I got chatting to a guy from DeVere’s a few years ago and, somehow, ended up having over for tea and a chat one evening - which lasted three hours. He was Irish, we were abroad, it all seemed to happen organically but for all I know they ingeniously targeted us with their local Irish guy. Not that we were/are rich but they probably reckoned that as expats we had a few quid. Again, they were overestimating us but that’s beside the point.
In hindsight, it’s embarrassing that we even let the chap across the threshold. I remember thinking that if we went for what he was suggesting and it all went pear-shaped, I would sound like an idiot on the subsequent Prime Time Investigates programme. The Pin would be mocking me for page after page. ‘He said we’d make big interest, reduce our tax bill and there was [almost] no risk…’.
I had Googled them too and, like you, mostly found articles by disgruntled ‘employees’ - mostly working independently under the DeVere name and occasionally being charged for training courses which they believed to be overpriced. They don’t seem to have a trail of burned investors.
After the first few minutes of this epic kitchen table chat we had already decided we were not interested. What he was offering just wasn’t for us. It was all about locking up a lot of money for a long time and the fees were not easy (for me) to understand. We wanted to keep whatever money we had for an eventual property purchase (still pending!) but he went on at great length about an endowment-style education fund for the kid(s) - only had one at that time - and wouldn’t take “leave it with us” for an answer. We were too polite about it - mainly because he was Irish and probably knows my Mam or her friend or my sister’s boss or something. Eventually, we got him out the door and agreed not to invite sales people around for tea any more. Still feel silly about it.
Then there were follow up calls, to which I said ‘Nah, it’s really not for us’. He said ‘well the least you can do is give me the names of five expats who might be interested’. I did - in me eye. Then a call came from an English guy explaining that my contact had left the company but they still wanted five names of friends/colleagues. I didn’t cooperate and eventually they gave up - after a few more calls/emails. Funny thing is that the guy who we’d had over for tea kinda vanished. There’s now no trace of him online and his LinkedIn profile disappeared after he parted with the company…
I asked a friend who works in financial services if he had heard of DeVere and he said there was nothing specifically bad about them. But all their products were so long-term that it’s still early days. The product they were pushing to us was run by a German fund so it seemed like there would be plenty of people taking a slice along the way. And we had said we were relatively risk averse (compared to some of the products they were offering with v. high yields) so this German thing was meant to make us feel better about it all.
Not sure that helps but there ye go! Nothing terrible happened, they didn’t plague us with calls, but there were fairly hard sell.