Aisa Int’l unveils new European strategy, beginning with Czech biz

Aisa International, the fee-based international advisory firm headed up out of its UK headquarters by James Pearcy-Caldwell, said its Czech Republic operation  has become the first to be registered by the Czech National Bank as a MiFID tied agent in that European country.

Previously Aisa’s Czech Republic operation had been directly regulated, Aisa said in a statement.

As a result of this registration, “Aisa International is able to provide investment advice in its own right and [to] set up direct terms with local companies and institutions, and has intentions of offering investment services to locally resident individuals,” the company said in a statement.

As reported,  Aisa International was named the winner of International Investment‘s Best Best-Practice in Offshore award last week, at the publication’s 17th annual International Fund & Product Awards in London.

Under the new arrangement, Aisa – along with Czech Republic-based Aisa adviser Christopher Lean, who is an Associate of the Personal Finance Society and a former examiner for the Chartered Insurance Institute – will, the company said, jointly retain responsibility for oversight of investment business in the Czech Republic.

In a statement, Aisa chief executive Pearcy-Caldwell said that although the organisation had previously operated under EU service-passporting arrangements for investment advice throughout the EU, using MiFID, “we are now looking to establish physical branches country by country, with our two main brands, Aisa International and OpesFidelio”.

OpesFidelio is Aisa’s relatively new international advisory network.   It was actually founded in 2013, but as Pearcy-Caldwell told International Investment in June, he and his colleagues at Aisa, who include co-founder Clive Tutton, believe that the current post-Panama Papers, post-RDR environment, coupled with various ongoing pro-best practice campaigns by individual companies and organisations, made an expansion of the OpesFidelio network timely.

Pearcy-Caldwell added: “While many other firms operate under IMD licences, we do not see this as viable with new EU legislation coming through, although we also hold these insurance-based licences as well.

“In the Czech Republic and, indeed, in each country where we have branches established, they will be sympathetic to local systems, and will have local residents who ideally speak the language, as employees or advisers.”

Pearcy-Caldwell said Aisa saw the Czech Republic announcement as “the first of several announcements on MiFID branches over the coming year for both Aisa International and the OpesFidelio network”.

4 October confirmation

Confirmation of the registration on the Czech National Bank register appeared on the regulator’s website on 4th October, according to Aisa. It said the registration had been secured with the help of the HJ Chapman law firm.

OpesFidelio means “wealth” and “loyalty” in Latin. According to Pearcy-Caldwell, the OpesFidelio model is different from some other advisory network structures, in that, for example, it providers for “100% retained earnings for members, ranging from large businesses and individuals to introducers”.

Although the focus of OpesFidelio is on Europe, Pearcy-Caldwell has said it would consider granting network-member status to advisers from other jurisdictions,  including Asia, the Middle East, Africa or North or South America.

Pearcy-Caldwell and Tutton founded Aisa – which name comes from the acronym formed by the words Advanced Independent Specialist Advice – in 1999. It currently looks after around 2,000 active clients in the UK.

Additionally, Aisa is licensed by the US Securities & Exchange Commission and has a US-based adviser, who advises US-resident clients, in addition to working with advisers in such other jurisdictions as Australia.

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