“It’s Time to Open the Borders”: 10 on the Weekend – Jeffrey Henseler
Ten On The Weekend is a semi-weekly 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 Jeffrey Henseler of Passport Legacy.
How do you spend your weekends?
As a happy young dad with a 5-month old son, I spend my weekends mostly with my family and friends. As an expat living in Dubai, visitors from my home country – Switzerland – make their way to the sunny Middle East several times a year. BBQs in the garden became our weekly routine.
What are your top three business goals this year?
The first goal is to establish our company as the number one agency to get in touch with for obtaining a second passport in Nigeria. Our second goal is to cement our position as a strong competitor in the Asian market. Our third and most important goal is to maintain our status as a company that cares for every member of its staff to the fullest.
Every December, our Passport Legacy family embarks on a trip to a selected destination. Too bad we had to postpone this year’s travel plans until next year. On trips such as these, we celebrate the success of the year and map out plans for the coming year.
What’s your biggest business concern right now?
At the moment, we have one major concern. This is the recent closure of the Cyprus CBI program. It is a huge setback for the growth of the CBI industry. However, we are optimistic as we set our sights on the Montenegro program.
I do believe that everyone in the industry is working twice as hard to keep the Caribbean and Vanuatu programs open.
Business-wise, I think it is time to open the borders. As soon as the airlines commence full operations, people will be willing to travel and we are very confident that the number of citizenship and passport applications will soar.
Which book is on your night-stand right now?
The Mind of the Leader by Jacqueline Carter and Rasmus Hougaard. It passes a strong message about appreciating the people working in the company. It also underlines the efforts of everyone that contributed to setting up the type of company we have today.
How and when did you first get into the investment migration industry?
That was at the age of 19. At the time, I had the pleasure of doing a practicum in the industry in Dubai. That left a major impression on me as from that moment on, I realized I did not want any other career than this.
So, during that memorable week in Dubai, we boarded a flight from Dubai to Bahrain for a meeting with a Syrian family to fill the Antigua AB1 Application Forms.
Experiencing the feeling of flying out for a meeting was incredible! We flew the same day back to Dubai and landed around 11 pm. Unsurprisingly, I was totally exhausted but super happy! It was definitely a day to remember for me.
Five months later, I felt even more excited when I heard they had received their Antiguan Citizenship documents. It made me feel somewhat fulfilled that I was a ‘’part’’ of the process from the start.
By my 21st birthday, I officially began working full time in the industry.
What was your proudest moment as a service provider?
The feeling is special every time we hand over a passport to a client. Over the last eight years, I have noticed the difference in each client’s reaction. I have witnessed everything, from happiness to tears to becoming practically a member of their family.
I do not believe there are many industries out there that can make you feel prouder than the investment migration industry.
Which investment migration market development has surprised you the most in the last year?
That has to be West Africa, undoubtedly. Our focus is mainly on Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria. Besides the locals living in Dubai, we have also seen a large number of Lebanese, Syrian, and Indian families who migrated generations ago.
If you could go 10 years back in time, what business decision would you change?
I would not change anything. I started working full time in a clothing store by the age of 16. In Switzerland, you can decide to go to a university (if you get the grades) or choose to do an apprenticeship that gives you insights into the functional aspects of a business such as sales, accounting, marketing, etc.
This was one of the best experiences that led me to where I am today. Through apprenticeship, I was able to gain confidence, stay humble, learn how to sell a product/service, and keep the customer happily returning for more; even a year later.
What investment migration industry personality do you admire most?
That would be my mentor for the first three years during my first steps in the industry. I still remember every word and lesson to date. He played a huge role in my career growth while cheering and motivating everyone around him every day. Gratitude!
If all goes according to plan, what will you be doing five years from now?
Without a doubt, I will be firmly rooted in the investment migration industry. We will also be adding more services to our portfolio in the near future. I’m super enthusiastic about the exciting time ahead!
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.