devere licence ends in belgium

Added 5th April 2013

The deVere Group has ceased to be regulated by Belgium's Financial Services and Markets Authority, as of the end of March, and today announced a reorganisation of its European operations.

devere licence ends in belgium

DeVere used its Belgian licence to provide advisory services to clients in Belgium as well as to passport  its services into Cyprus, according to a statement on its website.

Some industry sources say the same licence has also been used in other countries, although this could not be confirmed.

In the UK, deVere is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, which replaced the Financial Services Authority on Monday.

Nigel Green, founder and chief executive of deVere, is travelling and was unable to comment in detail, a deVere spokesman said.

However, he said that there would be "no IFA job losses as a result of the consolidation process", as advisers in the markets from which deVere is withdrawing "will relocate to either Spain or the UK".

He suggested that the company had voluntarily ceased to be regulated by the Belgium FSMA rather than being forced to surrender its licence. "The facts are that due to the taxation policies in Belgium, and to a lesser degree in Portugal, it was becoming prohibitive to continue to run on-the-ground operations in those countries," Green said.

"Like several major life companies who are also currently consolidating their operations in similar ways, we would rather invest our resources into deVere United Kingdom, which is set to play a greater role within our global operations."  

Expansion plans

In its statement today announcing the consolidation of its European operations, deVere did not mention the loss of its Belgium licence, but said that it is “to expand its operations in the UK, Germany and Spain, and simultaneously to withdraw its smaller operations in Belgium and Portugal”.

The news followed deVere's announcement last week that it was launching a six-month "top level strategic review" of its global business model, in which it said it would analyse ongoing client and regulatory trends.

In today's statement, Mike Coady, deVere Group director said: “We feel our qualified and appropriately-licensed financial advisers in the UK would now be better-placed to help our clients in Portugal and Belgium [to] reach their long-term financial objectives.

“By consolidating our European operations in this way, we’ll be able to offer an enhanced level of protection and service, a wider range of advice, and a more comprehensive choice of products.

“This restructuring measure will, in addition, further strengthen our European operations, and we fully expect to double our European presence over the next three years.”

‘Disappeared intermediaries’

A spokesman for Belgium’s Financial Services Market Authority confirmed that deVere and Partners (Belgium) Ltd BVBA was included on a list of “disappeared intermediaries” for the time period ending 31/03/2013.

DeVere, which claims to be the world’s largest independent financial advisory group, has more than 70,000 clients in close to 100 countries, and looks after more than $9bn on behalf of these clients. It was founded  a little more than a decade ago by Green. 

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