Isle of Man based companies turned in another magnificent performance at this year’s International Investment fund and Product Awards held at London’s Victoria Park Plaza Hotel before a prestigious audience of industry peers from the offshore financial world.
The awards are run is association with Standard & Poor’s, the international credit rating agency. They recognise groups who distribute financial products on an international basis, as well as acknowledging the achievements of the global offshore financial services industry.
The Island won ten out of the 14 award categories – a remarkable achievement described by Treasury Minister, Allan Bell, as ‘a clear reflection of the strength of our Island institutions and their commitment to providing clients with expert products and services. Across all sectors the Island pays particular attention to quality of service, value for money, innovation and speed of response, enabling it to be positioned at the forefront of the global arena.’
Best life group
- AXA Isle of Man, which operates from prestigious, purpose-built headquarters in Douglas, won Best International Life Product and Best International Life Group. Managing Director Kevin Dean said: ‘We operate from the secure tax efficient environment of the Isle of Man, where we manage in excess of £5.5 billion for over 25,000 clients. The outstanding success of AXA’s offshore investment business can be attributed to the high standards of service and support that is constantly delivered by our professional team here. Another factor that helps make us the preferred company for many advisers is the support provided by the International Technical Managers, AXA’s offshore specialist sales force.
- ‘We review our customer database on a regular basis and overlay it against the Experian Financial Strategy Segments. This allows us to clearly identify which customer segments are purchasing our products and, more specifically, what features of the products each segment is using. This allows us to review and update product features continuously to meet the specific needs of the customers who are purchasing our products. This information is also used to educate advisers, helping them to understand the customer drivers which will, in turn, help them develop their business.’
Best private bank
- Having previously been awarded Best Offshore Bank for an unprecedented five years running, this year Fairbairn Private Bank won two new prestigious categories – Best International Private Bank and Best International Platform Provider. The judges highlighted the bank’s comprehensive product range, commitment to target market and ‘outstanding service levels’. In addition, its Focus investment platform excelled as an ‘innovative and cost effective solution for international wealth management.’
- With 13 outright wins and 13 ‘highly commended’ awards in the past seven years, Fairbairn has amassed more awards than any other offshore bank: ‘We see integrity, innovation and high quality service levels as central pillars in the provision of a distinctly different approach to meeting the needs of the private banking client,’ said Managing Director Greg Horton. ‘This further recognition represents an independent assessment by the financial services industry and highlights our now established reputation as a market leader across the British offshore islands.’
- A member of the Old Mutual Group, the bank operates a comprehensive private and personal banking operation on behalf of a wide range of clients, including private individuals, small and large companies, trusts, governments and institutional investors.
Best bank range
- Lloyds TSB Offshore, which controls the core of its expatriate operations from the Isle of Man, won Best Offshore Bank Range. Island Director Tony Wild said: ‘Judges took into account product features, pricing, marketing, interest rates, distribution and service, which made this achievement a true team effort.’
- One of the world’s biggest banks, Lloyds TSB completed a major restructuring of its expanding international operation last year. The unit, which now employs well over 500 staff, has invested heavily in consolidating its expatriate banking services in the Isle of Man, relocating its main service centre for non-UK national customers to the Island.
- The International Personal Banking Service brings together a range of accounts and services, including current accounts, savings accounts, mortgages and loans. The service has two flagship accounts, the International Account and International Premier Account. The bank also operates a private banking service designed exclusively for those who hold at least £350,000 of disposable assets with the group.
Best structured product
- Britannia International was again recognised as the Best Offshore Structured Product Provider. The company was also Highly Commended in the category for Best Offshore Bank Group.
- Managing Director Mark Beresford said. ‘Winning yet another award for our structured products clearly demonstrates our achievements in this field and is wonderful recognition for the innovative work the Britannia International team has carried out over the years in developing good value new products. Strong product design, backed by the reputational benefit of being based in a well recognised and respected jurisdiction means these products have great appeal to both direct investors and intermediaries.’
Best bank group
- The award for Best Offshore Bank Group highlighted HSBC Bank International’s major development in the past 12 months. The bank’s investment in online services, focusing on ease of use and security, was also emphasised by the judges. Email statements were introduced to offer a more rapid and secure method of delivery; and the world’s first integrated banking website was launched. The award also pointed to the number of innovative new fund structures, including the first capital protected solution to be linked to the emerging markets of China and India.
- Richard Evans, the operation’s Senior Brand & Communications Manager, said: ‘As well as highlighting the progress and numerous enhancements we have made recently, this award also indicates that our existing products and services, such as our Premier Banking Service and International Banking Centre, remain leaders in the field. The offshore banking marketplace is incredibly competitive and it is vital that we stay ahead of the game to deliver the kind of top quality service that our customers expect. It is fantastic that our efforts to do so have been recognised.’
Best bank product
- Anglo Irish Bank Isle of Man won Best Offshore Bank Product with its Privilege 12 month bond. The product range also helped the bank win Best Offshore Notice Account Provider at this year’s Moneyfacts Awards. It was also named Best Monthly Interest Account provider and was highly commended in the category for Best Offshore No Notice Account Provider.
- The bank’s Head of Personal Savings, Gary Quaggan, said: ‘The fact that our entire suite of offshore notice accounts has won such prestigious awards is a tribute to our policy of only offering accounts which are consistently competitive over the long term and backing them up with a high level of service. When we launched the Privilege range we made investors a promise that it would remain amongst the most attractive available on the market. These awards demonstrate that we have delivered on that promise and investors can be assured that we will continue to do so in the future.’
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