www.executive-global.com | Autumn 2020
Productivity | Strategy | Profitability
EGON VON GREYERZ
On if gold is nothing more than a barbarous relic
Examines the Fed’s inflation conundrum
U.S. economic predictions
CHIARA FELICITAS OTTO
Profitability in export finance
THE BITCOIN MOGUL
Max Keiser’s leading insight on cryptocurrency, central bank policy and global macroeconomic risk for institutional and private clients
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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF John Marshall HEAD OF PRODUCTION Peter Green EDITORIAL Thomas Hughes, Rachel Smith, Oliver Taylor, Shannon Berkley, Vincenzo Morello ART DIRECTION & DESIGN Stormcues Limited BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Steve Williams, David Warmann, Jack Moore, David Goldwin, Mike Walsh COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR Luke Francis PHOTOGRAPHY James Drake, Sarah Dean Executive Global Magazine is published by: Stormcues Limited 405 Kings Road Chelsea London SW10 0BB Tel: +44(0)207 993 4782 www.executive-global.com ADVERTISING email@example.com EDITORIAL firstname.lastname@example.org The information in this publication has been obtained from sources the proprietors believe to be correct, however no legal liability can be accepted for any errors. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. Executive Global is registered trademark ® of Stormcues Limited. Copyright © 2020 Stormcues Limited. All Rights Reserved.
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FRONT COVER FEATURE The Bitcoin Mogul
Silver will prevail 24
Our cover feature and CEO Profile on The Bitcoin Mogul analyses the impact of central bank policy, cryptocurrencies and global macroeconomic risk in our interview with Max Keiser, renowned broadcaster, venture capitalist, Wall Street veteran, and Presenter of RT’s Keiser Report.
PROFITABILITY Profitability in Export Finance
Executive Global’s bespoke series of interviews on Productivity, Strategy, and Profitability. We chat with Chiara Felicitas-Otto, Managing Director, of Germany’s cutting-edge financial advisory firm, Exficon GmbH.
FINANCE U.S. economic predictions
Referring to Ennio Morricone’s iconic tune, Oliver Taylor explores currency and precious metals investment.
We interview Philipp Ochsner, CEO, IndexInvestor AG, on their scientific approach.
Mark O’ Byrne returns to comment upon the depreciation of the British Pound against gold.
The Fed’s inflation conundrum
Michael Pento, CEO, Pento Portfolio Strategies on the impact of moving beyond 2% inflation.
Far more than a barbarous relic
Egon Von Greyerz and Matt Piepenburg analyse inflation, asset bubbles, treasuries and gold.
16 Everyone must pay tax
John Williams of ShadowStats provides his expert insight into macroeconomic trends.
America hold on to your seats!
The Ecstasy of Gold
Brexit risk increases 20
David Morgan of The Morgan Report, explains why silver wil not falter during currency crises.
Thomas Hughes reports on dramatic changes on the horizon for the American economy.
Knut Olsen, chartered global tax adviser, explains why everyone must pay their fair share of tax...except some.
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54 FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT
Tourism and business in Grenada 40 Private jets of diplomats Shannon Berkley reports on the idyllic island state in the southeast of the Caribbean.
The sensational Saint Vincent
42 The fastest jets in the world
We caught up with the tenacious, dedicated property entrepreneur, Beverly Barnett.
56 The Ojai valley property expert
Vincenzo Morello on the fastest jet in production - the Cessna Citation X+.
We report on the leading city of the United Arab Emirates located on the Persian Gulf.
A greater life of luxury 58
A look at how ArcelorMittal and EF Education First have sought to break down barriers.
Failure mode effective analysis
48 Reflecting and looking forward
Dr. Lynn Johnson returns to discuss FMEA, functional safety and risk analysis for business.
World’s fastest computer processors in 2020
Oliver Taylor reviews the exciting new computer processors on the market in 2020.
Vision, strategy and execution
We profile the $600 million dollar man who has helped 8,000+ companies execute strategy.
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Prolific agent and architectural specialist, Patty Waltcher, discusses Ojai luxury estates.
EXECUTIVE EDUCATION Unlocking human potential
54 San Fran’s real estate powerhouse 62
Rachel Smith looks at the popular private aircraft for international heads of state.
Vincenzo Morello takes a look at this special Anglo-Caribbean country.
Doing business in Dubai
Andrew Main Wilson, CEO of the AMBA, looks at disruptions, threats and challenges this year.
Andrew Henderson, Managing Partner, Nomad Capitalist, on diversification and going where you’re treated best.
Silicon Valley’s Finest
Michael Repka, CEO at DeLeon Realty explains why the firm represents The Platinum Standard.
The Marvel of Maine
Steven Shelton, CEO, Arcadia Realty Group, talks on Mid Coast Maine luxury real estate.
Executive Global Awards 2020
Celebrating Excellence Worldwide The Executive Global Awards celebrate the most exemplary standards of professional achievement, innovation, and excellence internationally, championing the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier organisations and were conceived to deliver a fundamental insight into the finest institutions and truly enterprising individuals that are critically shaping their industry for the better
Digital Healthcare Technology Executive of the Year - United States APiS North America, LLC
Ireland Strategic Investment Fund
Best Private Bank - Oman Bank Muscat
Best Luxury Automobile - Italy Lamborghini Aventador
Best Elite Luxury Watch Brand - Switzerland Breitling SA
Best Private Bank - Liechtenstein LGT Bank
Best Investment Bank - Brazil BTG Pactual
Best Bank Customer Service - United Kingdom Metro Bank PLC
Recommended Author - United States Cyrus A. Parsa
Best Luxury Tourism Destination - Caribbean Nevis & Saint Kitts
Best Export Finance Consultancy Firm - Germany Exficon GmbH
Best Business Class Airline Customer Service - United States Swiss Air
Best Business Law & Reputational Consultancy Firm - France GfK Conseils-Juridis
Family Office Consultancy Firm of the Year - United States The Family Office Club
The #1 Wealth Manager for Top Doctors and Entrepreneurs - Switzerland IndexInvestor AG
Best Private Bank for HNWIs - Switzerland Union Bancaire Privée
Best Sovereign Wealth Fund - Ireland
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EXECUTIVE GLOBAL Editor’s Note
A New Bretton Woods? Innumerable are the ways we have observed the world change over the course of 2020. MF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva drew parallels in a recent speech between the current economic scenario and that which followed World War II, leading to the Articles of Agreement signed in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire in July of 1944. Much like the goals at the time were to address the widespread devastation and cultivate a peaceful and prosperous post-war environment, international leaders have stressed the importance of the transition to an improved [more resilient, sustainable and inclusive] post-pandemic world. It remains to be seen whether such a world would benefit everyone. The Bretton Woods Agreement, formed by 730 delegates from 44 countries, ultimately created our current global system based on the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. All currencies were defined in relation to the USD, which itself was convertible into gold and “as good as gold” for global trade. According to the International Monetary Fund — an institution also founded in Bretton Woods which aimed to bridge temporary imbalances of payments in member nations — it is once again time to fundamentally re-evaluate the global economic order, although no specific details have been shared. US Fed Chair Jerome Powell stated recently during an IMF panel about cross-border payments and digital currencies, “For the Federal Reserve, our main focus is on whether and how a central bank digital currency could improve an already safe, effective, dynamic and efficient domestic payment system.” Despite the overwhelming propaganda, CBDCs are a far cry from a clean-cut solution, with new central bank policies more likely to spin into impending catastrophe. Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) have seen greater resistance than private cryptocurrencies for widespread approval, despite riding on the coattails of cousins Bitcoin and Ethereum. Although typically lauded for being a faster, cheaper and more efficient payment means than traditional fiat banknotes, the sacrifice of privacy and private wealth, freedom and financial
executive global • Productivity, Strategy, Profitability
autonomy draws into question who the ultimate beneficiaries of such a system would be. Draconian control of the monetary system by central banks through modern technology, permanently removes the ability to conduct private transactions or to save money to accrue personal wealth. CBDC issuance on the arbitrary whim of such institutions immediately implies absolute state politicisation, a power grab lining the coffers of those in power, controlling the hard-earned wealth of private individuals, and exposing those already struggling to total vulnerability. Further extrapolation suggests the likely or eventual abuse of the CBDC financial system into a punitive one, wherein those deemed worthy of punishment, could see themselves financially controlled by a power drunk state with no capacity to change their own situation. Private, non-state centralised assets such as Bitcoin and its leading independent peers, have already seen a surge in value as a result of the widespread push towards digital centralised currencies, as have precious metals and especially gold — the world’s evergreen safe haven store of value. For investors looking to safeguard their money amid the disruptive global economic scenario, diversification into private cryptocurrencies, precious metals and other undervalued asset classes, could help ride the wave into profitability and mitigate the downward plunges associated with market upheaval. EG
John Marshall John Marshall Editor-in-Chief, Executive Global
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Holding Physical Gold Preserves Wealth in Dangerous, Unstable and Challenging Times Continuing Massive Bailouts and Federal Reserve Stimulus Loom Well into 2022.
