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Guernsey-based Generali Worldwide has officially been named Utmost International (Utmost International have completed 11 acquisitions over 5 years).
Utmost International is a life assurance group that provides solutions designed to preserve clients’ assets. Headquartered in London, they operate from eight offices around the world with life insurance entities based in Ireland, the Isle of Man and Guernsey.
Their principal business lines are Utmost Wealth Solutions and Utmost Corporate Solutions.
Utmost International says that they seek to be the leading provider of insurance products to wealthy individuals in countries where insurance offers a planning advantage.
They are a leading provider of international life insurance across markets like the UK, Continental Europe, the Middle East and operate in over 15 key markets across the globe.
NOTE: Utmost International has taken over any existing policies sold by Generali, including the Vision Savings Plan's existing customers. However, for new investors in the UAE, this plan is no longer available (pulled in March 2019).
The Vision Savings Plan is a regular premium, whole of life, life assurance contract.
It offers a wide range of investment funds and relatively short initial periods (when initial units as opposed to accumulation units are being purchased).
It is relatively easy for this endowment-type of regular savings plan to be mis-represented. The main area of contention is often to do with the lack of flexibility and difficulty in understanding their charging structures.
Many plan holders are usually unaware that upon early full encashment, most, if not all of the first 18 months – 2 years premiums are lost through surrender charges.
The outdated construction of this plan now makes it a relatively unattractive option for many international investors who wish to maximise their return.
Utmost International (formerly known as Generali Worldwide) Vision Savings Plan charges:
The Vision Savings Plan charges can be summarised below.
NOTE: Charges will vary according to the type of plan taken out from Utmost International (formerly known as Generali Worldwide) as they offer different charging structures largely linked to the amount of commission or earnings being taken by the third party salesman or adviser.
The plan fee is £3 per month or currency equivalent.
Applies only to single premiums and levied at 1.5%.
Investment administration charge:
1.5% per annum is deducted annually in arrears from the accumulation units allocated to the plan.
Charges within the underlying fund:
Early encashment warning:
A full encashment results in penalties being applied through surrender charges linked to the term of the policy. In essence, all your premiums are forfeited if surrendered during the initial period. For a 25 year plan, this period would be 23 months.
It is important to be aware that the Vision Plan is a long-term savings plan, if you decided to cancel the plan early it is likely that you will lose a large proportion of the money you have saved.
It offers a selection of around 200 investment options, from external fund managers and internally managed funds, to match a wide variety of investment profiles.
You may select up to 10 different investment choices corresponding to underlying funds at outset into which your premiums may be invested, provided that the amount to be allocated in relation to each investment choice is above the minimum allocation requirement.
Policies are available in:
The minimum regular premiums for terms of more than 10 years are:
£200 monthly, £600 quarterly, £1,200 half yearly, £2,400 annually (or currency equivalent.)
For plans with a premium payment term of less than 10 years, the minimum regular premiums are 2.5 times those above.
I had absolutely no idea that this was not a flexible savings policy - because I'd specifically ask for a flexible savings account.
I was sold a load of flannel from an IFA my brother recommended to me - and when I tried to access my savings to invest in my new business I discovered everything was effectively gone.
The IFA told me if I carried on saving my money would come back in to play - or he offered me an alternative savings policy which was obviously unacceptable.
More cost effective, flexible and less complex options are now available for senior international professionals.
If you already hold a Generali Vision savings plan from Generali lnternational and it is worth £250,000 or more, we strongly recommend you seek a Second Opinion to ensure you are on track to get and keep the life you want.