InterviewsTen On The Weekend

10 on the Weekend – Alex Hopkin: “Inexperienced Actors” Compromising Service Quality

Ten On The Weekend is a weekly feature on IMI, the concept of which is simple: Each weekend, we ask the same ten questions of a different industry figure, letting readers get to know the interviewee on a more personal and informal level than they might in an ordinary business setting.

This weekend’s guest is Alexandre Hopkin of Henley & Partners.

How do you spend your weekends?
In Henley & Partners’ Montenegro office, I am lucky to have found myself somewhere very beautiful during these unexpected and unpredictable times. On the weekend, I’m either on the coast (in Budva, Ulcinj, Sveti Stefan, Bar, Tivat, Kotor) or exploring new parts of the rest of the country, like Kolašin or the beautiful lakes in Žabljak.

What are your top three business goals this year?
Similar to my split role, I split my goals. Together with the head of the Montenegro office, Rade Ljumovic, our goal is to continue to grow the business, expanding our service offering, and developing new B2B partnerships. Wearing my other hat, I am involved with the government advisory side of the company, actively aiming to expand the global portfolio of residence and citizenship programs.

What’s your biggest business concern right now?

  1. I worry that the quality of service delivery to clients is compromised by inexperienced actors.
  2. I worry about the possibility of disadvantaging ourselves, especially by being too honest. We would rather give the right answer, even if it isn’t what the client wants to hear. 
  3. I worry about the effect of COVID on the global economy and on “mass-affluent” individuals, who, rather than UHWI, have been greatly affected by these uncertainties, and who represent a significant volume of clientele in the industry.

Which book is on your night-stand right now?
I recently finished Happy by Derren Brown (a book I thoroughly recommend), and the next book will be 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson (in Audible version!).

How and when did you first get into the investment migration industry?
I was working for an orchestra in Jersey (both as a violinist, and organising events) when I met Hugh Morshead (who is an excellent bassist!), who introduced me to the industry. I joined Henley & Partners in 2011, starting as an assistant to someone that many know and respect, Mrs Vivienne Neil.

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What was your proudest moment as a service provider?
It’s difficult to isolate a single moment. Some of the most stand-out moments are, inevitably, with clients, where delivering citizenship documents truly has the power to transform someone’s life. Otherwise, I was proud to be involved with several government advisory mandates, including in Malta, Antigua, Grenada, and Moldova. 

Which investment migration market development has surprised you the most in the last year?
I think probably most surprising has been the response to COVID from virtually all CBI and RBI governments. The quick and nimble reshaping and re-adjusting to meet the changing circumstances of applicants have been tremendous.

If you could go ten years back in time, what business decision would you change?
Save for selling everything I own and buying stocks, shares, and cryptocurrency with the benefits of 10 years of hindsight, I’m fortunate to say that I wouldn’t change a thing.

What investment migration industry personality do you most admire?
Cognisant of accusations of bias, I will nonetheless name two people that immediately come to mind. The first is Chris Kalin’s, whose innovative work pioneered the industry. The second person is Andrea St Bernard, who has a work ethic that would outpace even the most ardent workaholic.

If all goes according to plan, what will you be doing five years from now?
Hopefully still doing something I enjoy, travelling to exciting countries, and working with good people. 

Christian Henrik Nesheim AdministratorKeymaster

Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 16 years in the United States, China, Spain, and Portugal.

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