John Williams FOUNDER & ECONOMIST, SHADOWSTATS.COM
s this missive is put to bed in lateNovember 2020, economic, monetary and political stability are not in place for the United States. Any appearance of domestic financial-market health or stability— including a record-high Dow Jones Industrial Average—is a happy façade created by the financialmarket make-up artists on Wall Street, at the U.S. Federal Reserve and by some political elements in Washington, D.C. and the popular press. Consider first that the U.S. Presidential Election still is in contention, with potential risk of already extreme monetary stimulus being exploded to hyperinflationary levels by Modern Monetary Theory1 policies being promoted by social-spending activists in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. Such presumes that the underlying, extraordinary monetary stimulus of the last nine months has not already pulled that hyperinflation trigger2. Second, despite happy news on pending effective treatments for the Coronavirus COVID-19, the recovery of the collapsed U.S. economy to pre-Pandemic
levels is not likely before 2023, or later. This reflects severe structural damage to the U.S. economy and to the financial and psychological conditions of the citizenry from the Pandemic’s impact to date. Many domestic businesses have failed, while headline economic improvement in areas ranging from employment to Industrial Production has stalled in negative territory, in a developing “L”-shaped recovery. New economic stimulus is needed and will follow, irrespective of the Administration in power. The question at hand will become if the system can be stabilised without triggering a hyperinflationary depression. In response to the initial Pandemic-triggered stock market panic and to the government’s Pandemicshutdown of the U.S. economy in February and March of 2020, massive monetary and fiscal stimuli were injected into the economy and financial markets. Those actions by the Federal Reserve and U.S. Government, were aimed at stabilising the system, preventing systemic collapse. While there was little choice as to taking the emergency measures, those actions already may have set the United States on course for a hyperinflationary depression. ELECTION RESULTS LIKELY WILL NOT BE FINAL UNTIL JANUARY Despite the U.S. election being held on November 3rd, delays in counting Pandemicgenerated mail-in ballots forestalled the U.S. news
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media declaring Biden to be President-Elect, until about mid-day New York time, on November 7th. Mr. Biden happily acknowledged same and addressed the Nation that evening. Yet, the U.S. news media do not determine who wins a Presidential election. With votes still being counted or recounted, President Donald Trump has not conceded and has launched challenges, claiming election fraud. Republicans appear to have serious and meaningful issues with the Election “results” in a number of key states. As those various legal challenges advance to the Supreme Court, keep in mind that the financial markets do not like uncertainty and likely would provide an early signal of any shifting sentiment. Republicans broadly are expected to retain control of the U.S. Senate, but such will not be determined until Georgia run-off elections for the Senate in January. Democrats appear to have retained control of the U.S. House of Representatives, but with a reduced majority. EXPANDED FISCAL AND MONETARY STIMULUS WILL FLOW THROUGH 2022 AND BEYOND Irrespective of whether Donald J. Trump or Joseph R. Biden is sworn in as President of the United States on January 20, 2021, intensive new Federal Deficit Spending will follow. Such spending likely would be more massive with a President Biden, where the Democrats tend to
1 “Yield Curve and Recession, Unfettered Creation and Hyperinflation,” Executive Global (Spring 2019). 2 “When the Fed and the Government Panic, Physical Gold Is the Likely Safe Haven,” Executive Global (Spring 2000) 3 Fox News, November 7, 2020.
favour greater deficit spending, and extremely more massive with him, in the event that the Democrats win control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, along with the White House. If the Democrats control the government, the MMT crowd looks to gain control of major areas of the budget that would address massive social programs. “Now We Take Georgia, Then We Change the World.” Current Senate Minority Leader Charles E. “Chuck” Schumer, Democrat of New York, likely would be the effective U.S. Senate Majority Leader, should the Democrats take the two Senate seats in the January 6th Georgia runoff, and should President Donald J. Trump lose his court battles. After the November 7th popular-media calls of the election for a Biden-Harris victory, an exuberant Senator Schumer proclaimed, “Now we take Georgia, then we change America,” updating his earlier proclamation of “...then we change the world.”3 The best the Democrats can do at present, taking the Georgia Senate seats, is a 50-50 split in the Senate. In a Biden Administration, however, Vice President Harris, as President of the Senate, would cast the tiebreaking vote in that Chamber, giving the Democrats control of the Senate, the House of Representatives and the White House. In such a circumstance, the Democrat Party would be able to pack the Supreme Court, open U.S. borders and create two new states (Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.) with the effect of guaranteeing one-sided Democrat control of the U.S. government and its policies for years to come. The financial markets tend to prefer political stability and predictability to one-power control. Again, as discussed in Executive Global (Spring 2019), “...with U.S. federal debt levels up against the debt ceiling, a euphemistically entitled Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) has generated some political turmoil in Washington. Largely dismissed out of hand by mainstream economists and www.executive-global.com
politicians, MMT offers a rapid downhill ride into a U.S. hyperinflation. In contrast, mainstream U.S. politicians already have the U.S. on a slower, albeit just as calamitous downhill ride into hyperinflation.” “... MMT centers on the concept that a sovereign state, such as the United States, can print its money at will, no need to balance a budget or to sell bonds. The theory goes that the U.S. cannot default on debt denominated in its sovereign currency, the U.S. Dollar, since the U.S. simply can print any dollars needed to cover its obligations. “Applied to the United States, the theory advocates that the government simply print whatever dollars it needs to provide a guaranteed minimum income and/ or employment to the general population. There is no need to issue bonds. Should inflation pick up and become a problem, the U.S. government simply has to take excess cash out of the system to contain it, by raising taxes or then by selling bonds, per MMT. “Having reviewed the MMT approaches, I find that this system effectively guarantees a hyperinflation, and a full debasement of the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar, rather quickly. “Nonetheless, the MMT concept has been embraced by Democratic Socialists in the U.S. Congress. That circumstance could foment particularly contentious and tumultuous political conditions coming into the 2020 Presidential and Congressional elections, where elements of the popular U.S. media already have embraced the MMT concepts. In contrast, Federal Reserve Chairman Powell indicated, ‘The idea that deficits don’t matter for countries that can borrow in their own currency I think is just wrong.’ MMT largely has been denounced and dismissed out of hand by establishment economists, politicians and Federal Reserve officials, who otherwise have brought the U.S. economy, U.S. fiscal conditions and the U.S. Dollar to their current [pre-Pandemic] states of extreme peril.”
