updated 12:49 AM CEST, Jun 18, 2021

‘Skybound Wealth’ is new brand in U.S. expat advisory space

The Securities and Exchange Commission building in Washington, DC The Securities and Exchange Commission building in Washington, DC

Skybound Wealth Management – a global wealth advisory business that was formed last year after multi-jurisdictional Skybound Capital Group acquired a British expat-focused company known as GWM (formerly Guardian Wealth Management) – says it’s preparing to open its doors to American expats.

Last month the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission approved Skybound WM’s registration as an SEC-regulated entity, enabling it to provide advice “across all 50 U.S. states” as well as overseas, as a U.S.-regulated firm.

According to Tom Pewtress, regional manager for Skybound’s Dubai outpost – where Guardian Wealth has long been an established financial advice provider to British expats – Skybound is in the process of setting itself up to do business on behalf of American clients from outposts in key markets, including the UAE and Switzerland. It’s doing this by, among other things, establishing terms of business with such U.S. expatriate providers as Interactive Brokers and Charles Schwab, Pewtress says.

Lyon Botha, the chief executive of Skybound Wealth, adds that the company intends to look after non-Americans who live in the U.S. as well as Americans who live overseas.

For this reason, in addition to obtaining SEC- regulated status, it’s established offices in Miami as well as Henderson, Nevada, and is looking to open additional outposts in New York and Dallas in the next 18 months, according to Botha, a South African who was part of the team that launched what was to become Skybound Capital out of Cape Town in 2015.

Australia, where Skybound Capital already has offices, is also understood to be a target area for Skybound Wealth Management’s American expat operations.

In addition to Dubai and London, Skybound Wealth Management currently has offices in Sheffield, England; Geneva, Switzerland; and Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Guardian Wealth

Until recently, Guardian Wealth was one of the best-known financial advisory firms in the British expat advisory sector, with offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Zurich, Geneva, London, and for a time, Qatar.

It had been founded by two Britons, David Howell and John Hasberry, who continued to run it even after they sold a stake in it six years ago to Suzerain Investment Holdings, a private equity vehicle operated by Skybound Capital.

Suzerain reportedly enabled GWM to almost treble its assets under management in the four years ending last March, when Skybound Capital acquired that part of GWM it didn’t already own.

At that point Howell and Hasberry left the business.

According to Botha and Pewtress, Skybound Wealth Management is currently looking to recruit wealth managers with experience of advising American expatriates.

Added Botha: “Since the acquisition [of GWM], we have focused on understanding the needs of both clients and employees to ensure [that] we build towards, and implement, the changes required to ensure we are looking after our two most important stake holders.

Across the company, since the acquisition, we have seen an increase in retention levels and overall client satisfaction, which are positive early signs, and suggest that we’re off to a good start.”

More information on Skybound Wealth may be found on its website.