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September 20, 2019updated 24 Sep 2019 10:30am

UK wealth manager woos Chinese with golden visas

By Oliver Williams

Henderson Rowe, a British wealth manager, has formed a partnership with Elivisa Consulting to help clients applying to the UK’s most exclusive ‘golden visa’.

For Elivisa Consulting, which provides worldwide citizenship services, Henerson Rowe will be the preferred provider for clients applying to the UK’s Tier 1 Investor Visa, Britain’s most exclusive residency by investment program.

Their partnership will look primarily at Chinese HNWIs. According to Elivisa, the number of  Tier 1 Visa applications grew by 36% year-on-year, with applications from China accounting for more than 40% overall.

The latest Home Office figures show the number of Chinese applicants has gone up by nearly 50%.

Wealth managers, golden visas and Chinese HNWIs

With such a marked increase in the number of Chinese individuals applying for Tier 1 visas, a number of UK wealth managers have upped their golden visa offerings.

In conversation with PBI, Dolfin Wealth Management recently said it planned to further its Tier 1 offering to Chinese HNWIs.

Shard Capital, a London-based investment manager which operates its own Investor Visa department, has also seen an uptick in Chinese HNWIs applying.

“The opportunities in China were greater”, explains Rafael Steinmetz Leffa, a client relationship manager for Shard Capital Investor Visa. “Now they look at [the Tier 1 Visa] as an investment opportunity. They like the UK for structuring their financial plans”.

According to a survey of Tier 1 visa applicants by Shard Capital, 70% are attracted to the program by “business opportunities”.

Henderson Rowe adds that “hedging purposes” and structuring global investments are also reasons for Chinese HNWIs applying to Tier 1 visas.

According to a report by GlobalData, 30.7% of Chinese HNWI assets are offshore, with a significant amount finding its way to the UK.

Chinese firms have upped their spend in the UK in the past year. A total of £6.75 billion (US$8.28 billion) has been spent on 15 major acquisitions in the UK this year, already overtaking the £6 billion spent on 23 deals in 2018.

This is where wealth managers can benefit from managing the visa process. Chinese HNWIs not only need guidance in the highly complex Tier 1 application process, but they also need to structure their wealth in the UK. Wealth managers will be rushing to give them a helping hand.

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