WE ARE ALREADY HEADED INTO HYPERINFLATION? What happened? In response to the unfolding, Pandemic induced, systemic collapse in February 2020, the U.S. Federal Reserve embarked upon massive, unfettered money supply creation, while the Federal Government launched uncontrolled deficit spending (albeit only the first round, preelection). Continuing uncontrolled monetary and fiscal stimuli already are promised for the year(s) ahead. As we go to press, the latest weekly level of M1 Money Supply was by a record 55% year-to-year, with the level of U.S. Federal Debt exceeding GDP by a record ratio, well beyond the prior historical extreme seen with World War II. If the Federal Reserve and the Federal Government are unable to stabilise the economy and financial system, or to bring the monetary extremes under control, the United States Dollar will face increasingly rapid debasement in mounting inflation, ultimately a full collapse in a hyperinflation. A SURGING GOLD PRICE WILL TEND TO SIGNAL AN ACCELERATING INFLATION PROBLEM Gold is a store of wealth, and holding physical gold will tend to maintain the purchasing power of one’s assets and income. Historically, gold often has been the currency, and it has maintained its purchasing power over millennia. The same amount of gold that bought a loaf of bread in Ancient Rome would buy a loaf of bread today. As frequently discussed here, the price of gold tends to follow and often anticipates underlying actual inflation. EG
For further information, please visit: www.ShadowStats.com Autumn 2020 •
America Hold On to Your Seats Monetary Regime Change Ahead! It is an unfortunate reality that by the end of their education, regardless of the level or the program pursued (with some exceptions), few are those who possess a deep understanding of money’s true nature. You may receive a general overview of how to manage your finances, or how to invest, if you’re lucky, but overall, it’s unlikely that you will learn anything about the real state of affairs within the very economy that you live in, writes Thomas Hughes. or the most part, we receive knowledge that the educational system, the media, the state and the banks want us to have. Alas, all it does is instruct one to blindly follow the crowd. Society inevitably forces people to take the current monetary system for granted. People in positions of power, world leaders and central banks, want everyone to fall in line and be an obedient, exemplary citizen that doesn’t ask too many questions. You should work your 9-to-5, take out plenty of credit for your car and house, keep your money in checking and savings accounts and unquestioningly follow the advice of bank employees who seek to get the most out of customer funds... As such, it comes as no surprise that Jerome Powell, the current Chair of the Federal Reserve, went relatively unnoticed by the masses with his 27th August speech, even though the policies it outlined will heavily affect the whole economy and every single person living in it. Powell announced a major policy change regarding average inflation targeting, outlining the Fed’s plans for allowing inflation to run higher than 2% as ways to make up for previous periods during which inflation was lower than desired.
EXTRAORDINARY RAMIFICATIONS Naturally, just like with quantitative easing, this announcement would mean little to nothing for the vast majority of the population who simply aren’t geared for understanding its implications. However, as the economic crisis continues to ramp up, people now have no choice but to grasp what’s happening and independently look for the best way out of a rapidly worsening situation. Only you can take care of yourself, and if you leave your well-being at the mercy of banks, be prepared to suffer the consequences. In order to make the right decisions with your money, it is imperative to study financial developments, rather than blindly following the herd
and its dishonest, sometimes confused shepherds. First and foremost, you need to figure out what money truly is, and more importantly, how the monetary system functions. Only then will you be able to understand the repercussions of the Fed’s policies on your everyday life and what you can do to protect yourself from even graver consequences. Now, since childhood, we have largely been conditioned to accept state currencies (also called fiat currencies) as the norm, perhaps the only norm there is...For decades, the US dollar has enjoyed its reign as the strongest unit, seeing as it has been designated as the world’s reserve currency. The US
FOR DECADES, THE US DOLLAR HAS ENJOYED ITS REIGN AS THE STRONGEST UNIT, SEEING AS IT HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AS THE WORLD’S RESERVE CURRENCY.
dollar forms the backbone of the current monetary and financial system around the globe. Following the creation of the Bretton Woods agreement in 1944, the already influential USD only grew stronger. In August 1971, US President Richard Nixon ended that system and temporarily banned the conversion of the dollar into gold, which only further strengthened the American currency. Essentially, Richard Nixon enabled the current
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fiat system, which was legalised in January 1976 and allowed the dollar to behave without any real international control. YOU MUST PUT YOUR MONEY TO WORK As advantageous as it was for the global standing of the US dollar, every fiat currency is inevitably flawed at its core. Without any real value attached to a banknote, any person whose quality of life depends on money (the vast majority) becomes at risk...If the Federal Reserve decides to implement an unlimited quantitative easing program, as it already has before, people will be left to deal with its consequences on their own. The elite in central banks is ultimately unaffected by the unchecked amount of worthless money it creates, but we, on the receiving end, are living in an economy that is akin to a glasshouse and it could take just one good crisis to shatter it all. With the Fed’s latest shift in monetary policy, current monetary inflation will lead to a drop in purchasing power that has not occurred in decades. If this doesn’t mean anything to you, consider this... In 1971, $1,000 was equal to $6,456.63 in 2020, as per the DollarTimes equation calculator. According to PolitiFact, in 1968, a full-time employee earning minimum wage could support a family of three above the poverty line. Today, the same employee would live in poverty with a family of two. At the behest of entities like the Federal Reserve, the purchasing power continues to decrease, consequently undermining people’s financial freedom. Thus keeping your savings in fiat currency is not only pointless, but detrimental to your rights. There is simply no reason to keep your funds in US dollars, as they lose value over time. Meanwhile, the fiat system constantly pushes people to spend money on unnecessary things just to keep itself afloat while eroding the real wealth of the population. The other major problem with fiat currency is that the money you store in your bank account
Monetary Policy Photo: UPI / Alamy Stock Photo
does not actually belong to you. In the system as it is right now, banks can unapologetically confiscate funds at any time for any reason. Banks can prohibit transactions without explanation and there is little that you, as a customer, can do about it if the institution has made its decision. The US dollar ultimately strips its owners of any real control, leaving them at the mercy of the fiat system. The Federal Reserve not only began to implement an unlimited quantitative easing program, but also reduced the reserve requirements for US banks to zero. Somehow, this statement has gone largely unnoticed, yet it is actually of great significance. What it means is that now, if an American has funds in their account, this does not necessarily mean that the bank holds them on hand and they are available for withdrawal. To avoid the collapse of the banking system during times of
