Investor Visa Review Service
Knightsbridge Wealth is a market leader in providing the highest quality of advice and service to those immigrating to the United Kingdom. Hundreds of migrants made investments, under previous rules, to support their application for the Tier 1 (investor) visa. These investments are currently managed by a large number of UK Wealth Management institutions. They vary greatly in expertise and strength of proposition and it is not clear how many of these investments continue to be compliant.
In many cases, investment portfolios have been put in place by a bank, stockbroker or investment company and not managed since. Many institutions that used to offer an Investor Visa portfolio service, now only hold investments on an ‘execution only’ basis. The risk that an investment will not satisfy Border Agency requirements lies with the client. Immigration lawyers and advisers who assisted a client’s original application rarely review investments on a continual basis.
To avoid the disappointment and uncertainty that a portfolio will not meet the relevant criteria, Knightsbridge Wealth provides its Investor Visa review service. We have reviewed many portfolios that do not meet the Border Agency’s requirements. These have included portfolios holding equities in the property market, collective investments (which were previously permitted), corporate bonds listed overseas and where too much funds has been held in cash, bringing assets in ‘qualifying investments’ to below £750,000.
Our service looks at the following areas:
Is the client taking acceptable levels of risk within the portfolio?
How has the portfolio performed? Has the manager provided market leading returns? How have they managed risk and what is their investment process?
How much is the investment management, custody and trading cost?
Is it reasonable and in line with the market?
Does the manager recognize their important role in ensuring Visa compliance and do they take responsibility for their advice? We ensure that all wealth managers we recommend have a robust process in place to ensure that investments qualify for points against the UK Border Agency’s requirements and that they are regularly reviewed.
Why should we refer clients to Knightsbridge Wealth?
It has long been the case that solicitors and accountants have only been able to refer their clients to Independent Financial Advisers if they require financial advice. There have been repeated allegations of some professionals referring clients directly to an investment firm that act as a restricted adviser.
The over-riding rule, repeated on several occasions by professional bodies, is that
“when making or receiving referrals of clients to or from third parties, you must do nothing which would compromise your independence or your ability to act and advise in the best interests of your clients.”
Our starting point is that independent, unbiased, whole of market advice is better for clients. Independent financial advice is obviously in a client’s best interests, especially where a solicitor is not well placed to determine a client’s requirements according to the demanding suitability rules that apply to financial advice. Referral to an independent financial adviser who has no ties or restrictions that would compromise the advice the client receives, is quite clearly in the best interests of any client. We determine your risk preference.
A major high street bank approached us just a week before the investment deadline for one of their clients, Mr M, an Iranian National. The Bank had been unable to satisfy its account opening requirements and, realizing how little time was left, referred their client to us as an international specialist.
As well as a National of a High Risk Country, with sanctions against it, the client was classified as a Politically Exposed Person and documentary evidence for Source and Origin of Wealth was lacking.
We used our expert knowledge of the region to put together comprehensive documentation to support the client’s explanation of the origin of his wealth, which was sufficient to open an account with one of our panel of investment specialists. The account opening process took a little over a week (taking into account the complexities of the case). We took our client to meet one of the Lawyers we work with, who wrote to the Border Agency with an explanation of the delay to ensure that the late investment date did not prejudice our client’s eventual application for Permanent Residence.