The deVere Group said today that it had acquired the Shanghai-based Elite Investment Group as well as the Hong Kong-based wealth management and IFA platform arm of the Precision Group Asia.
According to deVere, Elite Investment is China’s second-largest financial advisory group. It did not say which is the largest.
Elite Investment Group (EIG) was said by deVere to be unrelated to Elite Capital Solutions, a Dubai-based wealth manager which subsequently became ECS Insurance Brokers. In 2012, deVere announced a “strategic alliance” with ECS, which it said at the time was expected to lead to “a full ownership” of ECS eventually.
The purchase price and other details of the two latest deVere acquisitions were not disclosed.
In a statement, deVere founder and chief executive Nigel Green said the Elite acquisition in China would enable the company to "continue to fulfil deVere’s promise of providing our clients with trusted financial planning, wherever they choose to be”, and hinted that there would be "further announcements in the coming weeks", as the company pursued its often-stated goal of expanding its global reach.
“We are passionate about delivering world class financial advice, and look forward to building on Elite’s sterling reputation in China,” Green added.
“We are fully committed to investing our time and resources, so that [our clients] can do more of what they do best.”
The Precision Group, meanwhile, was "yet another respected organisation" that the company was "delighted" to add to its growing portfolio.
Offices in Shanghai, Dubai, Essex
According to its website, in addition to its offices on Tai Cang Road, in the so-called French Concession district of Shanghai, Elite Investment Group has offices as well on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai – where deVere already has a sizeable presence – and in Saffron Waldon, in Essex, England. The company describes its market as "international executives, business owners and SME companies", and says it "has become one of the fastest growing financial advisory firms in the international arena, and after a period of just four years spans three continents, serves [more than] one thousand clients, and has committed [more than]$500m in insurance and investment premiums".
It is headed up by founding partners David Hockley – who recently relocated to Dubai from Asia, where he remains the company's chief executive officer– and Matthew Clark, chief operating officer, whose biography states that he went to university in Upstate New York. He continues to be based in Shanghai.
Senior partners include Kevin Monaghan, Stuart Norbury and Charles Martinaud. The company's website also lists nine financial advisers, one client service manager, and a senior account executive.
The Precision Group Asia is a business outsourcing company established in 2002, with offices in Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines and the UK. DeVere is acquiring just its Hong Kong-based Precision Group Financial arm, which is described on its website as providing, in addition to wealth management services, a "platform" for financial advisory companies, all of which "are required to comply with our stringent due diligence standards, and are constantly monitored and kept up to date with the latest industry quality standards".
Precision Group Financial is registered in Hong Kong by the Professional Insurance Brokers Association.
Year for acquisitions
The acquisitions unveiled today are the latest in a series so far this year by deVere, which is already the world's largest expat-focussed international advisory firm, with more than $9bn in assets under advice and management, and more than 70,000 clients globally.
In July, it acquired Acuma, a major United Arab Emirates advisory firm, and in September, deVere revealed it had acquired Thailand-based, Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission-licensed Broadgate Investment Advisory Services.