crisis (now is a time of crisis), governments have the power to limit the amount of cash withdrawals available to the population - we have observed this phenomenon in countries like Greece in the past and we are likely to see it again, as the coronavirus pandemic-related lockdowns so conveniently decimate economies around the world. If you choose to support fiat money - the choice is yours, but only after carefully examining the implications of the ongoing economic crisis. You may have witnessed stores in your area no longer accepting cash under the pretext of safety - this is only the beginning. The world is inevitably going digital, so it’s only natural that many government currencies will become digital as well... And this gives great concerns for privacy and personal freedoms. China, for example, was the first to jump on the occasion and use the opportunity to begin digitising its money. The Chinese digital government currency is by far one of the most advanced in the world and is already being tested in several cities. In a few months, the digital currency will be integrated into the popular Chinese Weibo app. 100% DIGITAL FIAT IS ANTI-FREEDOM The government’s digital currency is the final piece of the massive surveillance system implemented inside the country. It harmoniously complements the Chinese social credit system, which allows all Chinese citizens to be constantly monitored and given positive or negative points. The amount of points accumulated determines the benefits that Chinese citizens receive, while its consequences could even prevent some people from traveling. Keep in mind: you lose points for criticising the government. This picture of the future is terrifying, but many Western democracies are striving for it. Government digital currencies put citizens’ freedom at incredible risk. Consider the following scenario very carefully, for it is no longer the stuff of dystopian fiction, but a likely outcome if central banks are allowed to carry out everything they have so far set out to do. Over the years, more and more money is deliberately printed into circulation, effectively inflating the currency beyond repair and eroding what little value it had left. That done, the central bank introduces digital dollars (not redeemable in physical cash) as the only form of payment for the masses. With this form of currency already enabling unlimited governmental tracking, the state then establishes a system like the Universal Basic Income (UBI) which allows it to control and block citizens’ payouts and transactions at will. You could even find yourself completely locked out of the system, unable to purchase anything... The digitization of the world is inevitable, but for it to work and respect people’s basic rights and freedoms, any digital currency must be limited in quantity (unlike the current fiat dollars) and at the very least be backed by gold or silver. One must be able to possess personal assets to retain privacy and autonomy, as stated in Howard Buffett’s paper ‘Human Freedom Rests on Gold Redeemable Money’. EG
Autumn 2020 •
PRODUCTIVITY STRATEGY PROFITABILITY
Profitability in Export Finance Our dedicated interview with Chiara Felicitas-Otto, Managing Director at exficon GmbH, showcases one of Germany’s most cutting-edge financial advisory firms delivering expert consulting services and Interview with Chiara Felicitas-Otto innovative financing schemes, including the implementation of MANAGING DIRECTOR complex financing structures for export and project financings. AT EXFICON GMBH Executive Global highlights the trail blazers supporting emerging WWW.EXFICON.DE economies and developing countries, with a strong focus on Africa. What has your tremendous experience analysing the bankability of export and project finance transactions, taught you about the potential of the African market? The first lesson we have been taught was, that CFO there is no “African market”. There are 54 different markets, each one with its specifics, with its own history, its own legislation, and its very own way to do business. We are active in 25+ countries across the African continent and have realised many projects by combining due diligence and subsequent structuring of a transaction in accordance with international standards with the local flavour to make a project a success. We see great potential across the continent in various sectors and we are ready to render our advisory services to anyone who is willing to dig deep into this exciting geographical region. EG
Since the arrival of exficon GmbH how has the project finance and export finance sector improved for companies requiring multi-country sourcing of equipment and know-how? exficon has been around for almost 10 years. We CFO have structured a number of complex project and export finance transactions with multi-country sourcing aspects and several credit enhancement mechanisms which had to be combined to raise the commercial loans for the project. Complexity does not scare us – we embrace the challenges these constellations bring with them and as advisory team we will be able to manage them, with and for our clients. EG
And with your extensive knowledge, how do you ensure maximum profitability for your clients? We have seen many projects which were CFO primarily designed to maximise the profit – EG
that is not our approach. Together with our clients we design the right project with the best-suited technology for the specific location and then we use our financial engineering knowledge to structure the financing in a way that makes the project economically sound and viable, hence sustainable, and – at the same time – enables the local community to benefit from the project by offering the services or the product at a reasonable and affordable price. It is a fine line to fulfill both the commercial aspects (profitability) and to improve the living conditions of the local population. A topnotch electrified railway does not help if no one can afford the ridership fee. It is our prime intention to structure projects matching the equilibrium. Having structured transactions for commercial banks and development institutions, how integral was the role of exficon GmbH in delivering solutions to some of the most complex deals? Base infrastructure is a field where you CFO typically find international financing institutions as lenders or even as donors. We have seen projects fail after some years when donor funding stopped. Therefore, our most important approach is that projects have to be economically viable on a stand-alone basis. We construct complex financial models to do such calculations and to provide models proving that the project could continue even if there was no grant element provided by a donor or grant elements will phase out over time. In order to attract interest of commercial banks, the project itself needs to be stable enough to sustain. This is – in our humble opinion – the prerequisite of a successful project and we are delighted to assist our clients in building a robust business case for their venture.
• Productivity, Strategy, Profitability
Against the backdrop of global uncertainty with Brexit and trade, why is it more important now, for businesses to have expert consultancy and project finance advisory solutions in place? And what are some of the greatest challenges associated with implementing project finance solutions in Africa? Many African countries do not yet have CFO legislation in place enabling large-scale project finance transactions. Implementing projects in these countries is extremely difficult and needs tremendous legal efforts. This uncertainty is also reflected in the financing costs as any credit enhancement mechanism will be priced accordingly. Therefore, the greatest challenge is the legal framework of the respective project country. EG
Tell us more about how your new digital services for electronic procurement may benefit clients in the current market? We have been active as procurement or sourcing CFO agent since 2013 having concluded more than 100 processes successfully. To transform our services into the 21st century, we have launched an e-procurement platform this year which enables public authorities and private companies to launch their tenders electronically and to collect the bids electronically, too. Minimizing hard-copy submissions for tenders increases transparency and eliminates fraudulent acts which often lead to lengthy processes and non-awards of tenders for projects which are of great importance for the countries. With this new product we substantially contribute to faster procurement processes, to more transparency and to quicker implementation of the projects. EG EG
For further information, please visit: www.exficon.de
Many African countries do not yet have legislation in place enabling large-scale project finance transactions.
