Posted by & filed under Press Releases.

The new format CIFSA CPD Seminar took place on the 2nd of June 2015, All CIFSA seminars now conform to the Cyprus Securities Exchange Committee regulations for CPD and will enable delegates to receive valuable CPD accreditation. CIFSA has previously always focused on education as a primary goal for the Seminars and the new format reinforces this focus. This first new format seminar is a precursor to the 3rd Quarter Seminar, which will include representation from FECIF and CIFA and will focus on the impact of new MIFiD and IMD regulation on the delivery of Financial Services in Cyprus.

Subjects covered in this Seminar included, an overview of the new ICCS complaints procedure which came into effect in May 2015, including an update following the appointment of the Financial Ombudsman.

Richard Robinson on behalf of Kestral provided an excellent insight into the advantages of Dynamic long only, multi asset allocation Funds, that adopt a more modern approach to traditional investment, holding, listed equities, debt securities, money market instruments, real estate, commodities, absolute return funds and currencies. This type of fund can offer both upside potential with downside protection.

Matt Tailford from Sovereign Trustees described the impact of changes in recent UK Finance Acts relating to UK Pensions. Described as “the most radical shake up of UK Pensions” the changes require a seismic shift in the type and scope of advice required by individuals nearing retirement. The latest changes are intended to offer individuals “greater freedom of choice”. For individuals moving to Cyprus the changes require local guidance and advice based on their personal circumstances. Issues such as double tax treaties, residency, domicile, succession planning and benefits will all require careful analysis to make sure that UK pensioner holders make the most of their UK Pensions in Cyprus.

Alexandros Constantinou of MAP S.Platis provided delegates with a Global overview of Anti Money Laundering Trends. Alexander described the origins of the latest initiatives to combat Global organised crime, which accounts for up to 2.5% of World GDP. The focus of new AML legislation and cooperation is to prevent access to financial services and markets by organised crime, terrorist groups, corrupt politicians and individuals, whilst also reducing the availability of methods of tax evasion. Recommendations from FATF form the basis of international regulations and provide a framework for governments to regulate and control the movement of money generated illegally. In addition the AML legislation is equally intended to prevent and mitigate both tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance by imposing transparency requirements on individuals and legal entities. In Europe and in Cyprus new AML legislation has been framed and implemented to ensure compliance with internationally acceptable practices.

The sponsors and the attendees overwhelmingly rated the CIFSA Seminar a success describing the information as informative and well presented. CIFSA Seminars are Free to members of CIFSA.

Posted by & filed under Notices.

The new format CIFSA CPD Seminar took place on the 2nd of June 2015. All CIFSA seminars now conform to the Cyprus Securities Exchange Committee regulations for CPD and will enable delegates to receive valuable CPD accreditation. CIFSA has previously always focused on education as a primary goal for the Seminars and the new format reinforces this focus. This first new format seminar is a precursor to the 3rd Quarter Seminar, which will include representation from FECIF and CIFA and will focus on the impact of new MIFiD and IMD regulation on the delivery of Financial Services in Cyprus.

Subjects covered in this Seminar included, the voting and outcome of the UK election and the agenda for the new UK government in the next session of Parliament. The CIFSA Chairman provided an overview of the new ICCS complaints procedure which came into effect in May 2015. In particular this included an update following the appointment of the Financial Ombudsman, who is the appropriate authority to review unresolved complaints.

Richard Robinson on behalf of Kestral provided an excellent presentation on the advantages of the diversified long only global Kestrel Global Fund, a Dublin registered UCITS IV Fund. Richard described the fund as a Dynamic long only, multi asset allocation Fund, of over £166 million ($270m) in size. The fund was established 1 May 2012 and has daily trading, with 5 currency classes (GBP, USD, EUR, CHF, SEK). In particular Richard stressed the advantage of funds that are liquid, holding asset classes that can easily be sold in a matter of hours or days, compared to other fund classes where liquidity can be an issue. The fund managers adopt a modern approach to traditional investment holding, listed equities, debt securities, money market instruments, real estate, commodities, absolute return funds and currencies. Used by institutional investors and retail investors alike this type of fund can offer both upside potential with downside protection.

