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Cogs4Cancer 2015 – Barcelona to Antibes

By Spectrum IFA
This article is published on: 8th October 2015

The Finish Line

Just after 5pm the peloton arrived into the IYCA Quay in the port of Antibes. The 24 strong group of riders had completed 870km in five days – a momentous feat by any standard. As the riders approached the quay they were re-joined by approximately 80  riders riders that had joined them for the last 88km on the French Tribute Ride. The superyachts at berth along the quay hooted their horns in celebration with over 200 other people waiting to greet the riders at the finish line.

The Spectrum IFA Group had sponsored Lee Mutch and the Cote d’Azur team were on hand to congratulate Lee and the other riders on finishing the trip.

As of Saturday Cogs4Cancer 2015 has raised €252, 716.70

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Day Five – the final stage

Cogs4 Cancer Tribute Ride – La Ciotat to Antibes

stage5Friday 9th October, the final stage but one of the longest days ride with about 180km to covered. Saddle soar, battered and bruised, the riders will definitely be looking forwardt o today’s ride. After completing about 100km the main team of riders will be meeting the guys and girls in Cogolin for the Tribute Ride in to Antibes. With the extra 80 plus riders bring home the main team, the afternoon will be a little more relaxed and jovial!

The whole team of riders are expected to enter the IYCA Quay for the official finish line for about 17.00. So if your in the Antibes area Friday afternoon,  join us all welcoming in the Cogs4Cancer riders.

Don’t forget to keep up to speed with the riders en-route with the live tracking here .

If you feel their efforts are worthy you can also donate here

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Day Four

Thursday 8th October, the penultimate day and the finish line in sight…well, almost! After yesterday’s ride, probably the most challenging yet, the team are certainly on the home straight. Leaving from Nimes, the team will ride south-east towards Aix-en-Provence which will be at their 110km mark. After taking in the delights of Aix and the stunning scenery…. they will  sweep further south. The Cogs4Cancer team will head towards La Ciotat for teh Day four finish line, bringing the days total ride to over 170km. Arriving in La Ciotat will be a milestone and they will be met by many friends joining them for the final days Tribute Ride.

Cogs4Cancer stage 4The French Tribute Ride will see upwards of 80 riders joining the main team of 24, to cycle  either 82km from La Ciotat to Antibes or the shorter 33km from Col de Testanier into Antibes on Friday, the final day. Last years welcoming event was superb, with hundreds of family and friends at the IYCA Quay in Antibes to welcome in the saddle sore riders after their 2014 ride from Ancona in Italy. This years welcome celebrations are expected to be even bigger, so if you are in the Antibes area Friday 9th October at about 17.00 join in the festivities and welcoming back the riders after their 850km ride form Barcelona.

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Day Three

Wednesday 7th October will see the riders starting in Narbonne, traveling near the coast along to Agne, then moving up towards Montpellier which is at the 100km mark for day three. Staying inland the team of riders will be heading for the finish line in Nimes, about 169km for the days ride.

Cogs4Cancer stage3Not forgetting the real purpose of this incredible ride.  All proceeds, that means absolutely 100% of the money raised will go to charity. The Cogs4Cancer riders have completely self-funded the whole trip with the support, sustenance and medical assistance through out this week, generously given for free.


Don’t forget to keep up to speed with the riders en-route with the live tracking here . If you feel their efforts are worthy you can also donate here

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Day Two

Tuesday 6th October will take the riders from Figueres in Spain across the boarder into France with the day two finish line in Narbonne, just a little relaxing ride of about 170km! Only three more days in the saddle for team.

Cogs4Cancer stage2Keep up to speed with the riders on the following tracking app here.

In the image gallery below you can see images of the support vehicles supplying the Cogs4Cancer riders with welcome food breaks kindly supplied by the ladies from Gourmet Deliveries and EGP. Delicious food packed full of carbohydrates and protein to keep the guys and girls going.

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Day One

On Sunday the Spectrum Barcelona office turned out to support about 40 riders who joined the Spanish tribute ride, beginning the route at OneOcean Port Vell Marina. The guest riders supporting Cogs4Cancer took the ‘Ronda Verda’ circular route, a circuit for cyclists crossing the natural scenery throughout the Barcelonès county. This route consisted of six main sections: Montjuïc, Llobregat, Riverside Park, Serralada de Marina Park and the Sea Front.