The Morgan Report
In The Grips of a Currency Crisis, Silver Will Prevail Silver is crucial in a high-tech society. Article by
David Morgan PUBLISHER & CEO, THE MORGAN REPORT
he smartphone: what was once thought to be a luxury item has now become an essential good, shifting roles from a mere gadget to a necessity. Today, our smartphones keep us connected to a world – a new world, where any information is attainable, where we can communicate, educate, debate, and react in real-time. They have been lifelines in a new era of social distancing and displacement, creating a world without borders, all within reach through the tap of a touch-screen. To produce these pocket-sized computers that we all carry around today, however, phone manufacturers like Apple and Samsung depend on a steady supply of silver in the production process. But despite silver’s role as an integral component for the hardware, these manufacturers do not stockpile silver reserves, rather obtaining their silver on a justin-time basis. Nevertheless, if the silver supply was under threat of depletion due to increased investor demand, these major manufacturers would, without a doubt, begin to shift away from a just-in-time inventory approach and towards a just-in-case inventory management philosophy. Moreover, even in a silver market environment characterised by bullish investor demand, where the price of silver would consequently rise, market conditions would not deter these phone manufacturers from acquiring the metal. In assessing these circumstances, then, it becomes clear that a compounding effect would materialise. Even in a recession, people will be willing to pay for the newest smartphone technology, meaning that
even if the silver price were to increase by tenfold, manufacturers like Apple and Samsung would feed into market demand. This same principle applies across the global industrial landscape, as various industry manufacturers rely on a percentage of silver to facilitate the development of their end-products, all around the world. History has taught us not to underestimate the ability of industrial players to influence resource markets. A testament to this is the palladium market surge in the late 1990s to early 2000s, fuelled by Ford Motor Company’s decision to switch from platinum to palladium and subsequent stockpiling on part of the company. In this case, the decision of a single company drove the palladium price to record highs in 2018; a phenomenon that can realistically be replicated in the silver market. ABOVE ALL ELSE, MONETARY DEMAND INFORMS THE SILVER PRICE Alas, while industrial demand is important, it is monetary demand that pushes the silver price higher. The demand for silver as money, as a safehaven to hedge against increasing uncertainty and global instability, is what forces the price to advance. This year has seen many records shattered, with unemployment numbers, market volatility, and of course, the gold-to-silver ratio, all soaring beyond the
• Productivity, Strategy, Profitability
nth degree, but there is one record that bears special mention. Monetary demand typically accounts for 10% of the silver demand, with industrial demand accounting for 50%. In 2020, however, silver purchased for investment accounted for almost 50% of the market. WHAT DOES THIS LEAVE US WITH? A DEFICIT We have a lot to learn when we take a closer look at silver’s complex history. Looking back between the years of 1990 to 2006, silver was in a structural deficit. In that 15-year window, the above-ground inventory of commercial silver fell from a resounding two billion ounces to 500 million ounces. For 15 consecutive years, there was an off-take of 100 million ounces per year on average, with a total of 1.5 billion ounces depleted by the end. Since that pivotal point in 2006, however, the above-ground inventory has been building. This is primarily due to the surge of new mining activity taking place to sustain China as it undergoes its longstanding industrial boom. At this point in time, there are around 2.5 billion ounces of silver above ground; numbers last seen over 30 years ago. But, while some may believe that the aboveground silver inventory is an accurate measure to
The Morgan Report Photo: VladKK / Shutterstock.com
forecast price, the reality is that it is not. Such a belief would go against the fundamental supplyand-demand relationships on a grand scale. After all, the most recent high in the silver price was late April 2011, and at that point in time, the above-ground inventory had been building for at least five years. Silver was politically demonetised beginning in 1873 until the late 1930s, when President Roosevelt’s silver manipulations forced China off of the silver standard. Withdrawing this significant monetary demand for silver from the market naturally made the metal lose its value against gold, and sprouting
THE DEMAND FOR SILVER AS MONEY, AS A SAFEHAVEN TO HEDGE AGAINST INCREASING UNCERTAINTY AND GLOBAL INSTABILITY, IS WHAT FORCES THE PRICE TO ADVANCE.
industrial demand was still not capable of soaking up the excess supply. From 1873 to 1941, the goldsilver ratio continued to tread its way up, until it hit 100:1 for the first time in history. With numerous zigs and zags, the ratio made its way back down to a low in 1980, below 16:1. Recently, however, the ratio has climbed back up to a dangerous height of 125:1, something the world hasn’t seen since the Great Depression, leading us to believe an even Greater Depression is in the cards if something doesn’t change. The price of silver is determined through buying and selling pressure in the market. The buying pressure that contributed to the 2011 high was historic, sending the price to parabolic heights. This is something we expect to see happen again. This time, however, the amount of physical metal to cool off the market will be held by strong hands, by investment firms and silver advocates that expect to see silver prices reflect the monetary destruction that has been taking place since the U.S. dollar parted ways with the established international gold system. THE ONGOING CURRENCY CRISIS HAS BEEN FESTERING FOR YEARS Since the value of the U.S. dollar was unhooked from that of gold in 1971, the depreciation of the
U.S. dollar has accelerated. In the last century, the U.S. dollar has lost a resounding 98% of its initial value. In light of this fact, it is tempting to dig deeper in an attempt to understand the underlying factors, to get a better picture of what the future could have in store for the world’s most trusted currency. When studying any currency, it is imperative to recognise that currencies, at the very basic level, are nothing more than representations of a corresponding country’s ability to print pieces of paper. Pieces of paper that have a value dependent on trust above anything else. Working backwards, now: what is trust, and how is it earned? Simply put, trust is the perception of confidence and vulnerability towards any concept or structure. To trust something is to know it to be true, to believe it will not falter, and to acknowledge its validity. This definition of trust is applicable to trust in a country’s currency. People will hold and use a currency as a primary medium of exchange when they trust that it is a true representation of value. However, in recent years, what has become increasingly clear is that more people are waking up to the fact that global currencies are headed towards worthlessness, seeking alternative methods to preserve their wealth. This development indicates a diminishing willingness to trust currencies as money, and while government institutions continue to print and inject fabricated money into their economies, people are moving away from currencies and towards assets with inherent value: precious metals. A testament to this is the growing investment base for silver as money, as an investment, and as hard assets in the year 2020. If currencies continue to be unbacked by real, indisputable value, they will tread their way to worthlessness. The reason there continues to be an infinite demand for “money” is that the current monetary system has been built upon years and years of debt: debt that can never be repaid, as the interest to pay the debt must be accounted for. There are flaws in the monetary system today that can no longer be ignored. WHAT LIES AHEAD… The greatest currency experiment in the world is failing, and the world is now beginning to grasp the severity of the situation. The market will speak for itself. For that reason, we believe that investment demand will remain at these historic levels for the next few years, with the promising potential to rise beyond current records. Strong, sustained silver moves occur when many people decide suddenly they want silver because it is money. Today, when stocks, currencies, bonds, and other paper assets have begun to disappoint investors, investor attitudes are shifting. What starts as a trickle ends as a tidal wave when the panic peaks. When public revulsion at the U.S. dollar begins, the tidal wave will become a tsunami. Silver, far more volatile than gold, will benefit most. EG
For further information, please visit: www.TheMorganReport.com Autumn 2020 •
Broadcaster & Founder, Keiser Report
In terms of asset allocation for 2020 and beyond, even if you allocate 5% into Bitcoin, that allocation will eclipse everything in your portfolio within 3-5 years.
â&#x20AC;˘ Productivity, Strategy, Profitability
Broadcaster & Founder, Keiser Report
THE BITCOIN MOGUL Our exclusive interview on The Bitcoin Mogul with Max Keiser, renowned American broadcaster, filmmaker, journalist, venture capitalist, successful Wall Street veteran and presenter of the Keiser Report and the Orange Pill Podcast, examines the impact of Central bank policy, debt monetisation, asset bubbles, the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies, as well as central bank digital currencies throughout the world economy in the wake of a global monetary crisis precipitated by inflation. Executive Global sit down to discuss fintech and global macroeconomic risk with one of Wall Street’s most brilliant minds. ’Gold, silver and Bitcoin today, stocks bonds and real estate tomorrow’. With your expert insight into current asset class valuations, could this statement reflect a wise approach to asset allocation in 2020? EG
Paul Tudor Jones, Stan Druckenmiler, and other incredibly successful fund managers are piling into Bitcoin now that it has proven itself as MK
superior to Gold, but with 30-50x the price appreciation potential. PTJ calls it the ‘fastest horse in the race.’ In terms of asset allocation for 2020 and beyond, even if you allocate 5% into Bitcoin, that allocation will eclipse everything in your portfolio within 3 -5 years. In other words, if you put $1 million (5% of your portfolio) into bitcoin now, within 3-5 years it’ll be worth $30-$50M.