Matt Tailford from Sovereign Trustees described the impact of some of the changes seen in recent UK Finance Acts relating to UK Pensions. Described as “the most radical shake up of UK Pensions” the changes require a major shift in the type and scope of advice required by individuals nearing retirement. The UK has seen successive governments amend and alter pension’s legislation over the last 30 years and the latest changes are intended to offer individuals “greater freedom of choice”. For those individuals moving overseas the changes mean that it is essential that they receive local guidance and advice based on their personal circumstances and country of residence. Issues such as double tax treaties, residency, domicile, succession planning and benefits will all require careful analysis to make sure that non UK residents make the most of their UK Pensions.

Alexandros Constantinou of MAP S.Platis provided delegates with a Global overview of Anti Money Laundering Trends. Alexander described the origins of the latest initiatives to combat Global organised crime, which accounts for up to 2.5% of World GDP. The focus of new AML legislation and cooperation is to prevent access to financial services and markets by organised crime, terrorist groups, corrupt politicians and individuals, whilst also reducing the availability of methods of tax evasion. Recommendations from FATF form the basis of international regulations and provide a framework for governments to regulate and control the movement of money generated illegally. In addition the AML legislation is equally intended to prevent and mitigate both tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance by imposing transparency requirements on individuals and legal entities. In Europe and in Cyprus new AML legislation has been framed and implemented to ensure compliance with internationally acceptable practices.

To close the Seminar, St.John Coombes reminded delegates of the need to keep up to date with new regulations and requirements and understand that in a constantly changing landscape it is essential to keep informed. CIFSA Seminars offer delegates the opportunity to obtain valuable information from primary source presenters and discuss matters raised directly with them.

This Seminar provided delegates with 1 and a half hours CYSEC CPD and 3 hours total CPD. All delegates can log onto the CIFSA web site to register for their certificates of attendance.

The sponsors and the attendees overwhelmingly rated the CIFSA Seminar a success describing the information as informative and well presented.

CIFSA Seminars are Free to members of CIFSA.

Posted by & filed under Notices.

It has been reported to CIFSA that there appears to be an email campaign by fraudsters and scammers targeting clients of Financial Advisors based in Cyprus.

In addition there is a renewed attempt by Nigerian and Cameroon based fraudsters to target individuals selling property in Cyprus via the internet. Internet Crime is sophisticated and endemic and CIFSA are disappointed to note that fraudsters now appear to specifically be targeting victims in Cyprus.

Fraudsters have set up email accounts extremely similar (1 letter/digit different) to an investor’s, and proceeded to email their Financial Advisor firstly requesting a latest valuation, and thereafter requesting a full surrender or suchlike.

(We assume investors’ email accounts have been hacked in order for the fraudster(s) to identify the Advisor (and his/her contact details) and the policies held).

Fortunately CIFSA members have not reported any successful attempts, and CIFSA members have been advised to exercise additional caution for the foreseeable future when dealing with any requests for withdrawals of any amount.

We recommend Investors ensure that they keep their accounts private and secure and limit use on open networks, internet cafes and alike as these incidents are of an extremely serious nature.

If you are targeted by any fraud, CIFSA recommends the matter is reported to the Organised Crime Unit at the High Commission, or the fraud to the Economic Crime Investigations Office of the Police.

Contact Cyprus Police

Address: 85-87 Rigenis Street, 1010 Nicosia, Cyprus.

Telephone Number: 22802200
Fax Number: 22802823

Visit the web page here.

Email Address: police@police.gov.cy

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CIFSA is proud to sponsor Shakespeare at Curium’s production of ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’. Starts on Friday 26th of June.

