The website, www.whichfinancialadviser.com, will provide details on financial advisory firms regulated by two of the UAE’s key authorities – the Insurance Authority and the Securities and Commodities Authority – and on individual financial advisers who are members of one or more professional bodies.
A separate website will soon be launched to highlight wealth managers who are regulated by the DFSA, ADGM, and UAE Central Bank. These firms typically look after investors who have more than US$500,000 to invest, said Nigel Sillitoe, founder of the website and chief executive of Insight Discovery.
He said the whichfinancialadviser.com (WFA) site was designed to inform investors by bringing together firms that are regulated in the UAE, and all the advisers who are members of professional bodies such as the Chartered Insurance Institute, Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment and/ or London Institute for Banking & Finance.
“In order to protect consumers from scammers and sales malpractices, WFA reserves the right not to profile those advisory firms that are actively involved in cold calling,” Sillitoe said.
This move reflects the findings of Insight Discovery’s recent ‘Middle East Investment Panorama (MEIP)’ survey which found that expats across the GCC were demanding more from their financial advisers.
Around 39% of expats want more transparency on advisers’ fees and commissions, 37% want a tougher stance by local regulators in relation to scams and unregulated firm, while 15% want industry-recognized qualifications for advisers.
“As the leading provider of consumer intelligence in the MENA region we could see an obvious gap in helping UAE residents understand the quality of firms that they were engaging with or indeed a place for customers to go to, to help them compare the type of advisers available to them,” said Sillitoe.