out for an excellent, traditional Belarus, lunch together.
How I got the work
I have been working with Lark on this since November (unpaid until the contract came through). Lark had initially done some work with Capital and was using UK freelances. When the idea of running a news services came up, one of the freelances, Adrian Holliday, threw my name into the hat.
Adrian and I had worked together before, at Daily Finance and AOL Money, where I had been “lead blogger” – effectively the editor, commissioning stories and making sure the site was busy and updated at key times of the day. I had merged Daily Finance and Walletpop to create AOL Money.
Running Capital is a little more complex due to the nature of the content. At AOL there was a single unit price for freelances. At Capital we have different prices for scripts, courses, features, analysis and news.
That means that for billing, instead of just counting up how many units we need to identify how many of each kind of article each writer has produced. That is why we use Wrike – I tested about half a dozen different project management systems before plumping for this one.
A new funding model for journalism?
Journalism has traditionally been funded by advertising. And advertisers have called the shots, including getting editors sacked and stories pulled. In this case there is no advertising and nobody interfering.
This is an extract from the statement Capital sent to PA outlining why we needed to use their images.:
The Capital.com website provides an independent news service of investment, finance and economic news, not driven or cowered by advertising or proprietors.
The news, features and analysis is written by a team of UK-based freelance journalists with many years’ experience between them. In addition to financial news, the editorial team also cover trading behaviours, in an attempt to educate and inform, and to promote responsible trading.
It is edited and run from London by award-winning journalist Chris Wheal, former launch editor of AOL Money and its predecessor dailyfinance.co.uk and former editor of Insurance Times.
The site’s income comes from a regulated trading platform and for this purpose the head office is located in Cyprus, which is the EU’s centre of excellence for this kind of trading regulation.
The UK editorial team currently consists of:
- Adrian Holliday: Adrian has written about property, pensions and investing for almost 20 years, from Teletext to the Observer and AOL. He is a believer in diversity, low transaction costs – and simplicity.
- Brian Bollen: Brian Bollen has written on international institutional finance, from corporate and M&A to the back-office functions of custody and settlement. He cut his teeth on a FT newsletter covering the international syndicated loan and capital markets and edited FT Mergers & Acquisitions International.
- Neil Dennis: Neil Dennis left the Financial Times, after 16 years writing about markets, to pursue a freelance career. He can now be seen covering currencies and fintech for FX-MM magazine, among others.
- Hilaire Gomer: Hilaire Gomer has written on finance, business, savings and investment for all the UK broadsheets and many trade journals. She enjoys financial writing because of the variation and new interest. She tries to be as transparent and as clear as possible in a serious and complex financial world.
- James Hester: James Hester began covering commodities markets before switching to the financial advice sector and then as an investment writer for asset managers, covering equities, fixed income and alternative asset classes. Today, he writes about the global capital markets and the drivers of investors’ returns.
- Claire Hunte: Claire Hunte has worked in the UK and UK. She was launch editor of the World Life Insurance Report, and worked on FTyourmoney.com and was managing editor at Investor Relations and Corporate Secretary in the US. She has also worked for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and PwC.
- Richard Reed: Richard Reed worked at a senior level in regional newspapers before becoming editor of a business magazine aimed at the start-up market. Since then he has freelanced for business and finance newspapers and magazines, including the Daily Telegraph, Investment Adviser (FT group), and Citywire.