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Novia global business to overtake UK platform

Novia global business to overtake UK platform

Novia has predicted that its global business will be larger than its UK one as it sees growing demand for its services around the world.

David Field, head of customer service at Novia Global, said the first half of 2018 was up 510 per cent on the same period last year and the company had written more business by the end of June than it had for the whole of 2017.

Mr Field said the growth was driven by the fact many jurisdictions were echoing the reforms made in the UK as part of the Retail Distribution Review.

He said: "It varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but they are all moving in a similar direction. It is similar to the sort of thing that happened in the UK with RDR. In fact in South Africa they have even called it RDR as well.

"The global business is eight years behind the UK business but the growth offshore has been quicker than the growth was in the UK. We would expect, ultimately, that the offshore platform will be bigger than the UK on a like-for-like timescale."

Mr Field said Novia's use of technology would allow it to overcome regulatory differences between jurisdictions around the world.

Novia Global is currently available across the European Union as well as in Dubai and Hong Kong.

Mr Field added that Novia was currently making contingency plans for its Global arm for the UK's departure from the EU, which could involve domiciling the company in Ireland or Malta.

He said: "It really depends. If it is a soft Brexit and passporting rules continue, at least for the next few years, we don't need to do anything and we carry on as we are.

"If it is a hard Brexit then the likelihood is we will have to domicile ourselves elsewhere. We have contingency plans either way."

Novia is one of several advice-related businesses to be eyeing up global expansion for growth.

Last year Benchmark Capital, which owns a financial planning firm, network and a platform, said investment received from fund house Schroders would allow it to expand into Hong Kong, Singapore and South Africa.

Meanwhile St James's Place has said it plans to build "multi-billion" businesses around the globe, with a presence already in Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

damian.fantato@ft.com