Nigel Green, who bought Dubai-based Acuma for an undisclosed sum from its Hong Kong-based owner in July, said the new office is being seen as a regional “hub” for his plans to expand the Acuma business throughout the region.
He said the reason for the expansion was because of the “consistent and increasing client enquiries for specialist financial advice” in Asia.
In a statement today, Green said the Acuma expansion into Hong Kong had been “facilitated” by the purchase last month, revealed for the first time today, by Acuma/Green of GWM Hong Kong Ltd, an existing, Confederation of Insurance Brokers-regulated Hong Kong advisory firm.
As reported, Green told International Adviser in July that the Acuma brand would not be incorporated into the larger deVere organisation, which began operating its now-global operations in Hong Kong in 2002.
DeVere today has more than 70,000 clients in more than 100 countries, with some $9bn in assets under advice, making it the world’s largest independent advisory firm.
Prior to Green’s purchase of it, Acuma had been owned by IP Global, a Hong Kong property investment company which acquired Acuma in early 2010.
Acuma had been established in Dubai 1999, and is licensed by both the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and the UAE Ministry of Economy. In addition to its Dubai head office, it has an outpost in Abu Dhabi.
New Acuma Hong Kong team
Named to run the new Acuma pan-Asia operation by Green is Simon Davies, who has joined the company from Hong Kong-based Richmond Asset Management Ltd.
At Richmond, Davies had been CEO and a director, and in addition to being a hands-on manager of some private clients. Other previous employers included MBA Berkeley Burke Financial Services Ltd, MBA Portfolio Services Ltd, and Scottish Widows.
News of the plans to expand Acuma across Asia comes in the wake of recent announcements by deVere of a number of acquisitions of major Asia-based, internationally-focused advisory firms.
As reported, the deVere Group announced last week that it had acquired the Shanghai-based Elite Investment Group, said to be China’s second-largest financial advisory practice, as well as the Hong Kong-based wealth management and IFA platform arm of the Precision Group Asia.
In September, deVere revealed it had acquired Thailand-based financial adviser Broadgate Investment Advisory Services.
In all these cases, the purchase price and other details of the acquisitions were not given.
Acuma business model
Green didn’t go into detail as to how Acuma’s business model would differ from that of deVere. But he said its clients, “existing and potential, know that their financial adviser is able to offer them all the associated benefits of being backed by a robust international organisation.”