Fry Group unveils its ‘first-ever’ X-border investment product
The UK-based Fry Group has announced the launch of a new “global investment proposition” for its cross-border clients, which it says is designed to give such individuals an investment facility that can “follow them around the world” while remaining intact, and ensuring maximum tax, cost efficiency and transparency.
Fry Group executives are “excited” about the launch of the so-called Fry Investment Service, according to Jeremy Woodley, sales and marketing director (pictured, above, left). Fry has been looking after expatriate clients since 1926, but until now has never been able to offer a product like this – even though it would have, long ago, if it had been able to, he noted.
“We ended up building it ourselves,” Woodley added.
“The simple concept we started with was to have a global platform with a global investment proposition. Having tried to do this over many years, it became clear we had to talk to more modern fintech businesses.”
This led to the company forming an alliance – which is now a business partnership – with the UK-based Nucleus platform provider and the Independent Strategic Group, a seven-year-old, Jersey-based fintech business with offices and operations in London, Manchester and Singapore, and looks after a global client base that has total assets under management of around £4bn.
ISG is headed up by Symon Stickney, its group chief executive (pictured above, right).
The actual development of the new investment service took place over the past 18 months, mainly in Singapore, in partnership with ISG, Woodley added.
Nucleus’s role in the venture included taking on the responsibility for exploring all the regulatory issues “and persevering to the point where they were comfortable with the global idea”, Woodley said.
As part of the arrangement, Fry and ISG have formed a joint venture based in Singapore – where Fry also has an outpost – which they’re calling Purple Asset Management Pte. The entity is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and is now offering what Woodley describes as a selection of global research and investment products for use by Fry’s expatriate and non-UK-based clients in Asia, as well as elsewhere.
In a joint statement, Fry and ISG said the establishment of Purple AM follows the establishment in the UK of another ISG business, Purple Strategic Capital Ltd, which offers bespoke investment management services to UK clients, facilitated in part through ISG’s “Quantimental” proprietary, quant-based investment system.
The Fry offering in the UK is FCA regulated, Woodley noted.
In a joint statement announcing the launch of the new Fry investment offering and the Singapore and London Purple businesses, Stickney, who is based in London, noted that he and his ISG colleagues “look forward to working with the Fry Group as we develop PAM as market-leading asset manager in Singapore…and around the world”.
Roots in 1898 London
The Fry Group dates back to 1898, when it was founded in London as a tax consultancy. By 1926 it had begun to specialise in the recovery of British tax for Britons living abroad, and from the 1940s it had begun to work with expatriates who needed to plan for their re-entry into the British tax system.
Today it is based in Worthing, though in addition to London it has offices in the UK in Exeter, Cheltenham and York. Although its expatriate business is significant, its UK client base is larger. It is entirely fee-based, in the UK as well as abroad.
Altogether it has some 4,000 clients, located in some 25 countries, with total assets under management of more than £1.6bn.