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Acuma DeVere (Dubai)

A couple of days ago a member posted on this forum touting for business for a so-called financial advisory firm called "Acuma DeVere".

I posted a fairly sharp response, basically suggesting that DeVere's are an insurance sales office where sales staff (grandly called "consultants") are paid on a commission-only basis.

The original poster removed the thread.

The original poster didn't like what I said and contacted me privately. I originally posted her response, but I have edited this post to remove it at the request of the moderators.

I prefer anyway to debate in public, and this is where I will post any further messages I have in this matter.

The DeVere business model is not one of providing financial advice. Most of the "Consultants" have minimal financial qualifications (if any) and the wouldn't know good financial advice if it jumped up and bit them on the ass. They would however be able to calculate the commission that they would earn on a savings plan without the need for a calculator!

DeVere say they give advice free of charge. I say that this is the correct price for that advice.

What DeVeres do not say is how much they (and other similar firms) earn in commission on the savings plans that are their bread and butter. These savings plans (which are really insurance policies) pay huge commission and are really bad value.

For example, if you take our a 20-year savings plan, saving $1,000 per month, the insurance company will immediately pay DeVere approx $18,000 in commission, up front. They recoup that by trousering all of your savings for the first 18 months, so that after 20 months of saving $1,000 per month, the value of your investment is $2,000.

Most of the DeVere sales staff are from the UK, and the insurance policies they sell are issued in the Isle of Man or Channel Islands, but these toxic financial products cannot be sold in the UK, they are outlawed there because of the high charges. The commission model that DeVere uses is also outlawed there.

DeVere focusses on selling offshore to expatriates for two reasons. Firstly there is low or no regulation, and secondly, most people are not good at managing their finances or at understanding financial products. Expatriates are no different to anyone else in this regard, but they are different in that they are making good money. The aim of DeVere sales staff is to get their mitts on that money. A good salesman (and that is what the "consultants" are) knows that as long as you can sell yourself, and sell confidence, you can also sell anything else you want. This week financial advice, last week fitted kitchens, next week second hand cars.

In passing, you might be interested in knowing that DeVere recently had its license suspended in Hong Kong:
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DeVere also left Singapore after it was fined in that jurisdiction:
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