• Mark James

Brits in the USA - Is your advisory firm proficient?


Cross border USA/UK financial advisory services is a highly specialised area within the financial services industry.

The point of this, brief, article is to ensure that you and the firm you are considering engaging have the knowledge, expertise, and capability to offer you a full service. There are very few firms that can service and advise British expats in the USA, so it may be well worth doing a little due diligence before you decide to engage a firm, or indeed an individual adviser, to provide you with suitable financial advice.


These are some things you could do to safeguard yourself and ensure that you are receiving professional, experienced and qualified advice.



Checklist:

1. Is the firm regulated both in the UK and USA?

2. Does the individual adviser have the necessary UK and USA regulatory licence and qualifications?

3. Do they or their firm have UK pension transfer advice permissions?

4. Does the firm or individual have or have had, any regulatory issues either current or in past?

5. What UK and US qualifications has your adviser got to justify the advice you are going to receive?

6. What experience and/or length time in industry does your adviser have?



Fortunately, some of these questions can be relatively easy to check, using the following regulatory websites:


https://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/ - here you can check to see if the firm is registered to provide advice to US residents.


https://register.fca.org.uk/ - here, you can check to see if the firm is registered to provide you advice regarding UK assets. On this same site, you can also find out if the firm has pension transfer permissions, in order to obtain this classification, the firm requires pension transfer specialist advisers which are qualified and regulated to the highest standard to provide advice on UK pensions.



In order for an individual to be registered with either the USA or UK regulator, certain qualifications must be successfully completed. If an adviser is not registered in both jurisdictions and/or does not have qualifications in both countries – ask yourself, are they going to have the knowledge & expertise to provide me with the correct US/UK cross-border advice?


Alexander Beard Group (ABG) has regulated and registered companies and individuals in both the USA and UK. We also have USA and UK specialist advisers that can offer you holistic cross-border expertise relating to both jurisdictions.

ABG has been in the international advisory market for over 30 years.


So, it may be prudent to ask what type of firm you would prefer to engage and how long have they been in the industry?


Also, is where is your adviser registered and regulated and what level of expertise, knowledge and qualifications does the adviser have?