Low and Watson add QROPS Bureau’s expertise offering to Provisca

Provisca, the international distribution business launched last August by two veterans of the cross-border financial services industry, today is announcing that it is adding the Isle of Man-based, high-end QROPS Bureau advice service to its product stable.

Provisca founders Nigel Watson, above left, and Bryan Low, right,  said they planned to “bring UK standards to the international QROPS industry” by making the QROPS Bureau’s expertise in the area of QROPS available to financial advisers and wealth managers outside of the Britain. Currently the QROPS Bureau specialises mainly in helping UK clients.

The QROPS Bureau was launched by David White, right, and Andrew Dobson in 2009, with the aim of providing UK advisers with a specialist service in handling QROPS, QNUPS and other types of international pension transfers.

According to Low, Watson and White, financial advisers outside of the UK who have British expatriate clients – and/or in some cases non-British clients who may have contributed to a UK pension scheme for many years, and have returned to their home country, or are living in or have retired to a third jurisdiction – face an increasing range of  regulatory challenges both in the UK and in their home countries when seeking to transfer their pensions.

Typically but not exclusively, these pension transfers take the form of recognised overseas pension schemes (ROPS, formerly called a qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme, or QROPS).

In addition, the three executives noted in an interview today, individuals who don’t receive good advice when transferring their pensions can sometimes end up out-of-pocket, when the transfer is handled badly.

“Adviser business owners are now recognising the importance of balancing the long-term attractiveness of the income generated by international pensions with the need to demonstrate that the correct solution has been implemented in all cases, thus managing the risk within their business,” Low and Watson said in a statement today, unveiling their new arrangement with the QROPS Bureau.

“The advice process of selecting a suitable pension product, provider and jurisdiction for individual clients can be complex and time-consuming, and international advisers then face increasing difficulties in getting UK pension administrators to transfer the money out of UK schemes.”

According to QROPS Bureau’s White, he and his team of pension transfer specialists  are able to help such advisers with experienced and independent technical support, due diligence and a “full compliance support service”.

Provisca’s 2nd distribution deal

As reported, Low and Watson signed their first distribution deal with South Africa’s Momentum Wealth International last year, to market and distribute its investment platform outside of South Africa.

They founded Provisca, which is based in the UK, in response to what they say is an un-met need in the marketplace for a channel capable of bringing established, well-regulated, “blue chip” investment products to investors in markets outside of their own.

They note that growing international regulation has forced wealth managers to take greater care in the products and services they recommend for their clients, and increasingly, to make use of services like Momentum and the QROPS Bureau.

In October, Provisca named Richard Williams as its regional director, to head its Middle East business. He joined Provisca from his previous role as head of distribution for Africa for the Isle of Man-based Premier Group.

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