montpelier group continues with global expansion plans into asia
Financial advisory group Montpelier Group continues its recent expansion outside the UK by adding operations in Malaysia, Belgium, Portugal and Dubai to its recent acquisitions in Japan and Hong Kong. Montpelier is also in discussions with a UK-based fund manager to establish a joint venture in Asia in the second half of this year.
Montpelier Group was formed out of the acquisition by UK-based IFA firm Cadmans of Montpelier Hong Kong, Montpelier Tokyo and Cranbrook in Hong Kong in November 2004. These purchases were paid for through a mix of cash and shares. In the UK, Montpelier Private Clients looks after £750m for its private clients.
The Asian arm of the Montpelier Group, which is responsible for client assets of more than £40m, is headed by Nick Barclay. He was formerly managing director of Asia Pacific at Skandia.
David Yelloly, chief executive of the Montpelier Group, said: "We are in discussions to buy an IFA firm in Malaysia to expand our Asian presence. Currently, we have three advisers in Tokyo and six in Hong Kong.
"We plan to establish our own brokerage in Dubai and are launching a licensed firm in Belgium with three advisers on 15 January. In the first half of this year, we will also set up an operation in Portugal." He added that Montpelier is expanding its office in Barbados.
Currently, investment management for Montpelier's clients is carried out by external stock brokers and fund managers. But Yelloly said it is in talks with a fund manager in the UK about bringing this in-house and setting up a joint venture later this year in Asia. "We expect this to be established in the second half of 2005."
Yelloly said its global expansion is a recognition of the potential growth of private client markets outside the UK, particularly in Asia. "China especially will be the market to be in over the next 30 years. Hong Kong will be pivotal to accessing China."
He said Montpelier will succeed in its global expansion where many other IFA firms have failed because of the comprehensive range of services it offers clients. "We are offering a service more akin to a family office than an IFA. But while Swiss banks only take clients with many millions in assets, we believe a bespoke service can be provided for clients with $2m.
"As well as life assurance, savings and investments, we also advise on tax planning, general insurance and property management."
Yelloly added: "The name change from Cadmans is an important signal of the company's continuing expansion which is aimed at further strengthening our reputation among existing and potential clients. We believe there is significant opportunity available by replicating our existing business model in new markets and from applying global best practice standards to our work.
"We believe the industry will benefit from increasing specialism among the provision of advice. Many of the issues such as equity performance and succession planning are similar around the world and our record in these areas will underpin the expansion of the firm."
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