The Merry Wives of Windsor

Posted by & filed under Press Releases.

Historically low interest rates, inflation eating away at savings, questionable bank security and sometimes-complex tax regimes have all increased the need for professional financial advice in expatriate communities. With many companies purporting to offer such services, to a better standard, and even claiming to have access to publicly unavailable solutions, it’s no surprise that people don’t know where to turn for advice.

With this in mind, below is a guide to some of the points that should be considered when choosing an International Financial Adviser, both at the outset and at regular intervals afterwards.

In Cyprus, CIFSA exists to promote and maintain the highest standards of ethics and professional conduct. More information can be found on CIFSA’s website, along with a list of member companies. Full Members are companies regulated here in Cyprus, and Associate Members are companies regulated in another EU territory. Non-EU regulated IFA companies are not accepted as members.

Regulation

Since the accession of Cyprus to the EU, responsibility for regulating the International Financial Advice industry has passed from the Central Bank to ICCS (Insurance Companies Control Service)and CySEC (Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission).

As a result of ‘passporting’ rights/legislation under IMD (Insurance Mediation Directive) or MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive), it is also possible that a company offering financial services is regulated in another EU member state.

Always make sure that the company you intend to deal with is properly regulated. This means that due diligence has been carried out by the authorities, certain legal requirements have been adhered to and the necessary qualification criteria have been met, and the appropriate operating licence has been issued.

It is also important to find out how easy it may be to deal with the respective regulator, and what scope and level of protection such regulation extends should the need arise. Broadly speaking, the strength/criteria of regulation in one EU member state should equal that of another, although this is sometimes difficult to ascertain. If the regulator is in a different country, it may be important to consider issues such as time differences, language and cost of phone calls. If a company is not locally registered, always ask why this is the case. Locally registered companies are locally committed and will meet locally required standards.

Well Established

An informative, professional website clearly outlining what services are offered and what regulatory authority the company is subject to can help. Ask things such as:

  • How long the company has been established
  • How long the advisor offering services has been in Cyprus
  • Will the company be able continue to serve you should you choose to move on
  • How many clients does the company have
  • Does the company have a fixed office address
  • Are there support staff in the event of your adviser’s absence

Aim to deal with an individual who has been in Cyprus for some time or whom you genuinely believe has the intention to stay, so you can build an ongoing relationship with someone you trust and who knows your personal situation. Try to avoid advisers who you feel may not be around in the future.

Qualifications, CPD and Professional Associations

It’s surprising how much we take for granted the level of professional qualifications required of UK bank staff or financial advisers, particularly Independent Advisers. In the UK, the minimum would be a Certificate/Diploma in Financial Planning issued by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). Standards overseas can sometimes be lower, so ask the advisor what qualifications he/she has. You should be satisfied that your adviser has the professional competence to deal with your financial planning. Be sure to check for yourself; organisations such as CIFSA can help.

In an ever-changing marketplace, it’s important that your adviser keeps up to date with any changes that may affect you, whether it be market changes, legislative changes, or regulatory changes. It is reasonable to expect your advisor to undertake regular efforts to keep up to date by way of proven Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Professional associations will often offer membership only to individuals or companies that commit to abide by a set code of conduct, maintain strict ethics and levels of professionalism, and always act on a ‘best-advice’ basis, meaning every effort is made to ensure that only suitable recommendations are made to clients.

In Cyprus, CIFSA membership shows a commitment to such standards.

Experience

There really is no substitute for experience. Some companies may operate models whereby an agent merely gathers details from the client, the ‘advice’ is provided by another authorised individual, and then presented by the original agent. This can mean that the person the client considers to be providing the service is neither qualified nor experienced. Ask what experience the adviser has, and how long he/she has been carrying out his/her role. Don’t accept ‘financial services’ as sufficient experience – ensure that the adviser has dealt with individuals in an advisory role. If the adviser is inexperienced, be sure that they have had experience of dealing with clients in conjunction with a qualified IFA supervisor prior to dealing with clients on their own.