Autumn 2020 •
Broadcaster & Founder, Keiser Report
Central banks will start sending their digital Fed Coins directly to citizens, bypassing Wall Street and the commercial banking sector. CV MAX KEISER BORN USA ALMA MATER New York University EXPERIENCE 1982 Started career on Wall Street. 1989 Top options producer, Shearson Lehman Hutton. 1995 Sold a treatment for a feature film to Miramax, starring Alec Baldwin. 1996 Created the Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX). 2001 Sold HSX to Cantor Fitzgerald. 2003 Met Stacy Herbert, started doing what later became known as ‘podcasting’. 2005 Began making films and TV programs for many outlets such as BBC, Al-Jazeera, and RT. 2011 Started buying Bitcoin at $1. 2013 Created Bitcoin VC fund: Heisenberg Capital.
Whatever is the thing you most dread doing today, start with that.
Avoid energy draining people, groups and places and try to stick with energy boosting people, groups and places.
Cut losses quick, let winners ride.
With the U.S. repo market set ablaze at the end of 2019, followed by the impeccably timed pandemic in the aftermath, we witnessed the most extraordinary printing of currency in history. What are the most effective ways for investors to protect themselves now? I think it’s very generous, rhetorically speaking, MK to refer to what central banks are doing as money printing. That sounds like there’s some kind of policy or logic behind it. Truth is, the dam has broken, and the world is being flooded with toxic, worthless fiat on a biblical scale, and like in the Bible, Bitcoin is the ark that will save a few people from drowning. EG
With the Banking For All act legislated through Congressional Bill S.3571 mandating ‘digital dollars’ and ‘digital dollar wallets’, slated for implementation no later than January 1st 2021, what impact may the digitisation of the USD have on the American economy? Moreover, how damning an indictment and tacit admission of foolhardy debt monetisation and central bank policy, is this legislation? Central banks will start sending their digital MK Fed Coins directly to citizens, bypassing Wall St. and the commercial banking sector. They are getting ready to throw the bankers under the bus. Deposits will be replaced with these new Fed Coins and these new coins will have an expiration date. Either you spend them or they expire worthless. Additionally, these Fed Coins will take censorship and surveillance to China-like extremes. It’s a model I call the Casino-Gulag. People will be stuck in their cubicles clicking on ads in exchange for Fed Coins that might afford them a few protein pills to keep from starving another day. If you complain, you get cut off from the grid and left to die in the gutter. America already does this with its draconian health care system that creates hundreds of thousands of health care bankruptcies a year to feed the kleptocrats and opioid, Oxycontin pushers who run the system. American politicians think of themselves as disciples of Dr Kevorkian and their primary job is to euthanise us in as dignified, and profitable way possible. EG
If the ripple effect on U.S. Treasuries and total specie in circulation of the Fed’s balance sheet growth as it heads to $10 trillion in assets is ultimately negative, wouldn’t an asset backed physical dollar be critical to maintaining
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normalcy and purchasing power, instead of just digitising it all? The only non corrupted, non correlated asset left is Bitcoin and Bitcoin was born to take down nation states and central banks (this exact message was hard-coded into the Bitcoin protocol that was released on Jan. 3, 2009 in response to the 2008 financial crisis) Expect some fireworks because governments can’t coerce, steal, or confiscate your unconfiscatable Bitcoin. It’ll be tense for sure, but we’re witnessing the death of nation states thanks to perfect money: Bitcoin. MK
And what impact will the ‘Mexican Standoff ’ between decentralised Cryptocurrencies and state-issued Central Bank Digital Currencies, have upon markets, institutional and retail investors? Nation states will eventually give up their MK impossible quest to tame Bitcoin and they’ll start buying and mining it in what I call the Global Hash War. We’re having a Sputnik-like moment where the US and other countries are waking up to the fact that they need to catch up with China, Iran and other countries who are already hoarding Bitcoin as a way to deal with the collapsing USD and the need to escape sanctions and interruptions to global payment rails like SWIFT for dubious political reasons. EG
We often hear ‘there is not enough gold!’ but couldn’t the price of gold just be dramatically revalued upwards to say, $5,000,000 per OZ, to permanently resolve the problem of rampant debt monetisation? Sure, and it will, but Bitcoin is going to MK $500,000 to catch up to Gold’s market capitalisation, so I’d rather own Bitcoin. EG
If we have gold, silver, cash and Bitcoin in the Blue Corner, and Central Bank Digital Currencies, Negative Interest Rates and MMT in the Red corner, can the two ever co-exist peacefully? What happens to cash if CBDCs win this fight? No, there is no peaceful co-existence between MK Bitcoin and everything else for the simple reason that Bitcoin has an insatiable demand for energy. It already runs at 120 quintillion calculations per second, and that number is rising exponentially. EG
Broadcaster & Founder, Keiser Report
With rampant debt monetisation, the economic outlook seems bleak on this trajectory. If you could advise the President of the United States on markets and the economy, what would your advice be and why? The office of the President of the US has MK been irreparably damaged by the previous few administrations and its importance is fading fast, except for use as a prop for movies and TV shows. Eric Holder, Obama’s Attorney General, for example, suggested that prosecution of financial crimes in America will jeopardise national security. I would posit the opposite, that failure to prosecute these heinous acts is tantamount to acts of financial terrorism on the part of the Attorney General. EG
As founder of the Hollywood Stock Exchange which you later sold to Cantor Fitzgerald, you’re always on the cutting edge of innovation. What other exciting projects in this space peak your interest? My venture fund Heisenberg Capital has made MK recent investments in CASA, SwanBitcoin. com and Infinite Fleet. CASA is the best Bitcoin vaulting service in the business. SwanBitcoin.com/ Max is the best on-ramp for anyone looking to get into Bitcoin and Infinite Fleet is a multiplayer online game built using Bitcoin, founded by an absolute Bitcoin rock star, Samson Mow. EG
ABOUT KEISER REPORT Keiser Report is the most trusted news source in the world when it comes to exposing banking and finance industry scandals. Max Keiser is the creator of the Bitcoin VC Fund Heisenberg Capital and began buying Bitcoin at $1. He patented the Virtual Specialist Technology (pat. no. 5950176) that invented virtual currencies, virtual market-making, virtual securities, and was the basis for the first commercial prediction-market; the Hollywood Stock Exchange.
» Invented virtual currencies, virtual markets,
virtual market-making and prediction markets.
» Keiser Report, broadcast in 100 countries, in
English and Spanish. Since covering Bitcoin at $1, created over 100,000 Bitcoin millionaires.
» Keiser Report en espanol now regularly gets between 1-2 million views on YouTube.
» We helped raise and are investors in many
Bitcoin OG startups including Kraken, Bitso, Shapeshift, BitPay and more.
» Keiser Report has aired over 1,600 episodes
over 11 years and was the first to cover Bitcoin.
