IM People in The News

“Before, They Stayed Because They Were Making Money in China” : Investment Migration People in The News This Week

Investment migration people in the news this week included:

  • David Lesperance of Lesperance and Associates
  • Wailian Overseas Consulting Group
  • Joana Fonseca of JLL
  • Dr Kristin Surak
  • Aakanksha Bhargava of PM Relocations
  • Veronica Cotdemiey of Citizenship Invest
  • Rohit Sharma of Abhinav Immigration Services
  • Weyinmi Oritsejafor of Henley & Partners
  • Anthony Liew of MM2H Consultants Association 
  • Chris Lim of Christie’s International Real Estate
  • Mike Vuytowecz of Inside Panama Real Estate
  • Kent Davis of Panama Equity Real Estate
  • Nicholas Mastroianni II

Bloomberg – Britain’s Rich Fret Over Keir Starmer Winning Power

“My clients are thinking when — not if — Labour gets in,” said David Lesperance, a Poland-based tax and immigration adviser for the ultra-rich. “They will not hesitate to trigger the fire escape plans.”

The New Yorker- China’s Age of Malaise

David Lesperance, a former lawyer who helps wealthy clients leave China, said that inquiries tend to increase after a high-profile disappearance. One of his first clients was a member of a prominent Shanghainese family, he told me. “This guy said, ‘Look, my family’s lived through the emperor, the Taiping Rebellion, the Boxers, the Japanese, the Nationalists, the Communists.’ He said, ‘Our family motto was, no matter how good things are, we always keep a fast junk in the harbor with a second set of papers and some gold bars. Well, the modern equivalent of that is second passports, second residences, and second bank accounts.’ ”


For years, wealthy Chinese argued that they had more to gain by staying than by leaving, but many have changed their minds. In June, Henley & Partners, which advises wealthy individuals on how to get residence and citizenship by investment, reported that China lost a net total of 10,800 rich residents in 2022, surpassing Russia as the world’s leading exporter of wealthy citizens. Last fall, in the name of “common prosperity,” Xi called for “regulating the mechanism of wealth accumulation,” raising expectations of new taxes on inheritance and property. “If you are part of the .01 per cent, you are trying to get out,” the entrepreneur told me.


Chinese citizens are generally allowed to convert no more than fifty thousand dollars a year into foreign currency. There are work-arounds, though. An underground network known as feiqian (“flying money”) lets you put money into a local account and retrieve it abroad, minus a fee. For larger sums, people rely on bogus invoices—sending, say, a million dollars for machine parts that cost a hundred thousand. In August, police arrested the head of Shanghai’s largest China-U.S. immigration company, the Wailian Overseas Consulting Group, and accused her of “collecting RMB in China and issuing foreign currencies abroad”—a signal that Chinese authorities are wary of an outflux of cash.

Bloomberg – Portugal First Half Home Sales Slump 20% as Golden Visa Ends

“There continues to be a structural shortage of supply,” Joana Fonseca, head of research at JLL, said at a presentation in Lisbon on Thursday. “The pace of new homes arriving on the market continues to be well below the volume of demand.”

Economic Times – What are Golden Passports? Benefits, advantages, and how to choose the best country option

Kristin Surak, associate professor of political sociology at the London School of Economics, highlighted the challenges faced by Indians in international endeavors due to limited passport privileges. An Indian passport allows visa-free entry to only 60 countries, which is equivalent to Tajikistan. On the other hand, acquiring citizenship in countries like Saint Kitts and Nevis or other Caribbean nations grants access to 157 countries, including the European Union and the United Kingdom. This expanded mobility is advantageous for important cross-border business meetings and deals, Surak notes.


European countries, particularly Germany, Sweden, Spain, France, and Italy, are ranked highest for facilitating business activities. Popular passports for specific advantages include Portugal for EU access, Grenada for visa-free entry to the US, Cyprus for fast-tracked EU citizenship, and Malta for EU citizenship with broad visa-free access, according to Aakanksha Bhargava, CEO of PM Relocations.


For those interested in business in China, Dominica and Grenada passports offer immediate visa-free entry to this crucial market. These countries provide a tax-friendly environment, with no taxation on global income, capital gains, gifts, wealth, or inheritance, making them appealing to high net-worth individuals, says Veronica Cotdemiey, CEO of Citizenship Invest. Cotdemiey highlights that non-residents are not subject to taxes.