At 07.30 on Monday 5th October the 24 riders will embark from OneOcean Marina Port Vell, Barcelona on a ride that will take them 850km over the next five days with the finish line awaiting them in Antibes, France.

Day one will take the riders along the coast north to Tossa de Mar and then inland continuing north to the stage one finish in Figueres, covering roughly 165km. The Spectrum IFA are proud to be sponsoring Lee Mutch & Cogs4Cancer and will be in Antibes on Friday 9th October to welcome the whole team to the finish line.

Cogs4Cancer stage1   

As of Monday October 5th, Cogs4Cancer 2015 has raised €214.333,51. The four charities supported are: CANCER RESEARCH UK, L’ARCHET HOSPITAL NICE, CANCER SUPPORT GROUP 06 and ISIS CENTRE AZUREEN DE CANCEROLOGIE WELLBEING PROGRAMME.

There is a live tracking of the riders here so you can see the progress. If you feel their efforts are worthy you can also donate here

At The Spectrum IFA Group we feel it is a very worthy cause and so we are proud to have sponsored a rider, Lee Mutch. We wish good luck to all the team.



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Le Tour de Finance – autumn 2015

By Spectrum IFA
This article is published on: 25th September 2015

We have been proudly taking part in ‘Le Tour de Finance’ which has now completed nearly 100 events.

The 100th event is in November taking place at the stunning Grand Hotel in Dinard. During 2015 we have already covered events in  Italy, France and Spain that proved to be a huge success. The events are fact filled sessions followed by an opportunity for an informal questions and answers session over complimentary refreshments and a buffet.

The relaxed and open forums are a chance to expand your knowledge of personal finance as an expat resident in France. The panel of speakers are experts in their respective fields and are on-hand to answer questions you may have about protecting and strengthening your personal financial situation while a resident in France.

We welcome you to join us for these autumn events in France.

    •    St. Endreol (Provence) – 7th October register now | more info
    •    Aix en Provence – 8th October register now | more info
    •    Gayda (Languedoc-Roussillon) – 9th October register now | more info
    •    Avrillé, Loire – 11th November register now | more info
    •    Dinard (Brittany) – 12th November – OUR 100th LE TOUR DE FINANCE EVENT! register now | more info

The objective of Le Tour de Finance is to provide expatriates with useful information relating to their financial lives.
 We try and cover frequently asked questions that we receive from our clients. It would be helpful for us to know what your particular areas of interest might be.

Send us your questions and the event you will be attending and we will try and cover them on the day:

Please click here for Le Tour de Finance Questions

Cogs4Cancer 2015 – The new kit has arrived

By Spectrum IFA
This article is published on: 10th September 2015

c4c-shirt-2015-spectrum-ifa copyCheck out the new Cogs4Cancer 2015 team colours !!!

The Spectrum IFA Group are for the second year running sponsoring Lee Mutch, Director at Inter-Nett Monaco.

Starting in 2013, Cogs4Cancer has grown year on year with over €563,000 raised so far. A truly spectacular event, this year is proving to be even bigger than last years ride with the total amount raised just for the 2015 event reaching €164,058.91 (as of 9th September).

Starting on Monday 5th October in Barcelona, the Spectrum team will be at the starting line to wish all the riders the very best of luck on their heroic journey covering 850KM in 5 days.



The Spectrum IFA Group and Cogs4Cancer

By Spectrum IFA
This article is published on: 5th August 2015


cogs4cancer2col2aIn October 2015, the COGS4CANCER riders are saddling up again. This year is even bigger with a two team format. 26 riders will cycle 850km from Barcelona, Spain to Antibes, France in just 5 days.

The Spectrum IFA Group are once again delighted to be sponsoring
Lee Mutch on this epic ride.


The are four main charities that will benefit directly from this years ride; Cancer Research UK, l’Archet Hospital Nice, Cancer Support Group 06 and Clinique Tzanck Wellbeing.

The ride in October will be the third for the Cogs4Cancer team that have so far raised €399560 since 2013 and at this point in time, the 2015 event has raised a massive €106680.44.

Everyone at The Spectrum IFA Group wishes Lee and the other 25 riders all the very best of luck.

To follow the event and riders please visit the Cogs4Cancer website

The full spectrum – an interview with

By Spectrum IFA
This article is published on: 3rd July 2015


With a dozen offices dotted around Western Europe and a flourishing profit ownership scheme under its belt, Spectrum IFA Group certainly shows no signs of slowing down as it now enters into its 12th year.

