The DFSA licence is in addition to its long-standing licence as a brokerage firm from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Insurance Authority, which allows it to provide advice to clients across the country and access the products of international life companies regulated by the Abu Dhabi-headquartered authority.
AES International said it will be the first independent financial planning firm of its type to set up in the DIFC, though it is not the only financial advisory firm located in the DIFC.
AES chief executive Sam Instone said the company is now fully operational in the DIFC and over the coming months intended to grow the number of chartered financial planners working from its new office.
“The idea is to provide a fee-based, unbiased financial planning business offering low cost solutions,” he said.
“I am proud of our team for committing to ‘positive change’ in the Middle East, and achieving yet another milestone on our mission to disrupt the status quo of traditional expat investing,” he added.
Typical of Instone’s views on the local market and his long-running campaign against hidden fees and charges, he went on to say: “We are draining the swamp of expat financial services. For too long, clients have been led to believe that product salespeople are advisers who act on a fiduciary basis. We are passionate about setting the example of transparency and are making every effort to help people.
“Expats are accustomed to the swarms of poorly regulated, international financial salespeople charging unreasonable, undisclosed commissions, and causing serious long-term damage to their personal finances.”
AES is regulated to provide advice in 35 countries, operates from 7 international offices, holds 65 financial licences and has nearly 11,000 private clients.