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Arch Financial Products enters Asia and Middle East market with Financial Partners stake

UK-based alternative investment manager Arch Financial Products has made a substantial investment in Financial Partners Group, an international firm of independent financial advisers with offices in the Middle East and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Arch has taken a 48 per cent stake in Financial Partners to boost the IFA firm's expansion in the Middle East and Asia, where it provides personalised investment, wealth management and advisory services for private clients, corporates and expatriates.

The firms say the transaction gives the group a significantly strengthened capital base to enable it to implement plans to pursue revenue growth and control costs. Financial Partners' strategy involves franchising, mergers and acquisition of IFA firms in countries and territories where it is already established and licensed.

The investment is designed to boost Arch's presence in Asia and the Middle East and provide a platform for its alternative investment product range. Arch will also develop customised products to suit Asian and Middle Eastern investors in conjunction with Financial Partners' banking arm, FP Bank.

'Financial Partners provides a highly complementary platform in terms of business mix and geographical spread of clients,' says Arch chief executive Robin Farrell. 'They are well positioned to benefit from the emerging market trends in the asset management and wealth management sectors.

'This acquisition further demonstrates our strategy of activist investing in innovative financial businesses. It is a transformation investment for their business and one which provides opportunities for Arch to expand into their territories.'

Financial Partners chairman Sean Kelleher says: 'Banks are targeting either the retail market or the high net worth market, which has left an untapped area of opportunity in three highly distinct niches including the growing expatriate segment, upwardly mobile individuals and the growing breed of small and medium-sized enterprises.

'Our approach to the advisory business, unique market positioning and plan for growth has captured the institutional imagination and the successful conclusion of this deal will enable Financial Partners to fulfil our goal of becoming the 'family office' for the mass affluent.'

London-based Arch Group is provides specialist asset management and structured investment products and services to retail and institutional investors. The group was established in 2002 and now has more than 50 investment partners and staff, managing investments totalling just under USD2bn in alternative asset classes such as private equity and private finance and covering areas such as sustainable and environmental themes, natural resources, energy, real estate and regions such as China and Africa.

Financial Partners is one of the largest offshore financial intermediaries in the Middle East and Asia with more than 150 financial advisers and wealth managers. The firm has more than USD1bn under advice, including USD250m in proprietary structures, and a presence in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.

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