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  • We do a lot of travelling at JHC. Most of it to those parts of the globe where the bulk of the world’s wealth is managed: the US and the financial centres of northern Europe. Lately however, our reach as a business has started to lengthen. In May, I was meeting UAE clients at our offices in Dubai: last week I attended the 2018 Cyprus Wealth Management Breakfast in the Nicosia Hilton. Organised by our partners Thomson Reuters, in conjunction with CISI Cyprus, CIFA and ourselves, the event outlined the changing landscape of wealth management and emerging opportunities in Cyprus. Having pressed the flesh of a decent number of prospects, the occasion was in my books, a success.

    That was then and now is now
    Other than the climate, the food and the beaches, we consider Cyprus attractive for a number of reasons.  Thanks to a program of stringent governmental and banking reforms, the island has recovered well from the near-fatal banking crisis of 2013. Neither the country nor the financial sector are as dependent as they once were on Russian deposits; all forms of investment are flowing in from different parts of the world to all sectors of the island’s economy.

    An act that’s getting all its acts together
    The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) is the island’s regulatory body and “responsible for the supervision of the investment services market and transactions in transferable securities carried out in the Republic of Cyprus.” CySec’s vision is to establish the Cyprus securities market as one of the safest, most reliable and attractive destinations for investment. Not a moment too late and music to the ears of investors, advisers and indeed, us. As a consequence of tighter regulation, there are more family offices than ever and a growing number of high net worth individuals who are either making the island their home, setting up regional hubs, or both. The Cyprus’ financial services sector has in effect been almost completely re-oriented. Not surprisingly, where there are wealthy clients, new opportunities and significant sums of money to manage, there are wealth managers.

    Open minds
    What was evident during my visit was that the wealth managers I met, in common with the island itself, are starting with a clean sheet. Advisers are not bound by the conventions of the past—far from it. In common with their clients, they want accurate transactional information delivered seamlessly, on demand, via the best and latest digital platforms and tools. Using our technologies, wealth managers have immediate access to the operational and performance data they and their clients need, 24/7. For the new generation of investors, transparency, speed and a high degree of control are key attributes. Any wealth manager who can satisfy those expectations will enjoy three benefits—they will:  1. Gain a competitive advantage over firms which are slower to act 2. Build stronger relationships with existing and new clients 3. Increase assets under management.

    In Cyprus, if it can be digitised, it should be digitised, which just happens to be the business we’re in.

    Ed Lopez - Chief Revenue Officer - JHC