Who are Friends Provident International?

Friends Provident International (FPI) is a well-established financial services provider known for offering a wide range of savings, investment, and protection plans, primarily expatriates and local nationals in the United Arab Emirates and Asia. With over 40 years of experience in the international life assurance market, FPI has built a strong reputation for financial stability and customer-centric solutions.

FPI operates as part of the International Financial Group Limited (IFGL), which also includes RL360, RL360 Services, and Ardan International. Collectively, IFGL administers USD 26 billion of assets and serves over 216,000 customers worldwide. FPI itself employs over 570 staff across its offices located in Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Isle of Man.

FPI is committed to providing tailored financial solutions that help customers achieve their financial goals, offering products such as life assurance, investment-linked funds, and bespoke savings plans. The company prides itself on a high level of customer service and maintains a B+ rating from actuarial consultancy AKG, reflecting its robust financial health and service quality.



Key Facts About Friends Provident International:

  • Parent Company: International Financial Group Limited (IFGL)
  • Experience: Over 40 years in the international life assurance market
  • Offices: Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Isle of Man
  • Staff: Over 570 employees
  • Assets Under Administration: USD 26 billion
  • Customers: 216,000 globally
  • Services: Savings, investment, protection plans
  • Ratings: B+ from AKG

For more detailed information, you can visit their official website at Friends Provident International.

This updated profile ensures accuracy and provides a comprehensive overview of FPI’s offerings and global presence.

What is it…?

Premier Advance is a unit-linked regular payment savings plan designed to be held as a medium to long-term investment that is now discontinued to new investors under the new insurance authority rules in 2020. It offered several flexible options for expats who want to set aside money at regular intervals. Whether the plan is right for you depends on your age, tax planning and other personal circumstances, such as how long and how much you wish to save. The tax benefits of an offshore international savings plan are not the same in every country. The plan is no longer available to the new investors in the UAE.

Who can take out the plan?

As the savings plan has an element of life protection, you can set up the plan yourself, on someone else, such as a partner or spouse or on up to four joint lives. Savers must be aged 18 or over, but less than 70 years old at the start of the plan, while one saver must be less than 76 years old when the plan is due to end.

How to make payments to the plan and various options?

Savers can choose the plan length – from 5 to 25 years. At set-up, savers can choose the plan’s currency denomination from US dollars, UK pounds, Euros, Hong Kong dollars or UAE dirhams. If payments are to be made regularly, they can be made monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly. The plan has flexibility to increase payments. Monthly minimum savings depend on the frequency of paying premiums, but the least amount a saver can pay monthly is the equivalent of US$300. Payment increases must be more than US$50 a month. Additional lump sums can be paid in as long as they are US$3,000 or more. Changing premiums or making lump sums may be subject to a five-year term.

After the first 18 months of the savings plan, payments can be suspended for up to 12 months or the plan can be ‘paid up’ without the need for any further payments. Charges are still taken and the value of the plan will vary as funds rise and fall.

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    What is the investment choice?

     There are 100 risk-rated funds covering all the major world markets and investment classes. The funds section of FPI’s website contains performance statistics which are updated monthly, fund prices which are updated daily and fund fact sheets on each fund.

    Savers can invest in up to 10 funds at any one time in US dollars, British pounds or euros. As a unit-linked fund, the first 18 months are considered the initial allocation. After that, the premiums buy accumulation units. Investors can switch investment funds at any time during the duration of the policy.

    What are the charges for the Savings Plan?

    The first 18 months of your regular contributions plus the first 18 months of any increase are used to purchase initial units. These have a penalty if you withdraw them before the end of your contract term. All regular payments to the Friends Provident International savings plan after the first 18 months are used to purchase accumulation units.

    Initial units have a charge of 1.5% per quarter and there is a plan fee of $6 per month. There is no additional entry cost for regular payments.  However lump sums will be subject to a bid-offer spread of 7%, that is they are deposited at the offer price and immediately drop down to the bid price. All withdrawals and switches between funds are done at the bid price.

    Annual policy charge structure – an annual fund administration charge of 1.2% of the plan value. Other charges = annual management charges and other fund expenses are imposed by the underlying fund manager and the amount depends on which fund is chosen.

    Other charges may arise for savers paying their premiums by credit card and lump sum payments. Payment by credit card into the FPI Premier Advance will result in a charge of between 1% and 1.95% of each payment additional cost.

    All withdrawals and switches between funds are done at the bid price. Annual policy charge structure – an annual fund administration charge of 1.2% of the plan value.

    What about access to my money?

    If having access to your cash before the savings term ends is important, then this is where the Friends Provident International Premier Advance Savings Plan has some flexibility. Although the plan will likely not have a cash-in value until you have paid at least 18 months’ worth of payments, savers can ultimately cash in the plan when they wish – but significant early redemption charges may apply and savers are likely to lose their bonus payments. Rather than end the plan, many savers take money from their plans as one-off withdrawals or regular income payments. If a saver dies, the plan pays 1% on top of the cash-in value on death.

    Are there any discounts or bonuses available?

    The Friends Provident International Premier Advance Savings Plan has a loyalty bonus applied after 10 years of full premium payment. The bonus is 0.5% and is applied monthly from the 10th anniversary of set-up forward as long as the agreed payments are maintained.


    Premier Advance: Time for a Review?

      If you have been holding a Premier Advance policy for around 10 years plus, it is essential to conduct a thorough review or analysis to determine if it remains the optimal investment choice. Financial markets and investment products evolve, and a decade-old policy might not be as efficient in meeting your current financial objectives.

      Conducting a scientific and mathematical analysis involves several key steps:

      1. Performance Analysis: Assess the historical performance of your Premier Advance policy against relevant benchmarks. This includes calculating the compound annual growth rate and comparing it to market indices.

      2. Cost-Benefit Analysis: Review the fee structure associated with the Premier Advance policy. Calculate the impact of management fees, administrative costs, and any other charges on your overall returns. Compare these costs to those of alternative investment products.

      3. Goal Alignment: Reassess your financial goals and time horizon. Use financial modeling techniques, to project the future performance of your investments under different scenarios. This helps in understanding the probability of achieving your financial objectives.

      4. Market Environment: Analyze the current market environment and economic indicators. Consider factors such as interest rates, inflation, and geopolitical risks that might affect your investment strategy.

      By undertaking this comprehensive review and mathematical analysis, we can identify whether your Premier Advance policy continues to meet your needs or if there are alternative investment options that could offer better performance, lower risk, or reduced costs. I encourage you to reach out for a detailed assessment to ensure your investment strategy is scientifically optimized for your financial future.

      Where Can I Help You Today?

      If you want to learn more about the Friends Provident International Savings Plan, or discover how to get your investment savings plan to work, then fill out our contact form below.

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