In a previous article, published by International Adviser on 12 March, deVere founder and chief executive Nigel Green says he bought a 24% stake in STM after struggling to find a good European provider to invest in, referring to the company as the “best of a bad bunch”.
An STM spokesperson has now responded to the article and the “strong views” Green shared about the company and the wider industry.
“With regard to his recent interview we would prefer to disagree on the ‘bad bunch’ comment, however as a business we do fully understand the point Nigel was making,” the STM spokesperson says.
Getting with the times
The STM spokesperson says, historically, pension trustees in the international space have been slow to “get with the times”.
Qrops providers, in particular, have failed to fully embrace technology for the benefit of improving the adviser and client experience, the spokesperson says.
“We will happily hold our hands up and say that STM has been no different, and this is one of the very reasons why STM acquired the UK sipp provider London & Colonial.
“We’re pleased to say that across our international Sipp business, more and more advisory firms are embracing our technology; to the point where we expect online applications to outnumber paper applications over the course of the coming months,” the STM spokesperson says.
This technology, the spokesperson says, improves the customer journey and turnaround times which has an overall benefit to service levels across all parts of its Sipp business.
“This technology will also be adopted throughout our Qrops divisions later in the year,” the spokesperson says.
STM also responded comments made about the timing of Nigel Green’s investment in the company, saying it came at an opportune time, given it followed the sudden closure of 300 plus Guernsey Qrops schemes.
“Prior to the closure of those schemes, Guernsey was where the vast majority of new Qrops business was going, and post closure any provider (STM being one of a very small number) with schemes in Malta and Gibraltar were incredibly well placed to take advantage.
“As a Plc. rather than a privately owned company, STM allowed for a different proposition and arguably an easier short term exit, which is the course of events that followed.
“This investment in STM was conditional on it being used to invest in our pension’s infrastructure, which in turn supported accelerated growth across both Qrops jurisdictions,” the spokesperson says.
STM’s response continues on page 2.