You have been proven to be correct with your predictions for a very long time now! With both fundamental and technical analysis, what ceiling price do you realistically see Bitcoin reaching before finally levelling off to a more stable level? Bitcoin has no top because fiat money has MK no bottom. Whatever your imagination thinks might be the ultimate top for Bitcoin, quadruple it and you’ll be getting closer to where we’re going. EG EG
As the market moves into Bitcoin and Bitcoin’s energy needs keep to expanding, there simply won’t be any energy available to run any competing system. It’s ironic, because it’s Bitcoin that will euthanise the nation state and fiat money by cutting off its energy supply. The Bank of England and U.S. Federal Reserve this year stated they would allow unlimited QE, in what some may deem financial seppuku, creating risk on a magnitude not seen since Weimar Germany. Explain the consequences of such policies? They have no choice, as Bernie Madoff said MK when he got arrested, ”There is no innocent explanation” referring to his Ponzi scheme. And this applies to the central banks’ ponzi schemes. It’s a dead certainty that the only path for them is to keep doubling down on financial fraud. EG
For further information, please visit: https://www.rt.com/shows/keiser-report/
ABOUT MAX KEISER Max Keiser is an American broadcaster and filmmaker. With the help of Keiser’s co-host and wife Stacy Herbert, and guests from around the world, Keiser Report tells you what is really going on in the global economy, in his groundbreaking financial program broadcast on RT that features heterodox economics theories. He is the Founder and Inventor of the Hollywood Stock Exchange which he later sold to Cantor Fitzgerald.
Autumn 2020 •
The Ecstasy of Gold Surely, each of us has, or had at some point, paper money in the pocket: $5, $10, $20, $100...But how much is it really worth? We would like to believe that the answer to this question is “as much as it’s written on the banknote”, writes Oliver Taylor. owever, no matter how many banknotes you have in your wallet, these are nothing more than pieces of paper. Ultimately, their value is determined by collective confidence in the government and the economy, and our belief that if needed, the pieces of paper can be redeemed for their denominated purchasing power. This is what fiat currency looks like. The worldwide economy is akin to a massive, omnipresent, living, ever-evolving organism that encompasses every continent, country and citizen; the blood that runs through its veins is a constantly growing mass of unbacked fiat currency. The major players in that economy simply agreed on the value of paper money, and widespread compliance with this agreement is based on little more than confidence in governments and central banks that issue the banknotes. Fiat currency has no collateral in the form of real tangible property such as precious metals. Its value is backed by the state’s exclusive monopoly over a currency’s status as the only legal means of payment in a country (or a group of countries, e.g. the eurozone), as well as the participants’ trust in the issuer. To ensure the continued demand for paper money, the state collects taxes, which can only be paid in its specific currency of choice. Most academic definitions of fiat money inevitably link the government to its success and longevity, as the effective execution of its functions by paper money depends exclusively on the mechanisms of the political power in place.
Although fiat currency is not a recent invention, it was not until the middle of the 20th century that it became widely accepted around the world. Before that, people traded with goods with a specific, tangible value that could be physically measured. At the dawn of mankind, barter was the predominant system of commercial exchange. One type of merchandise was simply traded for another: the farmer paid the carpenter with a cow, for example. However, there was always a chance that one of the parties in the transaction simply might not need the goods offered in exchange, which left the other without anything to trade for them. This situation laid the foundation for the need of a universal equivalent of value - money. At first, the role of currency was played by the goods that were the most in demand (think toilet paper in Venezuela), which were recognised by everyone as a universal means of payment. THE STANDARD OF CURRENCY As the civilisation continued to develop further, precious metals such as gold and silver gradually took over the function of money. Largely valued by most advanced societies, they became the benchmark of wealth. Silver coins or ingots were used for day to day transactions, while gold coins served the purpose of more serious, expensive business settlements. For centuries, precious metals have settled in as the standard of currency. Fast forward closer to our times, as the world began undergoing globalisation, the market saw the rise of representative currency, which came
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into use in the 19th century. Banks and individuals began operating with bills of exchange (like gold certificates) and other similar securities, which gave their owner the right to demand the fulfilment of certain financial or proprietary obligations from the issuer. For example, the issuer would give the bearer a certain amount of gold for an official certificate. Depending on the reliability and solvency of the issuer, such securities could be in circulation as banknotes.
AT THE DAWN OF MANKIND, BARTER WAS THE PREDOMINANT SYSTEM OF COMMERCIAL EXCHANGE. ONE TYPE OF MERCHANDISE WAS SIMPLY TRADED FOR ANOTHER...
Monetary Policy Photo: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy Stock Photo
The value of such currency was determined by the presence of a sufficient amount of precious metal in the issuer’s property, in order to fulfil all its obligations. If a bank went bankrupt, then the bill of exchange turned from money into a useless piece of paper. Today, paper money is not secured either in precious metals or any other assets. You can exchange it for the currency of other states, but at a trading rate that is determined by a complex set of influencing factors. All in all, the value of fiat currencies is now determined by the credibility of the issuer and market conditions. Distrust of market participants can quickly collapse any national monetary system, and it has before. In fact, considering the depreciation of money (namely the US dollar) through its inflation, and the unprecedented conditions caused by the coronavirus crisis, the world’s leading fiat currencies are actually at risk. While fiat money seems to facilitate global trade through ease of transaction, the constant danger of inflationary processes, associated with the possibility of a sudden loss of confidence in the issuer for political reasons, and an uncontrolled increase in the volume of money supply, render it ultimately unsustainable. www.executive-global.com
Fiat currency is a particularly fragile construct, and the central banks’ continued mismanagement of fiscal instruments have undermined public confidence in the system. As history has demonstrated before, when paper money comes crashing, people turn to the time-proven symbol of wealth: gold. At last, after decades of fiscal mismanagement and unviable policies, asset bubbles and negative rates, as stock market illusions come undone, gold ought to reclaim its status as honest money with genuine value. And that’s why central banks and governments, who thrive on deception, both hate and stockpile it. THOSE WHO KNOW, UNDERSTAND The few who have known it all along, are prepared for the shift. However, as the rest of the world begins to realise that their fiat currency hasn’t had real value ever since Richard Nixon canceled the exchange of dollar to gold in 1971, as they see their purchasing power plummet, they will start frantically scrambling for the precious metal, much like Tuco at the end of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966) searching a cemetery for $200,000 worth of gold to the sound of Ennio Morricone’s iconic composition: The Ecstasy of Gold.
