The Monetary Authority of Singapore has granted a licence to financial advisory firm Avrio Wealth.
The news comes just weeks after International Adviser reported that TallRock Capital also received permissions from the local regulator; possibly signalling that, after years of consolidation, the market is primed for growth.
According to the MAS website, there are currently 66 licensed financial advisory firms operating in the city-state.
Looking to the future
Taking its name from the Greek for ‘tomorrow’, Avrio Wealth was set up by ex-Globaleye wealth manager Ann Marie Regal.
She told IA that the name means “we are planning today for whatever tomorrow may bring”.
“I started Avrio to create a company in Singapore with like-minded certified financial planning professionals who believe in the financial planning process.”
She invited her former Globaleye colleague Andrew Talbot and ex-PIAS certified financial planner Michael Borchert to join the firm as partners.
“They are both CFP professionals with the same values and beliefs surrounding the financial planning process.”
This accreditation; coupled with the trio all having permanent residency in Singapore and collective financial services experience of around 50 years, helped Avrio secure a licence in under four months.
“Michael, Andrew and I met with MAS to present an outline of our business plan and they were favourable to receiving an application,” Regal said.
Avrio has been set up as fee-based, with Regal citing her American background as the driver for this decision.
“There are more than 80,000 CFP professionals in the US, most who work as fee only or fee based. This is all I know, clients pay for your time and expertise.
“Our long-term vision is to charge all clients a fee which isn’t tied to their portfolio or products. The fee is derived from the client’s net worth, the complexity of their plan and implemented solutions.”
In terms of Avrio’s target clients, Regal describes them as “anyone who needs financial planning advice and is willing to pay our fee”.
Singapore, America and beyond
Regal’s clients are predominately Americans and those with US tax connections.
As many choose to return home, the firm needed SEC and various state registrations “in order to continue working with them as US residents”.
This saw Avrio also secure a Securities and Exchange Commission licence in early February.
It has ambitions to get licences in additional jurisdictions.
Clients and offering
In terms of the target client base, “Andrew works with expats mostly from UK, Australia and New Zealand. Michael works with most nationalities, including Americans”, she said.
“By creating a team with multi-jurisdictional qualifications, we are able to help each other and our clients.
“We want to ensure that clients always have another CFP professional they can turn to, should their adviser be unavailable.”
The firm offers “financial planning using sophisticated software, integrates with multi-jurisdictional portfolio analysis to engage and educate our clients”, she said.
“We believe that financial planning and all that it encompasses is the ‘alpha’.
“By keeping costs low and investment solutions flexible, we strive to help our clients meet their cash flow requirements and achieve their financial goals,” Regal added.