Ten On The Weekend is a weekly (-ish) feature in IMI, the concept of which is simple: Each time, 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.
Our guest this weekend is Viktorija Simulynaite, CEO of Sovereign Man.
How do you spend your weekends?
I tend to travel a lot. So, if there is a weekend when I am not in a new place, exploring or meeting new people, I try to have some downtime. I live on the beach, so I love spending time outside, getting that vitamin D, and just taking a break from all the flights and meetings. I do a lot of reading and planning for the week ahead.
What are your top three business goals this year?
At Sovereign Man we are obsessed with providing insightful, valuable solutions to our members. So goal #1 is always expanding our high quality research, ranging from second passports and financial diversification to living abroad.
Given what’s been happening in the world, we’re especially focused on working with foreign governments to showcase more opportunities for second passports and residencies.
I also strive to run an organization where our team members have opportunities to grow personally and professionally.
What’s your biggest business concern right now?
Lockdowns are still a concern. I hate Zoom meetings – I’ve always preferred face-to-face meetings, and the constant rule changes have made it very difficult to schedule in-person meetings and events.
Which book is on your bookstand right now?
I just started reading a book called The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics and I find it fascinating. It’s a great analysis of politics on a global scale. The book talks about the realities of power structures not only in governments but in businesses as well. The author doesn’t paint a happy picture, but it just might be the truth.
How and when did you first get into the investment migration industry?
It was back in 2010, more than a decade ago. I was already living a pretty international lifestyle, but when the founder of Sovereign Man brought me into the organization, it was an instant fit for my personality and ethos.
For example, our company has always advocated for having a Plan B: governments printing money, going into debt, and taking away freedom is not the path to prosperity.
This is the message that we spread to a global audience. And, coming from a former Soviet country, this has always made sense to me.
What was your proudest moment as a service provider?
A few years ago, Sovereign Man’s founder and I had a meeting with the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda about their economic citizenship program. The island needed money, plus smart, knowledgeable people, and we agreed on a unique proposal about how to really move the needle on their Citizenship by Investment program. It was definitely a great moment for us to be able to negotiate directly with the head of government.
Which investment migration market development has surprised you the most this year?
I was very happy to see Caribbean countries extending great deals to prospective citizens, as well as being creative and offering things like Covid bonds. So, while some European countries are creating stricter rules, it was nice to see that St. Lucia, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis, and others are able to maintain a very easy and streamlined process for their prospective citizens.
If you could go 10 years back in time, what business decision would you change?
I’ve learned a lot from my mistakes over the years, including with whom not to do business. I imagine we’ve all been there.
What investment migration industry personality do you most admire?
I wouldn’t call him a migration industry personality, but our founder – James Hickman, who writes under the pen name Simon Black – has a really unique perspective on life, business, and economics. He’s an entrepreneur who has started several successful businesses, including Sovereign Man, but he understands, just as I do, the need for diversification. And he recognizes that real diversification means changing your way of thinking to see opportunity throughout the world.
If all goes according to plan, what will you be doing in five years from now?
I plan on still being the CEO of Sovereign Man and doing the same thing that we’re doing now — but with an even larger team and greater reach than we have today. I love creating value in the world and especially helping people achieve a better quality of life. So I hope that aspect of my life never changes.
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.