The firm’s founders might continually roam between six countries, but the UK appears to be at the heart of the business, with the vast majority of Spectrum’s advisers and clients born and bred in the British Isles. Speaking to International Adviser from France, one of the firm’s three founders, Michael Lodhi, mentions he is holding out for Scotsman Andy Murray to perform well this summer, particularly as the warm weather is said to be the prime climate for the tennis player. Climate, however, seems to be no obstacle for Spectrum, having survived the global financial crisis while maintaining a solid number of IFAs, many of whom have been with the firm for an ample number of years.

Strong bond
The 45 advisers might be peppered around the Continent, working with clients based in France, Spain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Switzerland, yet Lodhi maintains that this is a close-knit army of financial planners. “There is a certain atmosphere and a strong bond between the advisers within Spectrum and that’s very clear. Obviously that’s a good thing, but what’s more important is that we do our jobs properly,” he says. “We are very careful with how we guide clients with their investments and their financial planning; if we do that correctly and properly then our clients will do well and be able to sleep at night, as will our advisers.”

The core members of the company – including founders Anne Ollerenshaw, Michael Lodhi, and the now semi-retired David Holmes – have known each other for over a decade, but no doubt Spectrum’s profit share system also plays a key role in its collaborative vibe, particularly as the last four years have seen the firm build up enough reserves to ensure its advisers all get a substantial piece of the pie.

By insisting that IFAs use daily-traded EU-compliant UCITS funds from large brands, the firm also avoids some of the issues, like suspended funds, which brokers can frequently be faced with. But Spectrum is not only strict with the underlying investments advisers use within tax wrappers. “Our criteria for selecting advisers is quite tough and that is why we have grown nice and steadily,” says Lodhi.

Same boat
What is notable is that most of Spectrum’s advisers are in the same boat as their clients, living and working as expatriates. “We seem to have built the business partly on the virtue of the fact that our advisers are expats who are living locally in these areas themselves,” he says, before emphasising that financial advice is still very much about the relationship between an adviser and their client. “Though behind the scenes the IT side can be very valuable and helpful, people buy people, and I think the personal service and face-to-face meetings with an adviser remain very important in our market.” “If we hear criticisms of other financial institutions, it’s usually because the client has gone into the bank to ask for some advice and they want it to be like the old days where you went in to see your bank manager.

The banks obviously don’t do that anymore, but the financial advisory business is still there to provide that kind of hand-holding and personal level of service. “I believe that makes good business sense for the adviser because the closer you are to the client the more likely you are to do business with them,” says Lodhi. Local banks are the firm’s biggest competitor, but far from being daunted by rival businesses, Lodhi acknowledges that competition is healthy, and in fact the multi-currency tax wrappers the company offers are more suited to the niche expat market Spectrum serves.

Not better or worse
Despite the abundance of regulatory changes around the world forcing firms to restructure their remuneration models, Europe has not yet implemented any new RDR-like changes. Meanwhile, Lodhi has no reservations about his advisers using a commission-based model to receive payment. “It is not better or worse for the clients either way,” he says, comparing a commission-based structure to those firms which receive payment through fees. “I have looked at some UK IFAs and worked out what the bottom-line cost for the clients is going to be over a five to 10-year period and there is nothing much in it. It’s just another way of getting paid. “Clients look at the bottom-line cost and they also look at the level of service they are going to get. That’s certainly important to them, and we make sure we are transparent with how much everything costs when we sit down with clients.”

Prepared for change
Though the firm’s founders have not yet been tempted to take the plunge and move towards a fee-based payment model, that’s not to say Lodhi and Ollerenshaw are not keeping an eye on the ball and their minds open to changes. “You never know what these regulators and politicians are going to do until the time comes,” he says. “Obviously we are aware of various changes coming out of Brussels and in the future we might change our business model.

We have certainly been thinking about it and how we would do it. “But at the moment the regulations haven’t changed, so we will just have to wait and see and be prepared as best we can for any changes we think are coming.” One of the ways Spectrum keeps up-to-date with these changes is through its membership with associations like the Federation of European IFAs (FEIFA) and the European Federation of Financial Advisers and Financial Intermediaries (FECIF), which help to shine a light on any issues in the industry, while also giving firms the opportunity to voice concerns.

One of the biggest bugbears for Lodhi is the lack of fresh products in the market, particularly tax wrappers which are an integral part of Spectrum’s business. “All of the wrappers are quite similar and, having been in the European advisory industry for 24 years, there has been nothing much new out there,” he says. “There needs to be change in respect of some product structures, particularly in the area of regular savings. “The providers know they need to change, and we are just hoping this change comes sooner rather than later.”