Recruitment Due Diligence

You should be confident that the company your adviser represents has checked his/her qualifications and background, and ensured their legitimacy. Doing this independently is beyond the scope and responsibility of a client, but should be an absolute minimum for the advisor’s management team. Ask around, do some research – be sure you can trust the company as well as the individual.

Advice Based upon Individual Circumstances

One size most certainly does not fit all when it comes to financial planning. Whilst similar products or structures may often be used, any recommendation should always be tailored to the specific circumstances of each client. So, for example, if a friend whose circumstances are entirely different from yours refers you to an adviser, the strategy recommended to you should also be entirely different. Always ask your adviser to justify in writing how the recommendations made meet your objectives, and how they meet the goals set out in your initial meetings.

Transparency of Fees – Terms of Business

It’s true that many IFA companies work on a commission basis. It’s important to remember that an appropriately qualified IFA company will have carried out significant professional training and invested time and money into both the company and its members. For this reason, the commission factor should not deter you from consulting an IFA. Commission (versus charging a fee) can be justified provided that the IFA provides a continuing service.

All IFA companies should provide you with a Terms of Business document to ensure that you are aware of the scope of their services, advice, and charges prior to entering into any agreements. Many studies have shown a commission basis can often be more attractive (and cheaper) than a fee-paying basis. Commission rewards IFAs for their professional work undertaken after years of training and studying – commission should not be the reason you choose not to consult a good IFA.

Track Record & Referrals

Don’t feel awkward about asking your adviser how their previous recommendations have performed, and if they would be happy to provide any references or suchlike. It may be that you have been recommended to the advisor, so do ask those recommending about their own experiences. Equally, if you feel you have received a good service, then the IFA concerned deserves to be recommended to others; this ensures that IFAs maintain their good reputation and enhance the reputation of the industry, and could help other members of the public receive quality advice.

If in any doubt, CIFSA (www.cifsa.org) is here to help the general public and potential clients. The CIFSA board represents a large number of companies on the Island, has considerable experience in the financial services industry and is well placed to provide any guidance needed. CIFSA is a free service to members of the public.

Posted by & filed under Notices.

Pay before 31 October 2014 and get a 15% discount

Some properties may have been “notionally” revalued for the purposes of IPT for 2014. For example where it is known that a house has been built, but is not yet included on the title.

The immovable property tax for the year 2014 is due for payment by the 30th of November this year. Tax is payable in respect of any property valued on 1.1.1980 over €12,500.

If you did not receive an assessment for 2014 and where tax was paid last year you can take last year’s assessment to the tax office and pay based on that, because it will have your Tax Identification Number on it.

If you don’t receive a tax assessment, then you should complete (Τ.Φ. 303 2014) and pay the correct amount of tax. The form is available at: http://www.mof.gov.cy/ird

Payment can be made by taking the IPT tax assessment to the Tax Collection Department of your district tax office or through the website www.jccsmart.com (https://www.jccsmart.com/eBills/Welcome/Index/4888723)

Anyone wishing to pay on-line through the website www.jccsmart.com, should insert the JCC reference number which is printed on the Immovable Property Tax assessment received and pay the tax due using their credit card details.

Or payment can be made at any of the Local Banks.

Taxpayers wishing to pay through any of the Local Banks, should have the Immovable Property Tax assessment, their Identity Card and the amount of tax in cash or credit card.

If the IPT is fully paid by 31.10.2014, a discount of 15% on the tax payable will be allowed.

Any IPT paid after 30.11.2014 will bear a 10% penalty plus interest and any other administrative charges imposed by the law.

