Warning about unregulated "advisors" targetting Expats in Germany

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Warning: there are a couple of unregulated "financial advisors" active again in targetting Expats living in Germany (and other EU-countries, of course, too) by LinkedIn, Emails and cold-calling in order to sell them QROPS-transfers and other investment/pension plan-based advice.

This warning concerns:

Magnitude Wealth Ltd (http://magnitude-wealth.com/about )  who claim to be working out of the Czech Republik

Peter Alexander Wealth Management ( http://www.alexanderpeter.com/about-us )  who appear to be working out of Spain, now

Proctor Wealth Associates ( https://proctorwealthassociates.com/page/regulations ) who appear to be working out of the Netherlands with offices in UK and CH


These outfits or persons claim all to be acting under the license of the Trafalgar International GmbH based in Frankfurt. Their claim is wrong - they are not entitled to state that they are under German license and regulation! Therefore do not engage with them as long as they do not have proper license to act as financial advisors/insurance intermediaries!


Here are now the facts for everyone who is being contacted with them, has been contacted or (heaven forbid) has actually done business with such companies or persons:


1. Trafalgar International GmbH is licensed in Germany as an insurance broker. Insurance advice under German laws includes of course pension plans. It does not include general investment advice. Trafalgar International GmbH is currently not licensed anymore in Germany to offer investment advice. 


2. Trafalgar International GmbH also has received passporting rights (according to the public registry DIHK) for all EU-memberstates plus is licensed themselves to run establishments/offices under their name in  Cypres and Spain


Any advice conducted directly by Trafalgar either in Germany or cross-border is therefore covered by their license (which includes, among other things, coverage by their legally required indemnity insurance in cases of malpractice as well as access to German Ombudsman etc).



However, it is legally not possible to let independent third parties/legal entities in other countries act or work under the license by Trafalgar.


I had filed my first complaint against this with the responsible regulatory authority for Trafalgar International GmbH, the IHK Frankfurt, in 2015 already. After my first complaint at least the German license as financial advisor for investments suddenly vanished out of the DIHK registry.


My newest complaint to the IHK Frankfurt, which included screenshots from the website of the above-mentioned companies AND copies of emails some of them sent to clients who are residents in Germany is still be working on by the IHK. My hope is that due to numerous infrictions of the relevant laws and regulations the IHK will finally take a serious hard stance towards Trafalgar International GmbH itself.
Be that as it may (and while waiting for the chips to fall), the IHK has confirmed to me that none of the above mentioned companies can rightfully claim to be acting under the German license from Trafalgar:



So, it is evident and without any doubt that, barring other local licenses these companies/IFAs can get in CZ or ES or NL, they cannot offer advice in those countries or then even again crossing borders into other EU-countries based on their acclaimed "license" by Trafalgar.
This was always clear to anyone who reads the relevant EU regulations and laws (plus the German ones, too), but finally, it is official now.


As many investors in Spain who entrusted their life-savings to Continental Wealth Management in Spain (who also claimed to be acting under the license of Trafalgar International GmbH according to their website and documents) in the past found out to their dismay after Continental Wealth Management went belly up: since such companies are not regulated, there are also no institutions/regulatory bodies responsible for any claims or filing of malpractice etc. And there is also no indemnity insurance in place that will cover such rightfull claims.

In the end, you have neither a recourse to the Ombudsman in your country of residence where you received the "advice" nor in the country, the IFA claims to have his seat/place of business nor with Trafalgar in Germany and the German institutions.


Therefore anyone interacting with the above-mentioned companies does so at his or her own peril, I am afraid (and usually not being aware of that).


Anyone in Germany who has been approached by those companies should, in my opinion, send a quick letter or email to the IHK Frankfurt with a request to clarify how and why these companies/IFA can still claim to be advising under the license of Trafalgar in order to increase the pressure on the IHK Frankfurt to actively seek and end of this.




I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.

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