Swiss and Portuguese passports are also recommended by experts. Rohit Sharma, Director and COO of Abhinav Immigration Services, suggests that a Canadian passport can get people access to the North American market, followed by Australia. Dubai also stands as a prominent choice for business activities.

Arabian Business – Indians are queuing up for golden visas around the world: Report

According to data from Citizenship Invest, 9.4 percent of applications for golden passports globally last year were from India, as Indians, and businesspeople in particular, seek a passport that is higher up in the pecking order for visa-free travel and ease of business.

The National News – How crypto-savvy investors can embrace borderless lifestyles

Veronica Cotdemiey of Citizenship Invest pens an article highlighting how cryptocurrency intertwines with global mobility.

The past year has ushered in an era where cryptocurrency and global mobility have converged like never before.


Now, it is more than just having liquid assets in traditional currencies. Individuals and entities can demonstrate their capacity to invest through their cryptocurrency holdings in addition to assets.

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Business Insider – South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt top list of African countries seeking second citizenship

Speaking with Business Insider Africa, Weyinmi Oritsejafor, IMCM – Client Advisor, Henley & Partners UK said, “Africa’s wealthiest countries have the highest number of applicants on the continent for residence and citizenship by investment programs.”


“This gives credence to the fact that affluent African investors are looking to protect their wealth but also significantly enhance their prosperity, enabling them to leave a greater legacy for future generations,” she added.

The Star – Keeping expats happy in M’sia

MM2H Consultants Association president Anthony Liew said the requirements imposed since 2021 such as having an offshore income of at least RM40,000 a month and the increase in minimum age for the principal applicant from 21 to 35 should be removed.


“These requirements have pushed away half of our potential clients,” he said when contacted yesterday.


“There are many youngsters who are financially capable but because the age requirement is 35 and above, they are not eligible,” he added.

Barron’s – Foreigners Eyeing Panama’s Golden Visa Should Consider These Three Regions

It’s a scheme that allows wealthy individuals to become Panamanian residents if they buy a property that costs at least US$300,000. Being a resident of Panama offers tax advantages, said Chris Lim, the president of Christie’s International Real Estate, but not being taxed on income earned abroad may be the most favorable of them all.


“The golden visa program has established Panama as a preferred destination for buyers seeking stability and attractive real estate opportunities,” he said. “Panama’s strategic location, serving as a bridge between North and South America, coupled with its robust economy, positions it as an enticing prospect for investors in pursuit of tax advantages and regions experiencing continuous infrastructure development.”


Prospective buyers who are drawn to living in a picturesque waterfront destination where they can spend their days on the beach and under the sun should consider Boca Chica, said Mike Vuytowecz, the founder of the Panama-based real estate company Inside Panama Real Estate.


Located about a two-hour drive west of Panama City, Buenaventura is a luxury gated beach community that spans approximately 1,000 acres, according to Kent Davis, the director of the Panama City-based Panama Equity Real Estate. “The size is massive—it’s more like a small city,” he said.

The Real Deal – EB-5 king Nick Mastroianni reaps $241M on Nassau Coliseum lease sale

Nick Mastroianni II may not have revived Long Island’s aging Nassau Coliseum, but he still earned a hefty payday for the property.

Las Vegas Sands paid Mastroianni’s LLC $241 million to acquire the Coliseum’s lease, Newsday reported. The disclosure was made in a quarterly report Sands filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Guardian – China’s billionaires looking to move their cash, and themselves, out

Wealthy Chinese are also looking for ways to move themselves as well as their money out of China. About 13,500 high-net-worth individuals are expected to leave China this year, up from 10,800 last year, according to Henley & Partners, an immigration consultancy.

“The Chinese government plays for keeps, as Jack Ma and numerous others have discovered,” says David Lesperance, an independent consultant who helps ultra-high-net worth people to relocate. “So we have to look at how to protect your wealth and your wellbeing”.

Lesperance says he receives an increasing number of inquiries from businesspeople who want to move their whole teams out of China, not just their families. As well as the political risks, entrepreneurs no longer feel that China is a land of opportunity, he says. In 2017, China was minting two new billionaires a week. Now, economic growth has slowed.

“Before they would stay because they were making a ton of money in China,” says Lesperance. “Now they’re not making as much money. So they’re like, why am I staying again? Why am I risking this?”

Ahmad Abbas AdministratorAuthorSubscriberParticipant
Director of Content Services , Investment Migration Insider

Ahmad Abbas is Director of Content Services at Investment Migration Insider and an 8-year veteran of the investment migration industry.

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