Old Mutual International is a leading cross-border provider of wealth management solutions.
They are one of the few financial service providers to operate in multiple global markets, offering effective financial planning solutions to expatriates and local investors across the world including Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.
Old Mutual International is part of Quilter plc, a leading provider of advice, investments and wealth management both in the UK and internationally, managing £118.4 billion of investments on behalf of over 900,000 customers (as at 30 June 2019). Quilter plc is our group holding company and it listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges on 25 June 2018.
This review is based on the Isle of Man based Offshore/International Old Mutual International (OMI) Executive Bond products exclusively. OMI provides investment solutions for both expatriates and the local markets around the world, including Africa, Asia, mainland Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the United Kingdom.
The Old Mutual International Executive Redemption Bond is an offshore, whole of life policy (or ‘bond’) that accepts single premiums. The Executive Redemption Bond is a capital redemption contract with a 99-year fixed term. It continues until the end of the term unless cashed in earlier. At the end of the term the bond has a guaranteed value of at least twice the premium amount you have paid (less any withdrawals or surrenders).
The ERB bond is issued in the form of a single policy or several separate polices known as a “cluster of polices”. The initial charging term is fixed (based upon the charging structure agreed) at the time of the policy activation and this cannot be varied or waived; therefore, early encashment of the policy results in a “surrender charge” or “early withdrawal charge”.
If you are considering a Old Mutual International (OMI) Executive Bond then ensure you fully understand the local taxation position and weigh any benefits against flexibility requirements, access and charges.
Many international investors find managing a portfolio of funds an administrative burden. With the International Executive Redemption Bond, Old Mutual International takes care of this by establishing a portfolio of Old Mutual International funds within the account and managing any paperwork on your behalf.
Normally if a particular investment is under-performing, then changing strategy or fund manager may mean you suffer not only exit penalties and new initial charges on a new investment, but also a possible tax liability as well. By choosing an Executive Redemption Bond, you potentially avoid this problem.
The Executive Redemption Bond provides flexibility and freedom of choice, through access to a wide range of investment asset types from multiple providers.
This wide investment choice is known as open architecture. It enables you to invest in mutual funds, stocks and shares, fixed-interest securities, multi- currency deposits, hedge funds, structured notes, exchange-traded funds and other alternative investment, which means you can customise your portfolio precisely to your individual needs and preferences, without having to compromise in order to fit in with pre-set rules and parameters.
The structure of a bond means that you need a custodian to hold, on Old Mutual international’s behalf, the assets that you decide to link to your bond. You can choose your own custodian, which is likely to be the financial institution you currently have a relationship and who are advising you. If you don’t have your own custodian, then Old Mutual international will use its own appointed custodian to play this important role for you.
Lump sum minimum of £50,000. You can make additional lump-sum payments into your policy at any time with a minimum of £2,500. However, you will pay any initial fund charges on all contributions.
The Old Mutual International Executive Redemption Bond can be set up a policy in 1 of 13 currencies including Pound sterling (GBP), Euro (EUR), United States dollar (USD).
Charges will depend on the type of plan you take out from Old Mutual International as they offer different charging structures. They should provide you with a charges schedule, which will detail:
There is an annual policy charge which is fixed at outset. There may also be a percentage of the value of your fund to cover management costs in the early years which is typically 1% per annum and will last for 10 years sometimes through lifetime.
Fund management charges are typically between 1 – 2.5% pa each year- depending on the funds chosen, but these are not typically listed by OMI at point of purchase but is the role of your adviser to help you better understand these costings.
Additionally there may be an adviser charge to manage the portfolio, this is also typically between 0.75% – 1.5% per annum depending on the chosen advisers service provided.
In the main the OMI Executive Bond charges are clearly shown and any professional should be able to interpret them.
A full encashment will result in exit penalties being applied in the early years through surrender charges linked to the term of the policy. The amount of this charge reflects the cost of Old Mutual Internationals set up fee, including any payments made by Old Mutual International to your financial adviser.
Old Mutual International has a great reputation but, in the pursuit of offering flexibility of charging structure to all types of advisers they have created a product that has the same name but completely different costs.
One-off or regular withdrawals, which will be free of charge as long as you leave in a surrender value of £10,000/US$15,000/€15,000 (or another currency equivalent), or at least 25% of your total investment, whichever is higher.
The treatment of your policy when a death occurs depends on whether there are surviving policyholders. If a policyholder has died and at least one policyholder is still alive, the bond will continue and will automatically transfer to the surviving policyholder(s).
If the last policyholder has died, the bond will continue until the end of the 99-year term. Ownership of the bond will pass to one of the following parties:
In all other cases, ownership will be transferred to the legal personal representatives of the deceased policyholder’s estate. They can then choose whether to keep the bond and appoint a beneficiary to become the policyholder by executing a deed of assignment or encash the bond to pay the proceeds to your estate’s beneficiaries.
If you want to learn more about the Old Mutual International Executive Redemption Bond, or, discover how to get your investment savings plan to work, then fill out our contact form below.