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 Alexander Risvas of Risvas & Associates Law.
How do you spend your weekends?
Being newly married, my weekends are important to unplug from the day-to-day work obligations and get a chance to spend more time with my lovely wife Evita.
For sure, enjoying a nice meal out of the house with our relatives and/or friends, having free-flowing conversations on things that matter is on the weekend schedule too.
I always try to find time during the weekend, especially on Sundays, to think more deeply about my goals, my work, and to analyze all the errands and jobs I need to do throughout the week.
What are your top three business goals this year?
The main goal for Risvas & Associates Law Firm in 2020 is to maintain or even surpass the very productive year of 2019. As a team, we successfully assisted numerous non-EU citizens to obtain the Greek Golden Visa – the permanent residence permit – and have received multiple awards for our services.
Another important goal is to keep our finger on the pulse. We live in a constantly changing world. A continuous notification of our firm’s clients and partners about legislative amendments, analysis of judicial practice, and forwarding of essential information to them is our target. We want to make sure our clients keep abreast of the latest changes in the law and practice, so as to protect their business and their rights in a timely manner.
And lastly, to further expand our network and collaborations with similar high-end law firms from countries like India and Vietnam that share our work ethics and that are seeking alternative options of investment migration for their clientele.
What’s your biggest business concern right now?
The biggest business concern is the post-lockdown period and its economic impact. There is no doubt that this pandemic crisis affects our industry and will continue to affect it in different ways.
However, practicing the law in Greece, a country with a broad early and successful response to the COVID-19 spread, I am very optimistic about the future.
Which book is on your night-stand right now?
The books that are always by my bedside are mostly motivational and self-improvement readings; To name some of my favorites: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, Tools of Titans by Tim Ferries and Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins. I sincerely recommend them.
How and when did you first get into the investment migration industry?
Back in 2013, during the Greek economic crisis, I remember I was talking with my brother Achilles, founder and CEO of Dromeus Capital Group, debating about the new areas of practice in the industry of law. It was he who introduced me to investment migration, mentioning the high demand for second residency and/or citizenship worldwide.
Later that year, in July 2013 the Greek government presented, for the very first time, its own Golden Visa program in an effort to attract foreign investments to contribute to a long term and sustainable growth for the Greek economy.
Instantly, I started studying the program while doing in-depth research on all the available European programs. I felt I really wanted to be part of this national effort and to contribute to the growth and to the establishment of the Greek Golden Visa.
What was your proudest moment as a service provider?
Practicing investment migration law and offering legal assistance to third-country nationals in the last six and a half years has allowed me to be a part of many proud moments. Such moments include when our satisfied and happy clients introduce our firm’s services to their friends and family.
Exceptionally proud I felt when our work in the industry was recognized and resulted in our receiving awards from international and reputable legal expertise guides such as GLE.
Which investment migration market development has surprised you the most in the last year?
The Greek Golden Visa’s astonishing 2019 results, of course, and the investor-friendly changes that have lifted multiple bureaucratic obstacles under which we previously labored; Also, the industry itself reaching all-time highs was a fascinating development in the past year.
If you could go ten years back in time, what business decision would you change?
If I had a time machine, I would rather travel to the future than go back to the past. I don’t regret the time that has passed nor the decisions I’ve made. After all, I prefer to learn from the past and evolve as a professional and as a human being.
What investment migration industry personality do you most admire?
I prefer not to be specific but, for sure, over the past seven years, I have met lots of interesting personalities, most of them at various industry events. These are people I admire for their professionalism, their appetite to excel, and for their achievements that make me work harder every day.
If all goes according to plan, what will you be doing five years from now?
Five years down the line and by the grace of God, I hope I have succeeded in reaching both my personal and my company’s long term goals, working with the same passion and struggle.
If not, I hope to be traveling and writing a book (just kidding).
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 14 years in the United States, China, and Spain.