South African-based FirstRand has launched FirstRand Private Wealth Management (PWM) with branches in the Channel Islands and Dubai plus plans to expand into India.
Trevor Falle, CEO at FirstRand’s international wealth management business, said the firm’s South African model and philosophy are ‘transportable internationally’.
“Given our experience in South Africa, we are well-placed to serve the new generation of wealthy individuals. We have a good understanding of their needs and proven expertise in creating solutions to match these needs using an open architecture approach,” he said.
Aiming to offer tailored wealth management solutions internationally, the firm will use financial products from the global marketplace, utilising group products where appropriate.
While the Jersey team will target British and South African expats, the Dubai branch will have an India-centric product bias to tap into the higher net worth market in the Middle East and India.
In addition, “we are currently planning the launch of a number of specialised investment vehicles focused on India in conjunction with partners from the GCC countries,” said Falle.
The Dubai operation will be run by Vijey Kapoor, CEO of FirstRand PWM Middle East, who will also head the India operation when it is launched.
“Dubai is due to go live around the beginning of December and should be bedded down by the first quarter; then we’ll explore the Indian expat market,” said Falle.
The extension to India and the Middle East is a natural move, especially as large numbers of Indians operate overseas, especially in Dubai. “We’re sure we’ve got the Indian proposition right but can get confirmation of using it in the Middle East first,” he said.
The house is focused on emerging and developing markets and believes they are a big win in terms of asset appreciation over developed markets.
“It’s also very natural for people to reinvest back into their home country. The clients will be Indian and the funds invested and managed in India,” Falle added.
Across the group, FirstRand PWM will export the firm’s wealth manager practice model, which enables wealth managers to build their own client bases. “We believe this is critical to the retention of top-quality wealth managers and thereby the continuity of relationships that all clients want,” said Falle.
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