By Robin Duff
Scottish Mutual International (SMI), a subsidiary of Abbey National, has announced its arrival in the Middle East, with its first port of call the UAE.
Scottish Mutual International (SMI), a subsidiary of Abbey National has arrived in the Middle East, looking to take advantage of Abbey National Offshore’s established infrastructure in the UAE. The company plans to target the area’s expatriate and local populations with its Complete Investment Portfolio, a multicurrency focused product which it hopes will prove an ideal vehicle for the country's diverse client base.
“SMI’s investment products will significantly enhance Abbey National’s product portfolio, whilst giving customers a wider choice,” said Andy Whyte, managing director of Scottish Mutual International. “This move completes the latest stage of our key expansion into key markets. We will continue to look at opportunities across the globe. Providing that the regulatory regime is sound, as it is in the UAE, and there is a mature market, you can be assured that we will be looking to develop our presence.”
This latest move from SMI follows its successful entry into the European markets of Spain, Germany, Greece, Belgium and earlier this year, Austria. SMI will use Abbey National’s well-established infrastructure to access the introducer and intermediary distribution channel for its products. Earlier this year, SMI announced that it had written over $1 billion worth of new business premiums since its launch.
“Our move into Dubai has without doubt been made easier by having access to Abbey National’s strong network of licensed brokers,” said Whyte. “The products we offer are sufficiently different to those of our partner company and, as a result, enhance and complement Abbey National’s presence in the region. We will grow our business while benefiting from infrastructure synergies.”
The Complete Investment Portfolio is an international portfolio bond, which is a lump sum investment contract available in the form of a capital redemption bond. Clients can construct their own personalised portfolio (denominated in pounds sterling, dollars or euros), switching freely between SMI’s range of internal funds. A major advantage of the contract, according to SMI, is that it offers policy holders a low cost entry into the SMI Portfolio, from £15,000. As soon as the Portfolio has built up at least £100,000 it can be switched into a portfolio bond which can invest in external funds.