For any further information, please refer to the Immovable Property Tax Division at the District Office of the Tax Department where your tax file is kept or visit http://www.mof.gov.cy/ird

Immovable Property Tax Rates

The tax rates remain unchanged from last year:

Assessed 1980 Property Value Tax Rate Tax Cumulative Tax
€1 to €12,500 nil €0 €0
€12,501 to €40,000 0.6% €240* €240*
€40,001 to €120,000 0.8% €640 €880
€120,001 to €170,000 0.9% €450 €1,330
€170,001 to €300,000 1.1% €1,430 €2,760
€300,001 to €500,000 1.3% €2,600 €5,360
€500,001 to €800,000 1.5% €4,500 €9,860
€800,001 to €3,000,000 1.7% €37,400 €47,260
More than €3,000,000 1.9

* Those owning property(ies) whose total 1980 value exceeds €12,500 will pay tax on their total 1980 value.

Posted by & filed under Notices.

In order to recapitalise its banks, Cyprus, is to receive a €10 billion bailout from the Troika.

A further €7 -7.5 billion must be found from privatisations of the Semi Governmental Organisations (Cyta, EAC, Ports Authority etc) and the rest, estimated at €5.8 billion, through an immediate levy of bank deposits. The Russian loan due to be repaid in 2014 will be extended to 2021 and the current interest rate of 4.5% reduced to 2.5%. Newly-elected conservative President Nikos Anastasiades’ government agreed to the harsh conditions, set by officials of the Eurozone because “much more money could have been lost in a bankruptcy of the banking system or indeed the country.” (M Sarris Finance Minister) The agreement is subject to final ratification by the House of Representatives, the country’s Parliament; the vote is due to held at an Emergency meeting on Saturday16th March. It is believed that the bank deposit tax will reduce the severity of the austerity measures required.

Key points

The bailout

€10 billion bailout from EU, IMF and International lenders
€7-7.5 billion from privitisation and increase in corporation tax
€5.9 billion from “levy/tax” on Cypriot bank deposits
The immediate cost

With immediate effect Bank depositors will pay:

Deposits in excess of €100,000, 9.9% “one off levy”
Deposits below €100,000, 6.75% “capital tax”
Junior Bond holders will have a reduction in Capital
Depositors and Bond holders may receive bank shares in return for the levy
Interest on deposits to increase to 20% -25%
Corporation tax to increase to 12.5%
Capital Gains tax to be introduced
Banks to reduce their total operating size to EU average of 3.5% of GDP
The authorities have prohibited cash withdrawals and Internet transfers are prohibited from Cyprus banks until 19th March.
Terms and conditions are yet to be announced

Background

Cyprus has become the Cyprus becomes the fifth country after Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain to turn to the euro zone for financial help in the wake of the region’s debt crisis. Cyprus has been forced to seek emergency aid from the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB). In 2012 Cyprus was cut off from international lenders following reductions in its creditworthiness due to the collapse of the Greek Economy. Cyprus was heavily exposed to Greek debt particularly through its main banks, Bank of Cyprus and Laiki. In 2012 Cyprus saw a 2.4% fall in GDP, pushing the country well into a recession. Unemployment rose to 12% and is predicted to rise to 14% by 2014. Cyprus current national debt is 85% of GDP and is predicted to rise to 100% of GDP by 2020.

Researched by
St. John Coombes

CIFSA 3rd Quarterly seminar

Posted by & filed under Notices.

CIFSA (the Cyprus International Financial Services Association) held its 3rd quarterly seminar of 2012 at the Amathus Beach hotel in Limassol.

The purpose of the meeting was the continued focus on the program of Continuing Professional Development training seminars for all members. This event was sponsored by S.E.B. Life, the International Insurance Company with offices throughout the World, TMF Group – Global Trustee, Accounting, Pension and Support Service and IDAD – Structured Product Specialists. The CIFSA chairman Mr. St.John Coombes, in his opening address, emphasized the objective of supporting professional education as a means of encouraging the highest standards in financial services in Cyprus. The event was attended by IFAs and representatives from various industries that work closely with or provide services to firms in the International financial services industry.

