Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and a number of island-based offshore centres could be on the me...
Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and a number of island-based offshore centres could be on the menu for Clerical Medical Offshore's business as it looks for new opportunities following the appointment of Paul Massey as managing director.
Massey says he cannot discuss specific proposals, including product development, as this remains under discussion within CMO, but says it is no secret that the company wants to leverage its existing expertise and the financial strength of its parent company to develop the business.
"CMO is following a strategy of growth, which is obviously something that any business would say, but we have identified opportunities in segmenting the market into which CM sells."
"There are two strands developing. The first is the traditional offshore services sold into the UK market, which focus on English-speaking offshore jurisdictions, offering services to trust companies, and so on. The other strand is looking to get licensed in other countries and regions."
"For example, Hong Kong has been a strong market, which is moving away from insurance towards mutual funds providing further opportunity for companies such as ourselves.
"UAE and the Middle-East is interesting. And other countries are starting to open up, such as Singapore where we are keeping an eye on new rules that should allow IFAs to operate."
Massey does not see these as emerging markets, preferring to call them "developing markets" that have good financial services infrastructure in place including strong legal frameworks.
Other markets are interesting, but do not fit the criteria just yet, he adds.
China has come on in leaps and bounds recently, but there are still questions over licensing.
"CMO will only enter markets if it can do so on a fully licensed basis," Massey says.
Likewise, India has not passed CMO's radar screen and there are no plans to re-enter the Latin American market abandoned a couple of years ago.
In terms of local presence, Massey says Hong Kong will remain a strong base, but CMO is unlikely to open an office in UAE anytime soon because of the geopolitical issues in the region, while it only sees a "small presence" developing in the island centres.
Its headquarters will remain on the Isle of Man.
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