Aisa International s.r.o., which also works under the trading style OpesFidelio and Tailormade Pensions is a MiFID- Securities Trader and European Portfolio Manager. The company received formal notification from the Czech Regulator( Czech National Bank) on 20th December 2021 that the company has been granted a licence to operate as a Securities Trader with discretionary powers, commonly known as a Discretionary Investment Manager (DIM) or Discretionary Financial Manager (DFM). This formal notification followed informal approval that had been conveyed to the directors in October.
OpesFidelio Network now offers its network advisers both Discretionary investment services and insurance licences under MiFID and IDD within the EU. It also works alongside the UK and USA companies of Aisa Group to be able to offer a complete package to expats, including Defined Benefit pension advice as the UK office has DB permissions.
MiFID- Securities Trader, European Portfolio Manager
Being part of the Aisa Group of companies, Aisa International is headquartered in Prague and is the licence holder responsible for the OpesFidelio network. The MiFID- Securities Trader and European Portfolio Manager licence held by Aisa International is in addition to the IDD , Mortgage/Credit and Pensions licences.
Along with the UK sister company Aisa Professional, which has FCA permissions, including those for DB pensions, this means that the Aisa Group offers a full service in the EU/EEA to British expats and those that have lived in the UK and hold UK pensions and investments.
When also combined with US SEC licences, and the fact that employees within Aisa International hold SEC registration as well, the full expat package available to those expats with UK or US connections makes Aisa’s coverage unique.
Tailormade and Aisa international s.r.o. works with minimum investment fund values of £100,000 equivalent. Full discretionary services are restricted to select clients.
EFPA and the CII
Marta Gellova, who is on Aisa International’s supervisory board an vice-Chair of EFPA Europe stated that “I am pleased that the awarding of this licence will allow Aisa International to promote transparent investment advice in the EU market, working in cooperation with Chartered Financial Planners, Aisa Professional. As you are aware, EFPA and the CII enjoy a close working relationship and mutual qualification recognition”.
MiFID- Securities Trader and European Portfolio Manager- The Details
Chief Investment Officer, Chris Lean, said ‘ The end of UK passporting into the EU/EEA meant that firms that wished to consider providing investment advice to the same market would either have had to cease their activities or apply for new licences. The application for this licence involved not only a management team, but many qualified local staff, having to take local securities trading exams in order to comply with local legislation. It is fact that local exams were required before Brexit but this was never really enforced. So potential clients of advice firms , operating in the EU, really need to check this.
Aisa International and Aisa Professional director, Clive Tutton, also wanted to clear up some misconceptions. ‘ There has been some quite deliberate false information promulgated by some advice firms about British pension and investment funds and advice in the EU over the past year. For example, pensions are not actually covered by MiFID rules and, despite what some advice firms have been saying in public, there is no reason why someone living in the EU with a British pension cannot contact a UK advice firm if that UK firm has PI cover to provide that advice.
However, with our combined full suite of licences, we are now able to offer advice from dual qualified individuals across the EU and UK, and operate in a discretionary way with portfolio management. We recognise that firms in the EU will not have terms of business with the majority of UK pension providers. As Aisa has both EU and UK licences, this means that the Aisa Group can offer a full service to those that have UK pensions and investments who are resident in the EU, which would be seamless if they return to the UK.
As Aisa Group CEO James Caldwell explained “This is not just the standard basic MiFID licence that most firms in our market apply for, this licence also allows Aisa International to act in a discretionary way with more than just collectives or passive instruments. The extra time and commitment put into obtaining this licence was worth any delay due to the benefits of the additional services we can offer clients”.
The end of passporting does not allow a UK firm to operate with branches in the EU but it does not prevent a UK pension member who lives in the EU seeking advice from a UK company. There are no European wide laws on pension regulation linked to MiFID or investment-based pensions, nor defined benefit type pensions.
Aisa International’s new MiFID licence may be extended to cover EU countries through passporting where it is necessary.
It is a fact that non-UK regulated firms (including those based in the EU) are unable to obtain terms of business with the majority of UK pension providers as they limit contracts to UK regulated firms. This impacts on Aisa International as well, although it has the advantage of working alongside other members of the Aisa Group. Many networks and firms in the EU do not have this advantage or lack licences in one jurisdiction or the other.
Having the ability to advise or obtain information and work with all providers prevents unnecessary pension transfers which are not in the interest of a client. Aisa International say they are seeing quite a few instances of completely unnecessary transfers, not because it is in the clients’ best interests, but an advisory firm is unable to provide a full independent service or unable to earn money otherwise through their normal commission structures.
Aisa Group and OpesFidelio network members through their fee based structure are well-placed to deal with those clients that have UK pensions and are now resident in the EU, or vice-versa.
Article Date 12th January 2022
The views expressed in this article are not to be construed as personal advice. You should contact a qualified and ideally regulated adviser in order to obtain up to date personal advice with regard to your own personal circumstances. If you do not then you are acting under your own authority and deemed “execution only”. The author does not except any liability for people acting without personalised advice, who base a decision on views expressed in this generic article. Where this article is dated then it is based on legislation as of the date. Legislation changes but articles are rarely updated, although sometimes a new article is written; so, please check for later articles or changes in legislation on official government websites, as this article should not be relied on in isolation.
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