Ten On The Weekend

Poor Govt. Communication Leads Firms To “Drop Programs”: 10 On The Weekend With Anastasia Barna

10 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 IMI Pro, letting readers get to know the interviewee on a more personal and informal level than they might during the ordinary course of business.

Our guest this week is Anastasia Barna, CEO of One World Migration.

How do you spend your weekends?

Our company is now in the stage of rapid development, and we are in the midst of opening two new departments. Right now, I have a lot of work to do and continue to go on regular business trips, which leaves little time to relax. 

My weekends are a mix of off-time and work, so I’m trying to balance spending time with my family with ongoing short meetings during the weekend. 

What are your top 3 business goals this year?

  • The first goal is to open three offices: In South Africa (Cape Town), Nigeria (Abuja), and India (Mumbai). 
  • Our second goal is to consolidate the resources of our top managers to open and maintain new revenue streams. 
  • The third is to open the One World Platinum Club for our clients, where we will offer exclusive investment options.

What’s your biggest business concern right now?

Due to our company’s rapid growth, we currently have a personnel shortage. Our primary concern is finding high-quality professionals in the field, and I welcome IMI’s experienced readers to contact me if they know someone who might be a good fit.

Which book is on your nightstand right now?

I have Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell on my nightstand now. I prefer light classical books, which help me to relax. I value classic writers all over the world.

How and when did you first get into the investment migration industry?

I specialize in facilitating considerable investments in various countries worldwide. I have experience doing this in markets in Latin America, the GCC, the Caribbean, and other regions. 

I have dealt with investments related to different industries and sectors, be it tech, infrastructure, agriculture, and more. Throughout my work, immigration has always played an integral role in the process.

Citizenship and residency are critical tools for successfully implementing foreign investment plans because, in most cases, when my clients want to invest in a foreign country, this will require creating a financial infrastructure containing bank accounts, company establishment, and more. 

Citizenship and residency are key factors, and I used to do this work as a by-product of the investment rather than with immigration as the main focus, so now I am just putting more resources into focusing on this aspect of the process.

What was your proudest moment as a service provider?

It is hard to be proud of business things, as it is already my task and responsibility. However, in this regard, I will illustrate one case that gives me satisfaction. 

A considerable company turned to us to assist it in investing in a specific country. Due to bureaucracy and lengthy approval processes, this company didn’t manage to solve this issue through an intergovernmental commission, as the investment was hefty and required creating a complex infrastructure. 

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Our company created the necessary framework and carried out this investment in under a year.

Which investment migration market development has surprised you the most in the last year?

I was surprised by an overall shift in program offerings everywhere due to new program regulations that the governments did not think through.

For example, Portugal surprised everyone by keeping the Golden Visa but removing the real estate options. The government didn’t communicate this change well, and neither funds nor RCBI companies could swiftly transition. 

The government did not give the funds prior notice or provide any comprehensive guides to prepare them for the change, and most immigration companies that relied on real estate investments and didn’t have fund facilitators just dropped the Golden Visa. 

This was a significant development that governments could easily have resolved if they had communicated in a timely manner. 

The same concept applies to Hungary’s new Guest Investor Program, albeit with a smaller overall effect. The government announced it but didn’t clarify any details regarding the investments, so you find companies who continue to offer Hungary’s old immigration routes, but those who want to offer the new program can’t yet. 

These sudden and miscommunicated developments have confused RCBI facilitators and affected all major RCBI outbound markets. 

If you could go ten years back in time, what business decision would you change?

I would only change my initial recruitment policy. Initially, I would hire people with a lot of potential who weren’t highly experienced in the industry. I now know that for the top positions, you need top people.

I now only hire people with good experience who do not require my constant input on everything. A good management team can come to you and tell you: “This is how this should be done,” rather than wait for you to spell everything out for them. Highly experienced professionals like the ones I work with now help the company develop quickly and move things around much faster. That is the only thing I would change. 

What investment migration industry personality do you most admire?

I’d prefer to leave this question unanswered so as not to cause a ripple of misunderstandings.

If all goes according to plan, what will you be doing five years from now?

I will continue facilitating clients’ investments in well-selected government projects worldwide that offer good returns, clear pay-back periods, and low risks. 

I hope that in five years, I will personally provide consultations only to significant investors and that our team will have an excellent CEO who will manage all the operational processes.

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