If you have been following Pension Life´s blogs, you will know that we have been conducting a series of investigations into qualified and registered financial advisers in various firms. Today is Woodbrook Group – qualified and registered? See question 5 on our blog about the ten essential questions to ask any advisory firm you are considering using:
IFAs and their clients are invited to add to it, correct it, improve it. Here’s a link to the three registers if you want to double check:
https://www.libf.ac.uk/members-and-alumni/sps-and-cpd-register – Claim to a DipFA
Here’s what Woodbrook Group say about themselves:
“Woodbrook Group is an international firm of financial advisors. We are proud to be independent as we are not owned by any financial institution or life insurance company. This makes us different from the majority of financial advisory companies which means we offer you unbiased and impartial advice.
Every individual has unique dynamics, goals and attitude to risk. Our team of highly experienced financial consultants can help you to identify your personal needs and devise professional solutions and services that are customized to your unique situation, objectives and goals.
Woodbrook Group is licensed to provide the investment services of investment advice.”
Woodbrook Group advisers – qualified and registered?
Despite stating the company operates in 30 different countries, I was unable to find any list detailing the members of their advisory team. They do, however, state that Woodbrook Group is authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (No: 297/16) and subject to the requirements of the EU’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID).
I found three names connected to this company via their website media page: Michael Doherty, who states he is the CEO; Andrew Heath, who is listed as office manager in Spain; Mark Slevin, listed for Cyprus office.
Michael Doherty – CEO – no financial qualifications listed – two people called Michael Doherty appear on the CII register with DipPFS so there´s a possibility he could be one of them – although I doubt it as one is based in Manchester and the other in Chester:
Andrew Heath – Country Manager Spain – spent the last 15 years providing Financial Offshore solutions however there is no mention of ANY financial qualifications
Mark Slevin – Regional Manager – Cyprus office – not listed on any of the three registers
However, through Linkedin, I have found further employees who are listed as purportedly working for Woodbrook Group.
I will, therefore, use this list for Woodbrook Group “advisers” – qualified and registered. However, the biggest concern about Woodbrook is that it is promoting structured products. Victims of the Continental Wealth Management scam will undoubtedly join in the warning about any adviser that uses structured notes as these are for professional investors only and are very risky. Of course, structured note providers do pay handsome introduction commissions of up to 8% (for the fraudulent Leonteq ones) – and that is one compelling reason to avoid any advisory firms which use these products.
Woodbrook Group advisers – qualified and registered? Employee list:
Hamaza Ali Kahn – Business Development Manager – Masters degree in Marketing Management no financial qualifications
Michael Allen MBA – Senior Business Development Manager – claims he advises in UK Pensions Transfer (QROPS) – No mention of any financial qualifications only business qualifications
Bálint Andrea – Partner Hungary and Slovakia – qualifications claimed – The Open University Postgraduate Finance, General
Robert Bennett – Senior Wealth Manager – claims CII but only to level 3 (need level 4 plus for Pension advice)
Graeme Blyth – Senior Consultant – Marbella – previous position include Wealth Manager – No mention of any financial qualifications
Sławomir Boguta – Financial ial Consultant Warsaw – qualifications claimed MBA, Marketing Management – No financial qualifications claimed
Andrew Broadband – Financial coordinator – Education states ‘some college’ no mention of any financial qualifications
Christina Doherty – Director – No financial qualifications claimed
Florin Dragan – Financial Consultant – qualifications claimed BBA, work history in sales -No financial qualifications claimed
Mark Dudgeon – Wealth Manager Cyprus – claims CISI – DOES NOT APPEAR ON THE REGISTER
Constantinos Fieros – Independent Financial Adviser – claims an MBA but no financial qualifications
Steven A Green – Financial Consultant palm area – qualifications claimed: Chartered Institute of House – No mention of any financial qualifications
Bert Grobler CISI – Financial Consultant – claims a qualification in CISI – Does appear on the register as Gysbert Grobler ACSI – WELL DONE Bert!
Terry Heath – Business Development Manager – claims qualifications in science and geography, no mention of financial qualifications
Adel Jones – Financial Consultant Hungry – specialities life savings, pensions… – No financial qualifications claimed
Tomas Koolhaas CISI – Business Development Lead CEE – claims a Masters Degree,
University of Amsterdam Finance and Financial Management Services and CISI – DOES NOT APPEAR ON THE CISI REGISTER
Josh Melcher – Senior Financial Consultant Hungary – Strong finance professional graduated from Algonquin College, no mention of official financial qualifications
Senan Mc Gonigle FCA – Country Director Cyprus – claims FCA – was unable to check claim through the website: https://www.charteredaccountants.ie
Maria Milaj – Group Compliance Officer, Cyprus – previous positions include Pensions Expert – qualifications claimed Budapest Business School – Finance and Accounting.
James Peoples – Business Development – MSC in Social sciences NO financial qualifications
Jason Truesdale – Country Manager Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia – No financial qualifications claimed
Jacob Walters -Senior Partner (Europe) & Head of UK pension transfer Division – claims a host of financial qualifications including CISI – DOES NOT APPEAR ON CISI REGISTER
Omer Zahid – Business Development Manager – No mention of any financial qualifications
Woodbrook Group advisers – qualified and registerered. Just 1/26