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Wealth Manager: Vestra's US head on trans-Atlantic opportunities
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by James Phillipps on Jul 11, 2013 at 00:01
Taking up American football may be going above and beyond the call of duty, but Vestra US director Paul Nixon believes rival wealth managers are missing a trick by ignoring the transatlantic private client market.
For Nixon, a keen amateur player for the London Warriors, the decision was straightforward given the opportunity set and the firm is already taking on clients that have been ditched by the mainstream banks ahead of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Fatca) coming into force next year.
The group launched Vestra US Wealth Management in May as a dedicated business designed to provide a range of investment and tax planning services for wealthy individuals with an American connection.
‘We’ve been contacted by US citizens in London that have been rejected by UK banks, and others that have just been sent a letter by their existing banking providers saying they’ve got 30 days to move their account,’ he says.
‘We have seen a lot of kneejerk reactions since the announcement of Fatca but I don’t think anyone can ignore it. And if you can do the reporting required by the legislation why not build a service proposition around that?’
While the business case for launching a dedicated US division may be straightforward, getting into the position to offer a service is anything but.
Vestra first started looking at the opportunity in late 2009 and carried out years of preparatory work before feeling ready. Nixon joined the firm in December 2008, initially to focus on UK-resident non-dom clients, an area in which he had built up considerable experience.
He started his career as a graduate trainee at a high street bank, where he worked across a number of departments, including a nine-month secondment to Miami, which whetted his appetite for dealing with offshore and international clients.
After gaining a range of investment management and financial planning qualifications, he later moved to another financial institution to specialise in this field before being recruited by Vestra.