The deVere Group, which is often described as the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisation, revealed today that its UK operation is to launch a high-net-worth division, to cater for wealthy clients.
Named to head up the new division is Mitch Hopkinson, who had been deVere UK’s head of the East Midlands region. He also becomes head of advice.
The decision to focus on HNWIs comes as the UK, like such other countries as the US, Australia and Singapore, has tightened up its regulation of the sale of financial products, eliminating commissions and boosting transparency. Many experts say such measures have had the unintended effect of shifting the focus of wealth management to better-off clients, for whom the cost of paying for advice is less of an obstacle.
DeVere’s announcement of the launch of its new HNWI division also comes in the wake of the parent company’s recent acquisitions, in Thailand and the United Arab Emirates, of rival advisory businesses that tended to look after a higher-end clientele than deVere traditionally has done. In both cases, deVere has kept the names of the companies – Broadgate Investment Advisory, in Thailand, and Acuma in the UAE – rather than changing them to fully to deVere. (In the UAE, some of the operations bear both names, according to the deVere website.)
However, there are no plans to brand the HNW operation differently from the main deVere UK business, a company spokesman said.
Hopkinson said individuals wishing to be advised through the new deVere UK HNW office would generally be expected to have “£1m or more in investable assets”, but added that “this could be subject to consideration”.
“For example, the £1m could come from a family, who would benefit from exposure to our advisers, not just an individual,” he noted. “This is part of our mission to ensure that wealth is passed down to the next generation.”
In announcing the plans for the new HNW operation, Mike Coady, managing director of deVere UK (pictured), noted that the UK operation “and its standalone brands”, such as the year-old, stand-alone deVere Mortgages business, were expected to “further raise standards and improve efficiencies” in the year ahead, enabling the division to “do half as much business again as it did in 2015”, a record-breaking year for the company.