Qrops and pension transfers
A significant part of deVere’s worldwide business was in Qrops, which Green said has dropped from 25% of the total two years ago to 15% today against the backdrop of HMRC’s clampdown on transfers.
“Don’t forget, Europe stayed the same and there are still places like Australia and New Zealand where there are other structures you can move to.”
Is he completely happy with someone in Europe being advised to go into Qrops, not necessarily knowing that say three years down the track they might, for whatever reason, either move out of a region or because of Brexit, it’s stopped them leaving?
“I understand but most of our business is with non-Brits. Let’s take Italy as a very good example. I think 90% of our business is with Italians that have worked in the UK. They see the drawbridge coming up. They actually want to move their money out into Europe and don’t want their money left in the UK. You’ve got a slightly different set of people there.”
His son James is now heading up deVere’s Europe region: “I have a grandson now, which is very scary because I’m only young. He (James) wanted to be back in Europe. He’s a very good manager, better than me. A new, improved version. It made sense to move that sooner with the strategic changes, and to give him the opportunity to run that particular region which didn’t have a head.”
In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority also stepped in, to which Green explains “we voluntarily decided, after talking to the FCA, not to ask deVere UK to do the pension reports for the deVere Group.”
“They said there was a potential conflict of interest but if you looked at deVere UK’s reports, you’d never say there was a conflict of interest”, he said, adding that they now do reports via other companies.
“People don’t talk about our successes but deVere looks after many employees of the BBC, AON and Rolls Royce, Scottish TV and Boots.”