Prague-headquartered Aisa International's European advice network OpesFidelio has received formal notification from the Czech regulator that it has been granted a licence to operate as a portfolio manager securities trader with discretionary powers.

The new licence enables OpesFidelio Network to offer its advisers both discretionary investment services and insurance licences under Mifid and IDD within the EU.

Chief executive James Caldwell said in a statement issued today (10 January): "This is not just the standard basic Mifid licence that most firms in our market apply for. This licence also allows Aisa International to act in a discretionary way with more than just collectives or passive instruments.

"The extra time and commitment put into obtaining this licence was worth any delay due to the benefits of the additional services we can offer to clients."

Aisa International chief investment officer Chris Lean said: "The end of UK passporting into the EU/EEA meant that firms that wished to consider providing investment advice to the same market would either have had to cease their activities or apply for new licences.

"The application for this licence involved not only a management team, but many qualified local staff, having to take local securities trading exams in order to comply with local legislation.

"It is fact that local exams were required before Brexit but this was never really enforced. So potential clients of advice firms operating in the EU really need to check this."

Clive Tutton, director of UK-based Aisa Financial Planning and its international sister company, said: "There has been some quite deliberate false information promulgated by some advice firms about British pension and investment funds and advice in the EU over the past year.

"For example, pensions are not actually covered by Mifid rules and, despite what some advice firms have been saying in public, there is no reason why someone living in the EU with a British pension cannot contact a UK advice firm if that UK firm has cover to provide advice."

He added: "However, with our combined full suite of licences, we are now able to offer adv ice from dual qualified individuals across the EU and UK, and operate in a discretionary way with portfolio management.

"We recognise that firms in the EU will not have terms of business with the majority of UK pensions providers. As Aisa has both EU and UK licences, this means that the Aisa Group can offer a full service to those that have UK pensions and investments who are resident in the EU, which would be seamless if they return to the UK."