European family
But one thing Lodhi hopes won’t come to fruition is a decision by the UK to cut ties with the European Union, a decision which is looming on the horizon as the British Government plans the date for a referendum. “Some of our clients do express their concerns about the UK’s membership with the EU. It’s definitely a worry for people living and working in Europe who are British, of which there are substantial numbers. “Having lived in Western Europe for a long time I personally feel like a European, and I think it would be very sad if the UK did leave the EU.”

The striking thing about Spectrum is the firm’s resounding focus on building and nurturing relationships. The term ‘family’ has often been used by those outside the business to describe the connection between its IFAs, and though Spectrum’s offices might be miles apart, it’s this European togetherness which is rooted in the way its advisers do business.

Le Tour de Finance 2015 in France

By Spectrum IFA
This article is published on: 8th June 2015


Le Tour de Finance has just completed its final stage of the spring 2015 events, after travelling through France, Italy and Spain. For those who are not familiar with these events, this is a series of seminars, where we bring ‘experts to expats’. Now in its sixth year and due to the popularity of Le Tour, the events take place in both spring and autumn. For the local events, we had some ‘’old and new faces’ presenting.

SEB Life International and Prudential International presented on the topic of assurance vie, explaining the tax-efficiency of this type of investment, both personal and for inheritance planning. Each of the companies outlined the unique features of their own products and it could be seen that the products complement each other, one or the other being more suited to a client, for example, depending upon attitude to investment risk.

Momentum Pensions, which is a multi-jurisdictional pension provider based in the UK, Malta, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar, presented on the highly topical subject of the UK pension reform that has taken place. The presentation outlined the ‘freedom and choice’ options now open to people, but also covered the UK tax consequences for those who decide to flexibly access their pension funds. The alternative of transferring benefits to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) and the advantages that this can provide for expatriates was outlined.

Currencies Direct presented on the various options open to clients who wish to exchange currency, whether this is for regular payments or for ad-hoc exchanges, for example for property purchase. It was very interesting to see how much could be saved by using Currencies Direct, rather than a retail bank, particularly in the light of the current strength of Sterling against the Euro.

There was a presentation on French succession planning from Heslop & Platt, which is a firm of UK solicitors that are specialists in French law. Various possibilities that already exist under French law to put in place successful inheritance planning were outlined. In addition, the forthcoming EU rules on succession were covered and the fact that if a French resident elects the succession laws of their country of nationality to apply, the estate would be administered by a French notaire trying to apply that country’s rules. What seems clear now is that this is likely to cause complications, delays, additional expenses and uncertainty, whilst French inheritance taxes will still apply. As such, the opinion was that if there is a ‘tried and tested French solution’ that achieves the objective that someone is seeking, then this should be the first choice to use, rather than relying on the EU Regulations.

New to Le Tour this year was Leonetti Business Services, a firm that can help you with some of the French bureaucratic issues that we are all faced with from time to time, which undoubtedly can help to get rid of the frustration that these things can create.

Martignole Huzé Associés, a firm of chartered accountants based in Carcassonne, presented on the services that they can provide in English, including the completion of French tax returns, having regard to the conditions of Double Taxation Treaties.

Also new to Le Tour this year was Tilney Bestinvest, which presented on the range of investment management services that this company can provide. The choices range from Mulit-Asset Portfolios, where clients pick the one most suited to their objectives and leave the company to take care of the investment management, through to the more actively managed full Discretionary Fund Management services for larger portfolios.

For The Spectrum IFA Group, we presented on our processes and the products and services that we provide to clients, as well as highlighting the importance of our independence and how we are regulated in France by the French authorities. We also outlined client concerns, for example, tax-efficiency, inheritance tax planning, securing pensions and protection of capital. In addition, in view of the topical issues that we are facing this year, we presented the French tax and social charges consequence of cashing-in UK pensions and for inheritance planning, we used assurance vie to demonstrate the potential inheritance tax savings, providing examples of two scenarios – the ‘French Way’ and the ‘EU Way’. Assurance vie was also used to demonstrate personal tax-efficiency.

As always, the feedback from many people attending these events has been very positive and if you were not able to make it this time to Le Tour de Finance, keep in mind the next local events which will take place in October. On the other hand, if any of these subjects are of interest to you now and you would like to have a confidential discussion about your financial situation, please contact me directly or by using the form below.

