UK investor visas:
Reform and our experiences

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Updates on the latest UK Investor Visa’s reform and the feedback we hear from our users on why they choose a wealth manager to manage their applications.

Investor Visas are a tool used by wealthy overseas investors in order to gain UK residency. Wealth managers are spotting the upward trend and increasingly starting to cater to such investors.

Guides: UK Investor Visas

Update to the UK Investor Immigrant Program

This week, the legislation goes through a reform. Founded in 1994 by the UK Government to encourage the migration of wealthy individuals and high net worth families to the UK, the Investor Visa Programme is having a small make-over; principally to raise the minimum investment portfolio required from £1million to £2million. The portfolio now has to be invested 100% in equities and bonds; investment in property is no longer permitted.

In recent years the growing wealth of Asia, Indo-Asia and Russia/CIS has meant an increased demand for the UK investor visa programme and wealth managers have started to respond with services to match. This new legislation is unlikely to impact the demand from wealthy overseas investors, but the changes will certainly be welcomed by wealth managers. Double the investment means double the fees, after all.

Read our guide to investor visas here.

At findaWEALTHMANAGER.comover 10% of our UK website users are international based clients. Many of those are interested in a ‘Tier 1 Investor Visa’.

We observe 3 decisive factors why clients choose a particular wealth manager for their investor visa

  • Brand – the power of the brand is strong

Of users seeking UK investor visas in 2014, 80% have signed up with global brands that offer the service in the UK. Rightly or wrongly the branding of the institution both globally and locally goes a long way to getting these investors across the line.

Web presence is also really important. These investors are typically based a long way away from the UK so their first impression of the wealth manager is online. Some investors actually reject being introduced to wealth managers whose websites they found unappealing.

  • Language – communicating with the investor in mother tongue

The other decisive factor we have noticed is language. Our two largest investor visa demand origins, Russia/CIS and China, have favoured native speaking wealth managers over solely English speaking. Mandarin is particularly poorly served in the UK wealth management market and one such speaker at a prominent wealth manager has done particularly well with clients from that region in the face of very little competition. Russian language expertise is more established in the UK wealth management market and again a native speaking capability has really helped to win over investors.

  • The ‘one-stop’ package – keeping it simple

Investor visa investing is typically a means to an end.

The brands which have the simplest, easy to understand, easy to execute and fairly priced offering – do well. The intricacies of the investment portfolio are not the primary concern.

We have seen clients becoming confused with the Tier 1 Investor Visa proposition from some wealth managers; not understanding the additional involvement of lawyers and the complexities of the charging structure.

In the case of one of the firms we work with, the offering is marketed really simply and is an all-in solution, competitively priced. They have won mandates on that basis.

Summary

So long as the UK continues to flirt with the international high net worth community and is seen as a reliable and attractive jurisdiction to live in, then watch this niche investor market grow. There will be well over 1500 Tier 1 Investor visa applications in 2014. This is a growing market for which wealth managers are offering investors great solutions.

To discover which wealth managers precisely suit your needs and can help you with investor visa simply try our online smart tool, making sure to specify all your requirements.

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