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 week is John Hanafin of Huriya Private.
How do you spend your weekends?
After our usual busy week, my time is for family, albeit a majority of which is mostly spent with my 11-year-old son, attending his multitude of sporting events. Once that is done, we are driving, breaking, and fixing classic cars. Interesting point: our weekends will grow from 2 days to 2.5 days from January 1st, 2022, which is great. We all work too much as it is.
What are your top three business goals this year?
To develop the subsidiaries that we have recently opened – Sports management (out of Dubai) – and our digital investment company (out of Zug), as well as to keep moving Huriya Private in the same positive direction. These are the three moving targets that we will keep pushing towards.
What’s your biggest business concern right now?
About the CBI industry? The industry is still relatively young and developing. I don’t have any major concerns and I’m enjoying being a small part of a fascinating industry. The British tabloids seem to love hammering a particular program every few months, which I think is unjust. The unfortunate combination of Brexit and Covid will keep them quiet for the moment.
If a program does close, another will open, and I hear of a few that will soon come to market. Regulation will come to clean up all the less qualified agents; it’s a matter of when and not if. Other business concerns – well, not enough hours in the day.
Which book is on your nightstand right now?
None. I have probably bought all the best business books out there though. I like to buy them, and pile them up, and consider the day when I will actually read one of them.
How and when did you first get into the investment migration industry?
About 10 years ago, I was helping an Iranian gentleman restructure the ownership of his personal assets, when he told me that he had three passports. He described the process of why and how he applied for additional passports, and what it meant for his travel, his banking, his family, and his business opportunities. It was (and still is) a game-changer.
In the tax advisory firm where I was working, I then started offering this service to existing clients of mine and started referring them to Arton Capital. After a number of interesting referrals over a two-year period, I was offered a position as CEO of Arton Capital.
What was your proudest moment as a service provider?
I don’t know. We have had many crazy and wonderful situations arise over the last 36 months. I think maybe I am most proud of the development of our staff. We continue to have some heartwarming success stories for many members of our team and, without giving out too much info, I think this is what I am most proud of. Successful and happy staff will give you a successful and happy workplace. This fairly simple logic tends to get overlooked.
Which investment migration market development has surprised you the most in the last year?
Probably the Portugal Golden Visa. The program is very well structured, and we have seen a huge uplift in applications.
If you could go 10 years back in time, what business decision would you change?
I would sell everything I own and invest in crypto.
What investment migration industry personality do you most admire?
I would have to give a mention to David Reguiero of RIF Trust. He’s possibly the most helpful (and patient) industry member that I have met to date. I think I owe him a few beers.
If all goes according to plan, what will you be doing five years from now?
Well, I don’t have a five-year plan. Does everyone have one? Or is that something we read about on the back cover of those business books (that I buy but never read)? If my life in five years is the same as it is now, great. I do, however, think that digital assets will be a much bigger part of our lives. I’m keen to see how it all develops.