The deVere Group, which in March announced it was to begin “a “comprehensive period of restructuring” days after the news came that most overseas pension transfers were to begin being taxed by 25% – thus shutting down what had been an important income stream for many offshore advisory businesses – is closing its US hub office in Miami, sources have told International Investment.
The office was opened in June 2011, and last July, deVere announced that it was making the office, which it had recently moved to larger premises on Brickell Avenue in the city’s main financial district (pictured), its second “US hub” office, after New York.
A spokesperson for DeVere couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
However, in an exclusive interview in the May issue of International Investment, deVere founder and chief executive Nigel Green acknowledged that the restructuring he had announced in March would “likely” see “some offices close” – just as others might open.
And today, in a general update on the Strategic Review, Green elaborated, without mentioning the Miami office or any other specifically.
“We are still in the process of completing the Strategic Review,” he said.
“Whilst there will be some degree of restructuring once the process is finalised – and we will offer a breakdown of this restructuring when it is completed – we are fully committed to maintaining a continual presence for the long-term in each country in which we currently operate, including the United States.”
He added that the changes being made would “without question, make our business operations even more robust”, and that “this, in turn, will empower us to give an even better service, further levels of protection, and offer a broader scope to our clients”.
“As the industry changes and as client expectations evolve, so must we as a company.”
Size of office unknown
It wasn’t known how many people deVere has employed in its Brickell Street outpost. Last July, deVere Miami area manager Gareth Jones told International Investment that the Miami outpost had 11 staff at that point, and that the plan was “to at least double this number within the next 12 months”.
The New York office, which was opened in 2011, the year Dubai-based deVere set up deVere USA, was the company’s first US presence, while a San Francisco office opened in 2014, three years after Miami.
In announcing his Strategic Review in March, Green said it was not just about how the company would make up for what is likely to be much of its pension-transfer business, but rather, reflected the fact that, after more than 14 years in business, “deVere has become such a large scale global organisation, with offices in a wide variety of different jurisdictions, which are all evolving differently and at different speeds”, that the time had come to take stock.
“The industry is also evolving quicker than ever in terms of regulatory landscapes and clients’ expectations and requirements,” he added.
Green founded the deVere Group in 2002 in Hong Kong. It now claims to be the world’s largest independent financial advisory firm, with around US$10bn in assets under administration and some 80,000 clients.