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A wealth of experience

Kevin Cassar. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Kevin Cassar. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Effective wealth management is built on trust and long-term commitment, Kevin Cassar, Blevins Franks regional wealth manager, says.

It frequently happens that the values and attitude of an employee are reflected in those of the employer and vice versa.

Kevin Cassar joined Blevins Franks, the international tax and wealth management company, 15 years ago. It was his first job after graduating. Over the years, he achieved personal and professional growth, thanks to the company’s programme for continuous training. Nowadays, he is the regional wealth manager covering the areas of Northern Spain, the Balearic Islands and Malta. Other than Spain and Malta, Blevins Franks’ other markets include Portugal, France, Cyprus and the UK.

Cassar’s long-term commitment is one that encompasses the primary values of Blevins Franks, the leading international tax and wealth management advisers to UK nationals living in Europe.

When people move or retire abroad, they are often faced with the challenges that an unfamiliar local bureaucracy and foreign tax system presents. For years, Blevins Franks has specialised in advising UK nationals how to best overcome these challenges: thus, clients can enjoy their chosen lifestyle with the knowledge that their financial affairs are in order. Blevins Franks also offers its services to returning migrants such as Maltese people who after living abroad for many years, return to their home country.

“Our financial planning solutions require a high level of trust,” Cassar says. “Our business is more qualitative rather than quantitative and we are not here to sell an off the shelf product – rather, we want our clients to trust us to give them advice about their investments and wealth which they have worked hard for.”

Longevity is also a critical element.

“We don’t just offer our services to individuals but also to their families. Frequently, we also deal with different generations of the same family. We help our clients preserve the value of their wealth, in real terms, not only during their lifetime but also through to the next generation.”

This longevity is also reflected in the fact that Blevins Franks has a high level of client retention of over 95 per cent. This shows an approach that values continuity.

The services offered by Blevins Franks are highly personal.

“Our services are tailor-made to meet the particular requirements of our clients,” Cassar says. “We invest a lot in fully understanding a family’s circumstances and objectives. Therefore, we can build a good, long-term relationship with our clients, which in turn ensures that we provide bespoke advisory services.”

Knowledge is also another element that helps build trust. Blevins Franks specialises in financial planning solutions that are based on five main services: tax planning, estate planning, investment advice, pensions planning and asset protection.

“Our advisers are all qualified and highly knowledgeable in these areas as well as in cross-border regulation and the particular legislation and tax regime of the countries where we operate. Moreover, they have a wealth of experience as most of them have lived and worked in France, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta for many years. This gives them a rich understanding of the challenges that expatriates face when dealing with the bureaucracy and other unfamiliar facets of life in a foreign country.”

Blevins Franks invests a lot in continuous training.

“We have a team of people focused on identifying the training needs of all our staff. Continuous professional training is not only a requirement under UK law but it’s also something that we believe in.”

In recent years, Malta has become increasingly attractive for expatriates and high net worth individuals. Various elements contribute to this attractiveness including good weather, excellent health services, tax efficiency, safety, a sound knowledge of the English language, value for money, availability of specialised human resources and a feel good factor.

“A stable political environment as well as a sound legislation are also important,” Cassar says, further explaining that Blevins Franks Financial Management Limited is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, which is one of the leading legislations in the EU. Through passporting, the firm is also regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority as the host regulator.

“As a country, we need to do more to boost our attractiveness,” Cassar says. “We need to invest in our infrastructure and in promoting our country.

“You need to invest in order to achieve the potential for further growth. It’s what we do at Blevins Franks. In fact, we have just launched a new five-year plan that is constantly updated to reflect the needs of our clients.”

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