The deVere Group is entering the private banking market, through the acquisition of the St Lucia-based private banking arm of Arton Bank, a Dominca-based banking group, the financial advisory giant revealed in a statement today.
The bank is to be called deVere Group Bank St Lucia, and is the first private bank to be owned by an independently-owned financial advisory firm, deVere said. It didn’t say how much it paid for the business or provide any other details of the transaction.
DeVere Group chief executive Nigel Green said it was “extremely exciting” to be entering the banking sector, and that it would “allow us to further broaden our offering as a company”.
“We are now able to directly provide private international banking services for our clients, and corporate banking solutions to small businesses.
“The [new deVere Group Bank St Lucia] is set to become an integral part of our business, and it will share deVere’s client-first culture.”
Green, pictured left, said the move into the private banking sector had been largely driven by demand from clients who, he noted, are “increasingly seeking asset and capital protection and growth, combined with confidentiality”.
“DeVere Group Bank St Lucia enables us to move beyond traditional banking activities and meet the requirements of clients in an ever more globalised, yet insecure, world.”
Arton Bank is part of the globally-active Arton Group, which is also the parent of Arton Capital. One of its main focuses recently has been on advising individuals on citizenship matters, including choosing the best “citizenship by investment” programmes. Last week, its United Arab Emirates outpost unveiled the results of its annual compilation of the world’s “most valuable passports”, which found that Germany’s distinctive red Reisepass was considered to be the best travel document to have, followed in order by Singapore’s, Sweden’s and Denmark’s.
As a reported here last July, offshore centres around the world have seen an exodus of banking institutions from their shores, as the costs of doing business and complying with growing regulatory requirements have put pressure on the traditional offshore business model.
Based in the United Arab Emirates, the deVere Group claims to be the world’s largest independent financial advisory firm specialising in looking after expatriates. It was founded in Hong Kong in 2002 by Green.
The deVere Group has been expanding its presence in the US and Caribbean in recent years, unveiling a second US “hub” in Miami in July. It first opened a US office, in New York, in 2011. According to its website, it currently has offices in the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands.