The purchase price of the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval in both jurisdictions, was not disclosed. The transaction will be undertaken through BW Oakfield Group’s subsidiary, Kreston Pensions (Isle of Man).
BW Oakfield said its stake in Momentum Pensions Malta will enable it to expand its footprint throughout Europe, and to offer its clients the combined expertise of both companies in the areas of qualifying regulated overseas pension schemes, qualifying non-UK pension schemes and international pensions.
Despite the joining of forces, both the Kreston Pensions (IoM) and Momentum brands will continue to be maintained, at least for the time being, according to John Batty, head of pensions at BW Oakfield, as will BW Oakfield’s Kreston brand.
Announcement of the deal comes less than three weeks after the UK’s HM Revenue & Customs released an updated list of pension schemes it considers to meet its recently tightened requirements to be considered QROPS, from which the names of hundreds of schemes had been removed.
Although there was no significant change to the number of Maltese schemes, the number of Isle of Man QROPS fell to 173 from 183 with the publication of the updated list, reflecting HMRC’s de-listing of the island’s so-called 50C schemes. One of the schemes removed was a Kreston QROPS.
Legislation providing for the 50C QROPS was brought in by the Isle of Man’s government in 2010, in an effort to offer the island’s pensions industry with a more competitive structure into which UK pensions could be transferred.
Some pension industry experts believe HMRC may favour Malta as a QROPS jurisdiction over some others that have traditionally specialised in these popular savings products because it is an EU member state. They note that the UK legislation that led to the creation of QROPS in 2006 had been created in response to an earlier EU directive that called for pensions to be transferrable across borders within the bloc.
‘Choice of jurisdictions’
BWO managing director Stewart Davies said the acquisition of Momentum and the stake in its Maltese business would enable the company to give “customers and advisers a choice of jurisdiction for their retirement savings”.
He added: “Momentum Pensions have quietly established themselves as a leading multi-jurisdictional pension provider, and we are excited to now build upon this, utilising our group infrastructure.”
Momentum Pensions Group managing director Mark Gaywood said that among the advantages of the BWO acquisition would be the synergies both Isle of Man companies would gain from working with Momentum Pension Malta’s Maltese partners, Capstone Group and Alliance Trust Company.
Kreston Pensions (IoM) and Momentum Pensions are regulated by the Isle of Man Insurance and Pensions Authority, as pension scheme administrators, while BW Oakfield is regulated by the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission, as a trust/corporate services
Alliance Trust Co and Momentum Pensions (Malta) are authorised and regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority, while Capstone Advisory is authorised by the Malta Accountancy Board.