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Global Eye / PIC / DeVere / Acuma et al - Zurich Vista UAE

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Global Eye / PIC / DeVere / Acuma et al - Zurich Vista UAE

Old 28th Mar 2017, 14:27
  #81 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: West Country
Posts: 1,267

I was responding to Hallams suggestion on his website that you should walk away from a $39k investment as with an annual return of 8% the end result is a larger payout. I have already shown that Warren Buffet doesn't think that 8% return is achievable in the way that Hallam does.

I dont disagree that low cost trackers are a better investment strategy for most people - just in this case Hallams expectations are rather hopeful. He sounds like the guy who sold me my first endowment years ago that had all these wonderful examples of money to be made at rates of return that never materialised.


Just noticed that Hallam also promotes AES International....
Jet II is offline  
Old 30th Mar 2017, 07:41
  #82 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Kuwait
Posts: 67
Hi Jet II

I am referring back to your post #76. Apologies for the delay in getting back to you, I was laid low by man-flu!

I have tried to do some research into how much money Devere got paid out of your pension pot for selling you the QROPS but to little avail. The link you provided to Sovereign Group gives no information about that – do you have any documents from the time of the transfer that might shed light?

One of the things that I always look at when considering pensions or investments for myself is who is the person standing behind my pension/investment – how deep are their pockets, and what comeback do I have If they go bust (in passing, one of the minor consolations of buying the crap savings plans that these so-called financial advisers sell is that at least there is a large quoted and rated insurance company (e.g. Zurich, Generali etc.) standing over the obligation).

Your say that your QROPS is with Sovereign Group in Guernsey. I’m really struggling to find any meaningful information about who the SovereignGroup is. They appear to be supervised by the Guernsey Financial Regulator, but I can find no information about who owns them, nor how big they are. They are Gibraltar based, established in 1987, but don’t appear to have a credit rating from any of the credit agencies. I can’t see if there is an actual group (i.e. a pyramid of companied with a holding company at the top) or a collection of entities in different jurisdictions owned by the same person(s) (this is important from a corporate governance perspective).

As far as I can tell the operations of Sovereign Group in Guernsey are not covered by any investor/consumer compensation scheme, so if anything goes wrong you have no come-back.

The Chairman (and I think founder) of Sovereign is a guy called Howard Bilton, who appears to live in Hong Kong. So we have a Hong Kong based businessman, who owns (it seems) an unrated financial group based in Gibraltar, which has a subsidiary in Guernsey (with no compensation cover) that issues QROPS to GCC based expats now retired in X (wherever it is that you are enjoying that beer). I hope nothing goes wrong – if it does it will be a nightmare! Frankly, I would not be comfortable if my financial security in old age rested on that type ofstructure.

I have also looked at the document you posted about the Morgan Stanley Note, but again it gives no specific information about charges.

It is useful however as an example of the risks that these products present and why they are generally unsuitable for retail investors. The Morgan Stanley document says that these notes “are senior unsecured obligations of Morgan Stanley”.In other words you don’t own any underlying investment, you have a 100% counterparty exposure to Morgan Stanley, and the obligation is unsecured, therefore you will rank lowly among the creditors if Morgan Stanley hits financial troubles.

Morgan Stanley is a bank, and normally monies given to a bank are covered by government deposit protection, but Morgan Stanley make it clear that “the notes and deposits are not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation”.

In Morgan Stanley’s own words “Structured products are predominantly high risk investments”. If you are happy that you understand the way in which the underlying deposits and derivatives (including leverage) are assembled, and are happy with the caps on returns that are typical, then go ahead.

Incidentally, you say that your note closed early after 2years with a return of 32%. I am happy for you, you deserve a good return because you took a lot of risk (and that risk/return relationship is immutable). You should however ask yourself why it was redeemed early. Was it because it was so deeply “in the money” that it made better sense for Morgan Stanley to take over your position?

I’m happy to engage further with you on financial issues generally, but what I’m really interested in is getting to the bottom of the charges of financial advisers, so if you have information on that please share.
johnjonesnine is offline  
Old 29th May 2017, 06:48
  #83 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Kuwait
Posts: 67
It is reported by Bloomberg that DeVere is under investigation by the SEC in the United States:
johnjonesnine is offline  
Old 2nd Jun 2017, 14:16
  #84 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: N/A
Posts: 4

Thanks for your very informative advice on Zurich and Devere. I just bought in to it for life and education investment for my kids with 2718 dollars monthly. How can I withdraw from it and will I get anything back from the money I have contributed - just three installments.
Donamed is offline  
Old 3rd Jun 2017, 07:59
  #85 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Kuwait
Posts: 67
Hi Dona

Perhaps the first thing to do is cancel any future payments so that the sum-at-risk is capped at the three contributions that you have made so far. You should contact your bank immediately in this regard.