Le Tour de Finance continues into the Languedoc & Pyrenees region.

By Spectrum IFA
This article is published on: 20th May 2015

After the successful events during April in Spain, The Spectrum IFA Group and Le Tour de Finance moved into France for a series of events in Perpignan, Bize-Minervois and Montagnac.

As with previous events bring together a number of financial experts in their fields to discuss important areas such as pension & QROPS, Tax Efficient Investing, Estate Planning and French Wills.

Le Tour de Finance aims to reach expats where they live so that everyone can seek specific advice relevant to their location in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

The sessions are always educational and drive many questions from the attendees about specific real life experiences, that allow the panel of experts to tailor the presentations.

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Le Tour de Finance returns in October in Provence, Aix en Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon.

If you would like further information or would like to book a place, please contact us

The objective of Le Tour de Finance is to provide expatriates with useful information relating to their financial lives. We try and cover frequently asked questions that we receive from our clients. It would be helpful for us to know what your particular areas of interest might be.

Send us your questions and the event you will be attending and we will try and cover them on the day: Please click here:Le Tour de Finance Questions

The Spectrum IFA Group and CIFA Conference in Monaco

By Peter Brooke
This article is published on: 6th May 2015


Peter Brooke represented The Spectrum IFA Group at this years’ CIFA conference in Monaco on 22nd – 24th April, by taking part in a panel session.

CIFA (Convention of Independent Financial Advisers – is a non-governmental organization with consultative status at the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. South South News is a TV channel dedicated to the UN. See Pete in action by clicking on the links below.

To view the two interviews please click on the links below

Who is CIFA?

At the initiative of a group of Independent Financial Advisors and under the auspices of the Swiss Group of Independent Financial Advisors (GSCGI) it has been agreed to create a high level international centre in the form of a Swiss Foundation in the field of finance, asset management and global financial counseling.

The objectives of the CIFA are as follows

  • To protect and defend the interests of Independent Financial Advisors at national and international level by creating a unique network of resources both in Switzerland and internationally.
  • To propose and present projects to national and international authorities for the harmonisation of the differing operating rules and regulations within the member states represented by CIFA.
  • To facilitate the implementation of new rules and procedures imposed by national and supra national authorities.
  • To establish a code of conduct to deal with unethical practices and money laundering.

CIFA is a non-profit Swiss Foundation.

Le Tour de Finance, Denia, Spain

By Spectrum IFA
This article is published on: 4th May 2015

The Spectrum IFA Group has continued to support Le Tour de Finance 2015 with events in Spain throughout April. The recent events in Spain were held in Barcelona, Sitges and Denia.

These very successful events bring together a number of financial experts dedicated to helping expats understand and manage their finances when living in Spain.

Le Tour de Finance aims to reach expats where they live so that everyone can seek specific advice relevant to their local area. Tax advice, pensions/QROPS, mortgages, healthcare, schools, business advice and making the most of your assets are just some of the subjects that expats need to know more about when living as an expat.

Le Tour de Finance is the ideal opportunity to find answers to the most pressing questions facing British people living in France, Spain or Italy.

If you would like further information or would like to book a place, please contact us

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The Spectrum IFA Group at ‘A Place in the Sun Live’ Olympia, London 8th – 10th May 2015

By Spectrum IFA
This article is published on: 30th April 2015

The Spectrum IFA Group have two stands at next weekend’s “A Place in the Sun Live” at the Olympia, London. This event is the UK’s largest and best attended overseas property exhibition, attracting thousands of serious overseas property hunters who are there to avail of the perfect opportunity to meet the experts face-to-face.

The Spectrum IFA Group stands are located in two of the most popular dedicated feature areas – The French Property Village and the Italian Property Pavilion. Together with the teams from Spain and the Spectrum specialist International Mortgage Division.

Each show welcomes over 6,000 visitors and 120 exhibitors showcasing worldwide properties to suit any budget.

Visitors will receive a free copy of the A Place in the Sun magazine and Show Guide and also have the opportunity to hear from and meet the stars, Amanda, Jasmine, Jonnie and Laura, and even choose to take part in a screen test for the chance to appear on the next series of A Place in the Sun.

The aim to provide you with everything you need under one roof and hope that by the time you leave the show you feel more equipped for your search and may have even found your perfect property abroad.

To book FREE tickets to the 2015 Olympia, London event on the 8th – 10th May 2015, please click here.