ABOUT VFS INTERNATIONAL
VFS provides tailor made solutions to protect clients and their families from the unexpected and enable them to meet their current financial needs while preserving wealth and securing their estates for the future.
VFS International is an independent group of financial advisers established in 1995, headquartered in Mauritius with clients spread globally. Regulated by the Financial Services Commission in Mauritius and in all the jurisdictions in which we operate, we offer a range of services to help private and corporate clients make informed financial decisions.
We have no institutional shareholders and therefore no financial obligations to any institution. This independence guarantees our clients objective and unbiased advice and the freedom to choose from many large, well-established and reputable service providers.
By making timely decisions based on robust financial advice, we believe
families can enjoy life while avoiding the common generational cycle
of dilution and decline. With the right measures in place, it is possible
to maintain your estate during your lifetime and to leave a legacy for
the generation that, all too often, has to start again.
OUR MISSION - Protect, Create, Secure
Our aim is to structure our clients' financial affairs in order to:
- PROTECT them from unexpected events such as death, injury or critical illness;
- CREATE wealth for present and future generations by maximising capital and income and minimising the effects of taxation and inflation; and
- SECURE their estates against unstable political and economic conditions.
VFS is well established in Sub-Saharan Africa and Mauritius and, with clients becoming increasingly mobile, we are expanding operations. We strive to build professional long-term relationships with our clients based on sound ethical practices and mutual respect. Our relationships with our staff and providers are also based on the same values.
Our reputation as trusted international specialists is strong in the
countries in which we operate. It is built on the following six key
- Our advisers. Many of our advisers have worked with VFS since its foundation. They have a reputation for building long-term, professional yet personal relationships with clients and their families that often last from one generation to the next.
- Our independence. With no institutional shareholders, VFS is able to provide our clients with well-informed, genuinely unbiased and independent advice.
- Our providers. Since VFS has no commercial obligations to any financial service providers, we are able to offer a wide variety of large well-established and reputable product providers. We choose from the best in the industry and select only according to their ability to meet the individual needs of our clients and our own strict criteria. We undertake regular and thorough research to ensure that we continue to offer the very best products and services available.
- Our approach. At VFS, we know that no two clients are the same and that there is no "one size fits all" solution. That is why our advisers treat every client as an individual with unique requirements relating to income, risk and timescales. We invest time getting to know our clients' financial situations, concerns and objectives so that we can build a tailored financial plan that serves their specific needs.
- Regulation: VFS takes a belt and braces approach to regulation. Our services are fully regulated by the FSC in Mauritius, one of the most well regulated Offshore Financial Centres and where possible, in every jurisdiction in which we operate. In countries where there are no regulations, we are actively involved in pursuing them. This gives both our clients and our insurance intermediaries protection and is critical to our success.
- Security and confidentiality: We take security and confidentiality
very seriously. We provide all our clients with a client login service,
providing them with a safe and secure place to manage their financial
affairs and store important documents in digital form. All our data
is stored on a secure server owned by us but operated in the Isle
of Man. Servers - and the data they contain - located in this jurisdiction
are subject to the island's stringent data protection and privacy
"Being part of a group of advisers who tend to stay with VFS in the long term has enabled me to offer reassuring continuity to my clients. It is comforting for them and me to know that, when the time comes, I can pass on my clients to another VFS adviser, giving them the continuity of staying with VFS. I know that my clients will not be left in the lurch when I eventually retire."
To ensure our clients receive a consistently high level of service, we place strong emphasis on the quality of our people, together with an ethical and caring approach. All our financial advisers have a proven track record of meeting clients' expectations. Most have over fifteen years' experience, half have worked with VFS for ten years and one third have been with us since we were founded over twenty years ago.
Our advisers live in the communities in which they work, giving them personal insights into the challenges faced by many of their clients. They also understand that every client is different. That is why our advisers spend time listening to their clients and understanding their unique financial situations, needs and objectives.
Since VFS has no institutional shareholders, our advisers are free from any commercial obligations. They are able to give genuinely objective and unbiased advice and are able to choose from the best available products and services.
Many of our advisers now own a stake in VFS. This gives them an incentive to provide their clients with the best possible recommendations. It also commits them to VFS in the long term, enabling them to guarantee continuity and to develop a succession plan for when the time comes.
VFS clients come from many walks of life. They include the internationally mobile and local nationals. They may be high net worth individuals, families living in countries throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond or businesses. Many of our clients have been with us for several generations.
No two clients are the same. Each brings unique requirements for income, tax efficiency, risk, flexibility, level and timescale. Some clients prioritize growth from their capital while others wish to focus on deriving an income from it. So there is no "one size fits all" solution.
Although all our clients are different, what they have in common is
the need for sound advice and impeccable service.
We think that the large proportion of new clients referred to us by existing clients bears testament to our success in delivering both.
Once you have decided to appoint VFS, you will be given a personal adviser who will take you through a set of steps in order to understand your personal situation and objectives and to tailor-make a financial plan that meets your specific needs. These steps are as follows:
- Your financial adviser will make a detailed assessment of your financial situation, objectives and risk profile.
- He or she will then develop an appropriate, fully researched and comprehensive financial plan. Once the plan has been discussed and accepted, the recommendations contained within the plan will be implemented.
- Once the plan has been accepted, you will be awarded a secure client login ID and password. This online facility, accessed via the VFS website, enables you to upload, store and manage information in a private and secure space and gives you 24 hour access to live valuations, contracts and communications from your personal adviser.
