Novia to launch offshore platform in August

Novia to launch offshore platform in August

Novia Financial’s offshore version of its platform is set to launch in August, FTAdviser can reveal, and Chris Skelhorn will be joining as head of distribution.

Novia Global, which was unveiled earlier this year, is aimed at the worldwide ex-pat market and trustees.

Chief executive Bill Vasilieff told FTAdviser that in total £6.5m was invested in the development of the site.

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The multi-currency platform will provide access to offshore funds, bonds, exchange-traded funds, structured products direct equities, qualified overseas pension schemes and a general investment account.

In time, it will also offer an offshore bond but not at launch.

In addition, adviser tools will be available for portfolio modelling and construction as per the Novia Financial offering.

Mr Vasilieff attributed the Retail Distribution Review as a driver of the platform, stating that many other countries have used the UK’s RDR as a blueprint for their own financial regulations.

He said: “RDR was intended to increase professionalism and transparency. Nearly all regulators have this as an objective – some like the Channel islands and Hong Kong have increased adviser thresholds, others like Holland have banned rebates. Italy has outlawed certain commissions.

“We anticipated the market will change due to RDR regulation. The market is still dominated by offshore bonds and that is about to be wiped out.”

Mr Skelhorn joined Novia Global today (1 July) as head of distribution after six years with Novia Financial, where he ran the south and south west sales division.

Mr Skelhorn said: “We are already seeing evidence of a shift in the global landscape towards the post RDR retail market in the UK.

“Advisers dealing in the expat market are increasingly demanding access to transparent, multi currency, online investment solutions to suit their clients’ needs.”

He added that Novia Global will provide advisers and trustees access to a broad range of DFMs at reduced cost, as well as facilitating adviser tools such as portfolio modelling, performance analysis, online servicing and documentation for client trustee reporting.

“This level of online capability and breadth of investment offering is almost unprecedented in these markets and I am excited to be part of the team helping to bring this to market.”

Additional management appointments are expected to be announced in the coming months.