The international platform operator confirmed on Wednesday that it has expanded into the gulf emirates of Dubai, Abu Dhabi along with Qatar after completing the first terms of business with Middle East-based IFA firm Prestige Wealth Solutions (PWS) Group.
In May, PWS, which advises local expats on their pensions, was granted a broker licence by the UAE’s Insurance Authority (IA), giving it permission to offer insurance advice via its new unit Prestige Insurance Brokers.
Meanwhile, Novia Global, which already operates in the Isle of Man, Europe and Hong Kong, said its move into the Middle Eastern market is due to the “significant demand” from the region’s expat population for a “multi-currency online solution”.
Chris Skelhorn, head of distribution at Novia Global, said: “Our overall strategy has always been to penetrate the key expat communities to offer access to a multi-currency, online platform solution.
“The Middle East has one of the highest populations of ex pats per capita and we are thrilled to be launching the platform here.
“An increasing number of wealth managers’ report that their client bank will no longer wear the old way of restricted investment choice and limited charging options and are instead looking for a service solution offering a real embedded value for their businesses.”
Craig McConnon, managing director of PWS Group, said: “As a supporter of transparency and a proponent of client choice and flexibility in the offshore investment market, we are absolutely thrilled to have signed terms of business with Novia Global, providing us and our clients with all the benefits and business efficiencies that a multi-currency totally online wealth management solution provides.”
Open architecture demand
McConnon added the deal comes at a time when he expects demand for open architecture investment services to “increase significantly both here and in the wider ex pat community”.
In June, PWS announced it has teamed up with investment manager Quilter Cheviot to offer its clients a discretionary management service, while Novia Global added multi-currency exchange traded funds in sterling, US dollar and euro to its platform in August.