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AES establishes DIFC office

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AES International has established a new office inside the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) and secured licensing by gold standard regulator The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).  

AES International will be the first independent financial planning firm of its type to set up in the DIFC, where the regulator oversees the highest international standards.

CEO Sam Instone – former British Army Officer and ‘enemy of traditional financial services, says: “I am proud of our team for committing to ‘Positive Change’ in the Middle East, and achieving yet another milestone on our mission to disrupt the status quo of traditional expat investing.  We are committed to a low cost, passive approach to investment services and providing completely transparent, flexible and fee based financial advice to professional clients.  He went on to say, “Expats are accustomed to the swarms of poorly regulated, international financial salespeople charging unreasonable, undisclosed commissions, and causing serious long-term damage to their personal finances.”

Instone spoke of his excitement at his firm’s move into new premises within the DIFC and welcomed the increased regulatory scrutiny these operations will attract: “We have always believed that our clients, like all investors, require the protection of clear and robust regulation; we are delighted to work under the DFSA regime, which we believe offers the highest standards of investor protection and a much more viable choice for serious investors.”

AES International is unique as a UK headquartered, full-service, independent investment adviser to secure DFSA approval to operate in DIFC.  CFO Pippa Miller says: “We have proven ourselves not only to clients, but also to the UK FCA since 2007. The DFSA approval process was rigorous and fair. We very much look forward to welcoming clients to our new offices, and continuing to build wealth for our clients.”

James McLeod, General Counsel at AES, says: “As an international financial centre the DIFC is specifically designed for international business.The ability to operate in or from the DIFC means that clients who conventionally fall between the cracks of different tax, legal and regulatory frameworks can now get peace of mind and security. They can be sure that they are dealing with a firm committed to very high regulatory standards, and independent investment advice, based in a jurisdiction with its own common law type legal framework.”

AES Managing Director Rory Gilbert said “We have successfully presented a detailed plan which underpins our vision of ‘Positive Change,’ and now look forward to applying our decades of experience to help improve the outcomes that expats can expect to receive.”

On clients’ financial needs, CEO Sam Instone acknowledges emotions can run high, says: “We are draining the swamp of expat financial services. For too long, clients have been led to believe that product salespeople are advisers who act on a fiduciary basis. We are passionate about setting the example of transparency and are making every effort to help people. The sorry truth is that most international investors have never understood the costs they incurred, the underperformance they have endured or the protections they have waived by failing to choose the right type of organisation with which to work. Our firm’s mission is to find them, help them, and set them straight on the road to a secure financial future.”

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