You should write to Zurich and advise that you will be making no further payments at this time as you believe that the policy was not suitable for you. Do not cancel the policy at this time, but tell Zurich that you will be seeking a full rebate of all monies paid.

The next step will involve engaging with deVere. In order to give you better advice in this regard can you please say what country you live in (and did you buy the policy from deVere in that country)?

You might find that deVere will contact you before you contact them. This is because the day you signed the Zurich documentation Zurich paid deVere (and deVere paid your "adviser") thousands of dollars - possible up to $18,000 or more. Zurich will now want to claw that back, and the "adviser", who has no doubt already spent his/her share, will desperately want you to keep up the payments.

If you are contacted by deVere I strongly suggest that you say that you are happy to engage with them, but only in writing. Everything from now on must be documented. No meetings, no cups of coffee etc.

Please let me know what country you are in.
johnjonesnine is offline  
Old 3rd Jun 2017, 08:50
  #86 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: N/A
Posts: 4
Thanks JJ,

I work and live in Dubai and will do as you suggest.I did buy the policy through De vere


Very much

Last edited by Donamed; 3rd Jun 2017 at 14:07.
Donamed is offline  
Old 3rd Jun 2017, 09:01
  #87 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: N/A
Posts: 4
I did buy the policy from Devere
Donamed is offline  
Old 7th Jul 2017, 07:55
  #88 (permalink)  

Gentleman Aviator
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Dubai
Posts: 46
I was foolish enough to sign up for one of these plans a few years ago. Fortunately I never have all of my investment eggs in one basket so was paying much less into the plan than the maximum. Once I realised what was happening I cut and ran. I calculate that I have lost circa 10000USD which is enough to be annoying but isn't really life damaging. I now view it as an expensive lesson in expat money management and I will not make the same mistake again.

I work in a field completely unrelated to aviation but I used to be an aircraft engineer and I still maintain my PPL as well as an interest in aviation. I read these pages because often they contain useful advice about general living in Dubai, this thread being an example. Thanks to Yorkshire Pudding and others as it was only after seeing this thread that my suspicions were confirmed that I was being ripped off.

I've not anything else to add other than to reiterate what others have said i.e. do not touch these schemes with a barge pole.
Lance Murdoch is offline  
Old 7th Jul 2017, 10:29
  #89 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: earth
Age: 56
Posts: 59
Any info about Friends Provident International?

Captain Partzee is offline  
Old 7th Jul 2017, 14:43
  #90 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: Blandings
Posts: 722

Dropp the Pilot is offline  
Old 7th Jul 2017, 16:00
  #91 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: earth
Age: 56
Posts: 59
Captain Partzee is offline  
Old 23rd Jul 2017, 11:26
  #92 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: DUBAI
Posts: 1
Anyone claims from Zurich life insurance?

Firstly! Thank you all for comments on De Vere and Zurich Vista. You are right, the salesman was trying hard to sell it to me. Surely not going for that.
Me and my husband have a joint life insurance policy with Zurich for life and ciritical illness. Has anyone got any payments from Zurich for life or ciritical illness? Appreciate replies.
lasher is offline  
Old 14th Sep 2017, 02:12
  #93 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Fragrant Harbour
Posts: 4,746
There's a rash of them in Hong Kong as well. A recent increase in regulation in the UK has forced some of the worst ones to seek victims where the regulation is lax, or non existent.
Dan Winterland is offline  
Old 26th Sep 2017, 09:11
  #94 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: UAE
Posts: 2
Hi Everyone.
I'm not a pilot I'm ATC at SHJ. I got into a fund with Friends Provident through Devere back in 2014. I had the 20 yr plan. I never reached beyond my 18 month initial payments because I raised the amount I put in a year after joining. I stopped all payments middle of last year Thank God. But I've been letting the fund just sit there. It's not earning or losing. I put in a total of $25 thousand US Dollars over that time. The statements are saying its worth $34 thousand now. I just started research on this topic last night and have been up for 7 hours straight in front of my laptop researching these overseas scams and reading a lot from Andrew Hallam and his advice. Bought the book on Kindle.

