Ten On The Weekend

The “Resurgence of Far-Right Ideologies” Is Troubling: 10 On The Weekend With Güvenç Ketenci

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 Güvenç Ketenci, CEO at Ketenci & Ketenci

How do you spend your weekends?

On weekends, I primarily devote my time to family engagements and social gatherings with friends. 

I endeavor to disengage from business activities as much as possible to dedicate this time to personal rejuvenation and connection.

What are your top three business goals this year?

Our foremost business objective this year is to open a new office in Lisbon in response to the escalating demand for the Portuguese Golden Visa. 

With this expansion, we primarily aim to offer comprehensive advice on Golden Visa applications alongside services pertaining to Portuguese immigration and corporate matters. 

I will also assume an advisory role with one of Portugal’s leading funds, signaling our ambition to augment our presence in the Portuguese market. Additionally, we are now in advanced preparations for opening a new office in Budapest regarding the launch of the new Golden Visa program in Hungary. 

I believe the increase in Greece’s investment thresholds presents a competitive landscape, which we are navigating with promising feedback from potential investors. 

What’s your biggest business concern right now?

My current significant business concern revolves around the troubling resurgence of far-right ideologies, primarily in Europe but with global ramifications. 

Despite the challenges, this geopolitical shift could paradoxically fuel the demand for investment migration, potentially unveiling new avenues and programs in the realm of residency and citizenship by investment (RCBI).

On the other hand, it threatens to exacerbate the European Union’s already problematic stance on citizenship by investment and further poses risks to Caribbean jurisdictions that rely on such programs. 

In my view, the Caribbean Five must prioritize securing agreements with the EU and UK, similar to the one they recently signed with the US, to mitigate the risk of losing visa-free access. 

Which book is on your nightstand right now?

My reading list is varied and eclectic. Despite my intentions to focus on a single book, I often find myself simultaneously exploring multiple books at the same time. 

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Currently, I am reading Nutuk by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk again, Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu, Muqaddimah by Ibn Khaldun, and Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty. 

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

My entry into the investment migration industry was serendipitous. In 2014, a client requested assistance in establishing a company in the UK under the Ankara Agreement between the EU and Türkiye. This experience eventually led to the broader field of investment migration, and I became more involved in RCBI programs.

My engagement with the industry further solidified after Tolga Habali, who was at the time Managing Director of Henley & Partners in Istanbul, invited me to join a citizenship conference. 

I also met with Antigua’s President at the conference and found the concept interesting and appealing. Since then, our firm has expanded its services to include advising clients on residency through property investment, particularly in Greece and Portugal, marking our full-fledged commitment to the investment migration sector.

What was your proudest moment as a service provider?

A defining moment of pride in my career was when we successfully facilitated citizenship for a client in Qatar who couldn’t travel due to travel restrictions associated with his Palestinian travel document. 

This achievement significantly transformed the client’s life by affording him new freedoms, underscoring the profound impact our work can have on individuals.

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

The surge in American investors participating in Portugal’s Golden Visa program over the past year has been a surprising and intriguing development. Additionally, I anticipate a significant strengthening of the African market in the upcoming years. 

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

Reflecting on the past, the one business decision I would alter if given the opportunity would be establishing a presence in Dubai sooner. With the market’s prime years waning now, an earlier entry could have positioned us more favorably during its peak.

What investment migration industry personality do you most admire?

I admire Hakan Kodal for pioneering funds within the Portuguese Golden Visa program. His knowledge, dedication, and innovative thinking have helped shape the industry.

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

Looking ahead, I aspire to transition towards a serene lifestyle in the Caribbean, embracing simplicity and tranquility away from the incessant demands of professional life. 

I dream of spending my days engaged in relaxing activities like yachting and reading while also contributing to global efforts to alleviate poverty and encourage development in less fortunate areas. 

This aspiration, though ambitious, is in harmony with my broader objective of enacting meaningful change. I hold a firm belief in the feasibility of contributing to a better world and the power of transformative change.

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