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Dying Nutmeg co-founder sets up charity for bereaved children

Nick Hungerford – who set up Nutmeg with William Todd in 2011 – was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer three years ago.

Holly Williams
Thursday 29 June 2023 12:47 BST
Nick Hungerford stepped down as chief executive of Nutmeg in 2016 (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Nick Hungerford stepped down as chief executive of Nutmeg in 2016 (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Archive)

The co-founder of digital wealth management firm Nutmeg has set up a charity to support children bereaved due to terminal illness as he revealed he only has two or three months left to live.

Nick Hungerford – a former stockbroker who set up Nutmeg with William Todd in 2011 – told the Daily Telegraph he was dying from a rare form of terminal bone cancer, called Ewing sarcoma, which has left him in severe pain.

He revealed that treatment including chemotherapy and radiotherapy had given him an extra 18 months to spend more time with his wife Nancy and their two-year-old daughter Elizabeth.

My daughter is not going to be condemned to a lifetime of grief, worry or disadvantage because of my illness

Nick Hungerford, co-founder of Nutmeg

Mr Hungerford, 43, told the Telegraph: “She is already a true daddy’s girl.

“We share incredible hugs, she misses me when I’m at the hospital and greets me with her toy stethoscope, saying how brave I am. The thought of missing her first day of school… buries me with emotion.”

He said he has set up the charity, Elizabeth’s Smile, to provide help and resources to other children bereaved as a result of incurable disease.

He got the idea for the charity in January last year when he and his wife were offered alternative therapies and family counselling to help, but was told there was nothing available for children, “despite research showing that children suffer terribly after losing a parent”.

He said: “My daughter is not going to be condemned to a lifetime of grief, worry or disadvantage because of my illness.

“She is always smiling – which cheers everyone up – and I am determined that smile won’t stop after I have gone.”

He added: “I had to do something – starting now and continuing beyond the grave – that would prevent these vulnerable children from suffering any more than is necessary.”

He said his charity aims to provide practical resources to children, initially in the UK and US, who lose a parent.

Nutmeg was sold to US investment bank JP Morgan for almost £700 million in June 2021.

Mr Hungerford stepped down as chief executive of the fintech in 2016, then resigned as a non-executive director of the group amid a board restructure in 2019.

Mr Hungerford, who grew up in the West Country, first noticed something was wrong in December 2019 when he felt a pain in his right thigh.

An X-ray showed a 5in tumour in his femur and he was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma.

He had an operation to remove his femur and replace it with titanium, as well as chemotherapy, but the cancer returned at the end of 2021.

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