In a moment of pride for our community, it is with great pleasure that we announce Mr. St. John Coombes’ recognition with an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in the King’s first Birthday Honours list. This prestigious award acknowledges his contributions and his unwavering commitment to the British Community in Cyprus. An MBE is bestowed upon individuals who have made a significant and long-term impact through outstanding achievements or services to the community.
Born in Cyprus to a British military family, St. John has deep roots in both cultures. After completing his schooling and university education in the UK, he made the decision to return to his birthplace and settle there with his young family. St. John, a financial adviser and director of EWMT Insurance Advisers and Agents Ltd, has been a pillar of support for British people residing in Cyprus. Recognizing the need for comprehensive wealth management services, including the establishment of Trusts and the drafting of Wills, he has played a vital role in assisting individuals with residency applications, citizenship acquisition, securing title deeds, and other challenges that many would shy away from.
St.John serves as the Chairman of the Cyprus International Financial Services Association (CIFSA), a voluntary position within an association dedicated to aiding financial services firms in meeting regulatory requirements and delivering professional services to clients. In this capacity, St. John serves as the Chairman of the Cyprus Residents Planning Group (CRPG), a collaborative initiative established with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the British High Commission (BHC) to provide assistance to UK nationals living in Cyprus following the Brexit transition.
Additionally, St. John’s is as a board member of the Federation of European Financial Advisers and Intermediaries (FECIF) representing the interests of over 400,000 advisers across Europe. FECIF’s primary objective is to guide financial services firms in meeting regulatory obligations and providing cross-border advice within the European Union. St. John actively participates in the board’s activities and EU regulatory consultations, relaying vital information to professional advisers in Cyprus.
Throughout the years, St. John has tirelessly worked to help ensure that UK nationals were not adversely disadvantaged by changes in legislation in Cyprus and the UK. He intervened to help ensure that UK nationals-maintained access to government pensions during the financial crisis. He helped a multi-party team successfully negotiate a protocol under the Cyprus-UK double taxation agreement, enabling UK Government pensioners to choose continued taxation in Cyprus. St. John also engaged with Cypriot authorities to ensure that UK nationals could elect their domicile of choice in Cyprus. His collaborative efforts with UK and Cypriot authorities have extended to addressing a broad range of general matters affecting UK nationals.
Many people have attended seminars organised by St. John in partnership with the British High Commission, which have kept UK nationals across the Island informed about current affairs in Cyprus. Moreover, he has played a vital role in assisting the Anglican Church in Cyprus to achieve formal recognition and facilitate the registration of British cemeteries, securing the long-term future of burial sites for UK nationals in Cyprus.
It is heartening to see St.John’s endeavours recognised by none other than the King himself. As St.John receives this well-deserved MBE, we celebrate his outstanding achievements and commend his continuous efforts to serve the British community in Cyprus.