- Your financial adviser will carry out regular interviews to determine any additional requirements or changing circumstances.
- Your financial plan will be adjusted to take into account any change in your situation, needs or objectives.
- Your portfolio may be rebalanced to ensure that it continues to serve your financial objectives.
Advice and 'Execution Only'
VFS advisers will seek comprehensive information about your personal circumstances in order to give you the best possible advice. If you cannot provide full details of your circumstances, VFS is still able to proceed on an 'execution only' basis. This means that VFS will act on your instructions without providing advice as to their suitability.
VFS considers ongoing service to be of vital importance. You will be contacted by your personal adviser on a regular basis. The frequency of contact will depend on your individual needs. If you require advice at any other time, you should contact your adviser or, in their absence, the Operations Director of VFS International at the following office or email address:
VFS International Ltd,
10th Floor, Tower 1,
Under no circumstances will your adviser agree to provide discretionary investment management services unless permitted within the terms of local regulations. Where appropriate, and with the appropriate disclaimer, you may appoint a discretionary adviser or make your own investment selections if you wish.
Authority to act
You may, at any time, revoke your authority for VFS to act on your behalf in writing both to VFS and to the relevant institution providing the product. Please note that this may affect certain policies where VFS has exclusive rights to market such products. You will be advised of the implications in such a situation.
VFS undertakes to provide you with full details of the products recommended including illustrations, policy provisions (if requested) and all information as required by the relevant regulator.
VFS does not under any circumstances handle clients' money. All monies should be sent to the product provider either by cheque, bank transfer, standing order, direct debit, credit card transfer or similar. Cheques made payable to VFS (unless for specific fees) will be returned. Cash and travellers cheques will not be accepted at any time. All proceeds from surrender, encashment or withdrawal will be paid to you. Such monies will not be paid to VFS or its advisers at any time.
VFS receive fees from the companies providing the products concerned. These may take the form of initial commissions, ongoing fees or trail commissions. This means that you do not pay for the associated advice unless specific professional services are involved, in which case you will be advised in advance that a fee may be payable.
The insurance company will issue the policy documents directly to VFS who will undertake to check the documentation before delivering it to you. You should also check the documentation upon receipt and notify us of any changes required or anything you do not understand.
Professional indemnity insurance
In line with the Financial Services Commission requirement, all VFS advisers are covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance.
VFS will only use information provided by you for the purpose of assisting you with ongoing advice, due diligence and administration of your policies. Data and information will only be used in ways that are allowed by law. VFS may be required to provide same to its regulator or anyone else required by law.
Any comments or complaints regarding the service provided or a product purchased from VFS should be made to:
The Compliance Dept
VFS International Ltd,
10th Floor, Tower 1,
Comments and complaints will normally be acknowledged within 10 working days.
Social responsibility is embedded in our philosophy at VFS. Many of our advisers are long-term residents in Africa, living and working alongside their clients. They understand the importance of giving something back to the communities in which they live.
Although VFS now operates around the world, our corporate roots are in Africa. VFS takes its corporate responsibility to the continent in which it was first established very seriously. We support a number of small but extremely effective charities, including the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and Liberation Libraries. Providing financial support to hard-working charities like these is an investment in our future. As Africa's vast natural resources come under more pressure from increased trade, development and illegal exploitation and the gap between rich and poor widens, initiatives like these need our support more than ever.
The two main charities we support are focused on the preservation of endangered animals in their wild habitat and improving the lives and futures of rural communities.
The David Shepherd Foundation (DSWF)
DSWF is a charity funding projects in Africa and Asia that help to preserve endangered animals in their wild habitats. Light on bureaucracy but heavy on funding, DSWF is having a real impact on the survival of critically endangered mammals.
The individuals and charities supported by DSWF are at the frontline in the battle against poaching. Recent achievements include:
- the exposure of ivory cartels in Zambia resulting in the confiscation of thousands of pounds worth of ivory and the arrest of the poachers responsible;
- funding extra security to protect black rhino in South Africa;
- the extension of one of South Africa's National Parks by over 200% in order to help save the last 800 surviving mountain zebra;
- funding undercover operations by Africa's first cross-border Task Force dedicated to fighting wildlife smuggling; and
- the launch of a campaign to bring an end to the illegal trade in tiger parts and to save the tiger in the wild.
Importantly, DSWF also funds art and school projects whose purpose is to educate young people living alongside endangered mammals about their plight. For more information and to read about their current projects, please visit the charity's website at: http://www.davidshepherd.org
Liberation Libraries is a small charity working to improve the lives, education and aspirations of communities in South Africa by donating and delivering thousands of books and resources to those who would not otherwise have access to them. Since its foundation in 2014, the charity has already donated 3,500 books - all kept and maintained by the communities they support using their own tailor-made library system.
Liberation Libraries is currently focusing on primary schools in the KwaZulu-Natal region where many children grow up without books. In 2015, they brought over 1000 books to Ramlakan Primary School where they installed their first library system. The library has since expanded with regional support and its impact on pupils' literacy has been astonishing. In 2016, the charity delivered over 1500 books to a further two primary schools in the region where they also installed libraries. The charity is now building a multi-resource centre for adults and children in the Macambini community, which serves 16 schools.
For more information and to keep up to date with their progress, please visit the charity's website: http://liberationlibraries.co.uk
VFS is delighted to be able to support two charities making such a difference to the lives and futures of Africa's most precious resources: its people and its wildlife.