The professional development opportunities at CIFSA’s latest seminar included an excellent presentation from S.E.B. Life, who offer a Personal Portfolio Bond especially tailored to expatriate residents of Cyprus. Regional Manager Mike Shannon, along with Cian O’Mahony, an Investment fund specialist, informed attendees of the suitability of S.E.B. Life’s propositions for the Cyprus/European market, and the rigorous controls, risk assessment, and due diligence that goes into the construction of every S.E.B. product.

Henderson Global Investors provided an informative session on fixed income investments & solutions, and gave their views of Mario Draghi’s latest ‘solution’ and what effects it may, or may not, have on the ongoing Eurozone Crisis.

Fidelity, discussed the benefits of equities as a tool for medium-­‐term income generation, and their view of Equity income as a tool in the provision of providing sustainable investment income.

The Global Head of International Pensions for TMF group provided an excellent summary of recent changes in the offshore pensions industry following the introduction of new UK HMRC rules and regulations. Attendees benefited from his depth of knowledge and clear presentation, as well as an outline of the valuable services this global company has to offer to international clients.

IDAD, Investment Design and Distribution, gave a presentation on protected investment ‘structured products’, and spoke about the stability of Cyprus banks and the warning signs customers can look out for.

The informal drinks reception after the event, as always, offered attendees the opportunity to liaise with their co-­workers and fellow professionals and to discuss current affairs and share best practices.

The Chairman Mr. St.John Coombes said that “the event was an excellent opportunity for professionals in the financial sector to again come together to consider and discuss economic and legislative changes as well as a range of products and services, whilst being apprised of the essential role CIFSA plays within the International Financial Services community in Cyprus”.

Cyprus has a diverse and vibrant financial services sector with CIFSA members forming an integral part of that sector. CIFSA plays a pivotal role within the financial services community by providing a link between member firms, associate firms, providers, and the public, as well as local and international regulators.

CIFSA has been performing its role since 1993 when under the Central Bank it was originally formed to provide a code of conduct for all International Financial Advisers working in Cyprus. Over the years Cyprus and CIFSA have seen many changes to the financial services sector, including the establishment of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Committee (CySEC) and the Insurance Companies Control Service (ICCS). Following Cyprus’ entry into Europe in 2004 CIFSA worked with the Central Bank, CySEC and the ICCS to help enable IFAs in Cyprus to adapt to the new regulatory environment. CIFSA has welcomed the changes and works closely with regulators and members to help ensure that International Financial Advisers continue to offer clients a professional local service from compliant and regulated firms approved in their respective jurisdictions.

CIFSA members provide a full range of financial services to their clients which, depending upon their regulated status, that can include insurance and protection products, investment products, trusts and estate planning, wealth planning and many other forms of financial planning.

In 2012 and beyond CIFSA will continue to support International Financial Advisers in Cyprus and help to improve the business environment for this essential sector of the economy.

CIFSA board member, Glen Richards, stated that “the interest shown by new and existing members is an encouraging sign that the industry supports and welcomes organisations such as CIFSA. This is because not only do we promote professional development, but we encourage members to maintain only the highest standards of professionalism and ethics and to display adherence to regulatory obligations at all times without exception.”

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UK HMRC has confirmed that only Guernsey Residents may take advantage of Guernsey QROPS.

HMRC has informed Guernsey officials that, Guernsey pension providers will only be permitted to accept transfers of the UK pensions of Guernsey residents, a Guernsey government statement has confirmed.

In a statement issued yesterday, Guernsey’s Treasury & Resources office said that HMRC’s revised list of approved QROPS – to be published on Thursday – “will only include a Guernsey scheme if the HMRC is satisfied that the scheme is ‘residents-only’”.

The statement noted that HMRC has indicated its intentions to “seek to revise its regulations further in order to disqualify the new 157E schemes from QROPS listings”.