I just found your thread here on the topic. Thanks for the great info here. I'm going to take out what I can even if its $500 dollars and just take the hit on the rest. $25k is a lot of money to just give away to someone but to take the pain and heartache off my back its worth it. I'll make it back in salary in a few months. That's how you have to look at it. There's so many stories out there of people losing over $70 thousand dollars but they knew it was worth it to just get out. Now Devere is Acuma, I sent an email to Acuma in Dubai and it got returned address does not exist. Now its being taken over by that RB company.. RB122432 whatever the hell..

I have a co worker that is with Zurich I told him about all of this last night, I told him stop sending them money right now. Look at this crap..its a scam..I just hope he heeds my advice.
RevoBlu is offline  
Old 26th Sep 2017, 09:13
  #95 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: UAE
Posts: 2
If you read the comments on a lot of Andrew Hallam's articles there's stories of people in Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam that are all being scammed by this product.
RevoBlu is offline  
Old 27th Sep 2017, 06:57
  #96 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Kuwait
Posts: 67

Ignore the value on the statements that you are receiving, that is probably inclusive of the worthless Initial Contribution Period units. Send an email to Zurich and ask them for an encashment value.
johnjonesnine is offline  
Old 27th Sep 2017, 19:51
  #97 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Eu
Posts: 291
I have used Zurich for home and motor insurance and found them to be non combative when it came to honoring any legitimate claims , all paid in a timely fashion with minimal fuss . As for life insurance a personal recommendation would be to only purchase the most basic term life insurance and invest the payments saved yourself , or put it under the mattress in Swiss Francs .
I have to add that I lived in Switzerland . These overseas franchises are often not subject to rigorous regulation ... and might even be trading on a well known brand name with no connection whatsoever to the company they purport to represent . An indication of this common scam might be familiar yet spurious branding e.g Xurich or Zurich Advance etc .
Life insurance and double glazing sales personnel are remarkably similar ... avoid ! and save your money .
Jack D is offline  
Old 27th Sep 2017, 19:56
  #98 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Eu
Posts: 291
Sorry forgot to add , if you are buying life insurance " with profits " first of all don't ! and if you feel you simply must . then deal directly with the company .... no third parties ! Especially not in the ME
Jack D is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2017, 07:18
  #99 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Kuwait
Posts: 67

This is a slightly complicated response, but bear with me and I will try to explain some key market features.

There are two broad categories of insurance – life and non-life. Insurance companies can offer one or the other, but not both (though life and general insurance companies can have a common owner, such as in the Zurich Group).

Non-life insurance (or general insurance) covers risks such as home, motor, travel, property, liability etc. Non-life insurance products have a term of 1 year typically, and pay out if defined losses occur. From a consumer’s perspective it offers peace of mind even if no loss occurs and compensation if a loss does occur.

Life insurance, as the name suggests, is the insurance of a life (or joint lives). There are two different types – one of which we might call conventional, and the other is investment linked.

A conventional life insurance policy will pay out a sum of money in the event of the death of the insured person. These types of policies are usually used to ensure that a family is not left destitute by the death of parents, or to ensure that a mortgage is paid off if the borrower dies. Like general insurance, conventional life assurance offers peace of mind even if no loss occurs and compensation if a loss does occur.

The second type of life insurance is an investment linked policy. This is very different to other types of insurance, and this is the type of insurance sold by deVere and other similar firms.

In some respects an investment linked policy is like any other investment, you can invest a lump-sum, or regular savings. However what you are buying is legally an insurance policy. In the event of the death of the policyholder (or investor) the insurance company will pay out (typically) 101% ofthe value of the sum invested. That extra 1% is the only insurance element, but it is sufficient to meet the definition of an insurance policy.

Investors often think that they own a portfolio of funds issued by various fund managers. This is not true, what they own is an insurance policy, the value of which is linked to those funds, but they do not own those funds.

These types of investment linked policies used to be widespread, but they are dying out because the outrageously expensive and opaque charging structures have been outlawed in most developed markets. They are still offered by insurance companies operating (usually) out of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. However they cannot be sold in those jurisdictions – this junk is for export only! They are usually sold by commission salesmen/saleswomen in poorly regulated countries.

So referring back to your post – the general insurance products that you bought were issued by a Zurich-branded general insurance company, probably established in Switzerland or a well-regulated onshore EU jurisdiction.

The Zurich investment products that deVere and others sell are issued by Zurich International Life Limited in the Isle of Man, a completely different company, offering completely different products, and governed (as far as the sales process is concerned) by no law.
johnjonesnine is offline  
Old 28th Sep 2017, 10:42
  #100 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: The Sharp End.
Posts: 432
Thanks very much for that. Very informative.
sluggums is offline  

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