DeVere did not reveal the size of its investment in Providence Life, or the extent of its ongoing links with the business.
In a statement, Providence said it will be run “as an independent organisation”, with the majority of its management board being Mauritian residents, but did not say who its main shareholders were.
Zurich-based DeVere claims to be the world’s largest financial consultancy, with more than 50,000 clients, offices in more than 40 countries, and more than $7bn in assets under administration and management.
Providence Life Ltd PCC was licensed by the Mauritius Financial Services Commission in the last quarter of 2010, and is being headed up by Austin Blair, its Dubai-based managing director.
According to Blair, the creation of Providence Life was consistent with deVere’s strategy of “seeking to facilitate the availability of quality products and services, which are available to investors in the offshore investment arena”.
“Our clients are consistently seeking cost effective products, which give them access to daily online valuations,” Blair said.
“[Our] Providence Life Limited portfolio bonds will allow our policyholders to realign their portfolios by trading funds online, at any time of the day or night.”
Another product in Providence Life’s stable is a Guernsey QROPS, known as the Providence Capital Bond Personal Pension Plan, which was launched in January as a joint venture with Sovereign Trustees Guernsey Ltd, an arm of the Gibraltar-based Sovereign trust company.
Prior to joining Providence Life, Blair, a native of Belfast, spent seven years in the Netherlands with deVere, and later was the company’s senior area manager in the United Arab Emirates. Previous roles included 15 years with Overseas Military Sales Group, based both in Germany and the US, and with a venture capital subsidiary of Australia-based Fairgill Investments.
Blair said Mauritius, an island located in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of Africa, was chosen as a base for Providence Life “because it has a strong regulatory framework” which he said had been recognised by the World Bank, among other organisations.
He said he is working out of Dubai, where Providence Life also has a licence, because of his need to travel internationally in search of new distribution partners for the fledgling business.
“We have a good team of experienced professionals in Mauritius,” Blair added.
The bulk of Providence Life’s administration will be handled from Cyber City, Mauritius’s financial services centre.