157E is the name given to a new “one-size-fits-all” pensions regime passed a few weeks ago by Guernsey legislators in an effort to accommodate a key concern raised unexpectedly by HMRC in December over existing third-country QROPS schemes. The 157E scheme treats Guernsey residents and non-residents the same, with no Guernsey tax due on benefits paid. 157E complies with the new regulations, but it would appear that HMRC don’t like the fact that it complies, so are now taking an alternative approach.

From 6 April 2012, one of the conditions a pension scheme must meet to be a QROPS is that if there is a tax relief for non-residents on benefits paid from a pension scheme then the same, or substantially the same, tax relief must be available to residents Pension schemes will need to meet the new conditions to be a QROPS. This is known as the benefits tax relief test . A pension scheme that can have only residents as members will meet the benefits tax relief test. In addition, Clause 2.69 of the Finance Bill 2013, which was published as part of the 2012 Budget and which stated that, any country or territory with “makes legislation or otherwise creates or uses a pension scheme to provide tax advantages that are not intended to be available under the QROPS rules” would find such schemes “excluded from being QROPS”.

“If a pension scheme that was a QROPS on 5 April 2012 no longer meets the conditions to be a QROPS, members of the pension scheme will be able to remain as members and receive a pension paid from the sums transferred without incurring member payment charges.”

It was not immediately clear how, if at all, the setback for Guernsey’s QROPS industry may similarly affect other QROPS jurisdictions, such as New Zealand, that have large third-country QROPS industries.

HMRC last week quietly removed its list of QROPS providers from its website, replacing it with a statement which notes that the list “will return in an updated form by 12 April”.

(Source: International Adviser)

Posted by & filed under Press Releases.

Mediterranean Hotel plays host to CIFSA inaugural meeting of 2012

CIFSA (The Cyprus International Financial Advisers Association) had its inaugural meeting of 2012 at the Mediterranean Hotel in Limassol following the appointment of the new Board of Directors. The purpose of the meeting was for the Chairman St.John Coombes to outline CIFSAs objectives for 2012 and its program of events. This includes quarterly Continuous Professional Development training seminars for all members, regular newsletters, local and European regulatory updates as well as a forum for all members. This event was sponsored by PCP and featured representation from a European Insurance Company as well as alternative fund managers from Europe and the US sharing their opinions on different markets and outlining the benefi ts and pitfalls of various asset classes.

Kevin Mudd, former CIFSA Chairman and sponsor of the event, said, “The event was an excellent opportunity for professional fi nancial advisers to come together to consider and discuss important new products, whilst being appraised of the essential role CIFSA plays within the Financial Services community in Cyprus”.

Cyprus has a diverse and vibrant financial services sector with CIFSA members forming an integral part of that sector. CIFSA plays a pivotal role within the fi nancial services community by providing a link between member fi rms, associate fi rms, and industry providers, the public, as well as local and international regulators.

CIFSA has been performing its role since 1993 when under the Central Bank it was originally formed to provide a code of conduct for all International Financial Advisers working in Cyprus. Over the years Cyprus and CIFSA have seen many changes to the Financial Services sector, including the establishment of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Committee (CySec) and the Superintendent of Insurance (ICCS). Following Cyprus entry into Europe in 2004 CIFSA worked with the Central Bank, CySec and the ICCS to help enable IFAs in Cyprus to adapt to the new regulatory environment. CIFSA has welcomed the changes and worked closely with regulators and members to help ensure that Independent Financial Advisers continue to offer clients a professional local service from compliant, locally regulated firms.

CIFSA members provide a full range of fi nancial services to their clients, which depending upon their regulated status, can include insurance and protection products, investment products, trusts and estate planning, wealth planning and many other forms of financial planning.

In 2012 CIFSA will continue to support Independent International Financial Advisers in Cyprus and help to maintain and improve the business environment for this essential sector of the economy.

(Source: CYPRUS MAIL Thursday, January 26, 2012)