In fact, it has already begun. Lately, the precious metal has been hitting record highs, and if fiat currencies continue to plummet, gold will only keep rising. Financial markets view gold as a defence against inflation and currency devaluation - it plays the role of a “safe haven” in financial investments. The global panic in the face of the coronavirus pandemic has led to a noticeable increase in demand for gold as investors have started to move away from risky investment assets to safer ones. Furthermore, due to the massive injection of money by world central banks as an attempt to maintain liquidity (that is, bailout) in the financial markets, the likelihood of future inflation has greatly increased. The direct defence against potential inflation is an investment in gold. The most obvious influencer in these events is the Federal Reserve System (FRS), which essentially serves as the central bank of the United States. It is in fact the most important financial player in the world of finance. The Fed pours money into the American financial market by buying its securities (most often, these are US government bonds - the so-called treasuries). Those buy-outs support the demand and prices for US securities, thus keeping the market from falling. MATHEMATICAL INEVITABILITY Many economists and investors worry that the Fed is arbitrarily conjuring money out of thin air in order to save the financial market, and this is true, although it should be noted that the process of printing money in modern times is much more complicated and does not look like it did a hundred years ago, when money was literally printed on a machine. In any case, the Fed’s intervention to support the financial market is increasing the money supply in the US, and at some point this will be reflected in the fact that inflation in the US will rise. The rise in the gold price today already reflects this expectation - and the salvation from future inflation growth. In addition to that, the price of gold is likely to remain on the rise due to the decline in interest rates in the financial markets. There is a widely accepted rule in the world of finance: since gold as an asset does not pay dividends and interest to the investor, then investors’ interest in gold as an investment falls during a time when interest rates on bonds and other instruments rise. That is, if an investor can earn a certain return by investing in securities, he will sell gold and buy such instruments. This logic also works in the opposite direction: when interest rates fall, then gold relatively becomes more popular, due to its intrinsic value which is used for the safekeeping of one’s investments. This is exactly what is happening today. The coronavirus pandemic and the global economic crisis stemming from previous bad practices have forced the world’s central banks to cut interest rates. These rates are now around 0%; the rate cut reduced interest in banking instruments and increased interest in gold. So expect the precious metal’s value to rise… Expect The Ecstasy of Gold. EG Autumn 2020 •
Evidence-Based Wealth Management Our dedicated interview with PHILIPP OCHSNER, CFO and Elite Wealth Manager at IndexInvestor AG, profiles the Swiss wealth management firm with an investment methodology rooted in scientific evidence, supporting investors to better understand capital markets theory and make better decisions with their money. Executive Global sit down with Zurich’s foremost connoisseurs of evidenced-based wealth management. With the shift from defined benefit to defined contribution pension plans in the Western world, why is it increasingly more important to work with a competent wealth manager? Pension Plans are a great tool to save taxes PO because big tax cuts can be made. Also, it is a great tool to invest for the long term since the assets tend to stay many years in the pension fund and sometimes tax benefits can be prolonged even beyond the retirement age. We are pushing the boundaries in having developed solutions where doctors and entrepreneurs, whose income is big enough and have an own company, can set up an individual pension fund just for themselves, which we can manage evidence based in their best interest. A competent manager regarding pension funds, in my view, knows the details and possibilities of tax mitigation and has a solid, evidence based investment philosophy. In the long run, it matters substantially whether you have a good wealth manager, therefore making a choice of choosing the best wealth manager is very important. EG
of each wealth manager is dependent on a high degree of chance in the short run. Only in the long run, do we see who truly did a good job. I believe an investment philosophy based on evidence, low cost and broad diversification, are factors that make success much more probable. You remove your own forecasts and EG assessments from your investment methodology. What advantages does this present to clients? Investors underperform indexes by far and PO large. It mainly has to do with the emotions of “fear” and “greed”. In good times, everyone wants to join the party and in bad times, many sell their assets. That leads to buying when markets are high and selling when markets are low. This also happens to many ETF investors. These emotions generate an average loss compared with buy and hold strategies of several percentages per year. We avoid these mistakes by sticking to science and by staying invested at all times, thus having the highest expected returns and zero risks in missing the index returns.
In an era of negative and zero interest rate EG policy, what effective measures should retirees consider, pertaining to wealth management and estate planning? Long term investors and wealthy individuals PO have the advantage, in that they can invest over the long haul. They can substitute bonds with stocks, which have a far better long term outlook in terms of returns but also in terms of wealth protection, if set up and managed well.
Which asset classes do you think present the best opportunity for growth within the next five years? Stocks have as always, a higher expected return PO than bonds. Among stocks, “Small Cap” and “Value” stocks are expected to perform better. Value stocks are the low priced stock, measured by fundamental factors like “Market Value to Book Value” or “Profitability”, meaning with value stocks you get more book value and more profitability for what you pay for.
What fundamental characteristics would you say comprise a successful wealth manager in 2020? I believe in science, therefore I propose an PO evidence based approach. Do what has the best chance of working and avoid what has a bad chance of working. We know that markets cannot be predicted in the short term. Therefore the success
And with the rapidly changing nature of the global economy, where do you see some of the most exciting opportunities for Index Fund investing? Interestingly, value stocks are currently at an PO all time low. In 57 years of available data, value stocks have never been lower priced compared to growth stocks (Arnott et al, 2020). Because
• Productivity, Strategy, Profitability
valuations are unlikely to stay that far apart, it is very probable that the value stocks will do considerably better over the next few years. Also, value stocks are still impacted by the corona crisis, meaning they have recovered much less than the total market so far. What is the secret to your success, having consistently maintained profitability when investing for the last 13 years? We do not have a crystal ball. With PO IndexInvestor you can expect to have about 70% positive years and 30% negative years. Our magic is in connecting the values and goals of our clients to individual investment solutions, together with our Value Network consisting of selected specialists for renowned doctors and entrepreneurs in Switzerland, that maximise the probability to reach all that is important to them. EG
Tell us more about your book Protect Assets: Evidence and Practice? The book is written for important decision PO makers and is recommended by several finance professors. It summarises the best scientific studies we found on investing within the first ten years of IndexInvestor. It can be read in the same time like a newspaper giving you the key information necessary to empower you to make smart decisions about your money. It is available only in German: “Vermögen schützen: Evidenz und Praxis”. EG EG
For further information, please visit: www.indexinvestor.ch
Vermögen schützen: Evidenz und Praxis https://www.amazon.com/Vermögen-schützen-German-Philipp-Ochsner/dp/3734566851 Arnott et al, 2020 https://www.researchaffiliates.com/en_us/publications/articles/reports-of-values-death-may-be-greatly-exaggerated.html
With IndexInvestor you can expect to have about 70% positive years and 30% negative years.
Brexit Risk Increases – British Pound Likely to Further Depreciate Against Gold Prepare For Brexit and Other Risks Own Gold To Hedge Coming Currency Reset and Devaluations. repare For ‘No-Deal Brexit’ and Other Risks - Own Physical Gold To Protect and Grow Wealth The Brexit deadline of December 31st, the date beyond which the transition or implementation period cannot be extended, now looms large and the dreaded “No-Deal” Brexit outcome looks increasingly possible by the day. There is plenty of brinkmanship, rhetoric and passionately held views on the Brexit issue and recent days have seen this again. It is and will continue to be a highly partisan and divisive issue. It is important to tune out the political noise and realise that whether you are pro-Brexit or anti-Brexit, it will impact most British people’s finances and wealth in a negative way, particularly those who are complacent and unprepared. The draconian response to the Covid crisis and the now second UK lockdown is set to badly impact the UK economy and indeed the global economy. An even greater toll is being placed on already badly impacted and struggling consumers and companies. The timing of Brexit could not be worse given the state of the world macroeconomically, geopolitically and monetarily. An already vulnerable global economy is in turmoil due to the covid virus and the draconian economic lockdowns of most nations. Throw the Brexit financial and very significant economic uncertainty into the mix and you have a very lethal cocktail indeed.
THE LIKELIHOOD OF A ‘NO DEAL’, ‘HARD BREXIT’ HAS INCREASED Even at this “eleventh hour” as the clock approaches midnight, the UK and EU continue to be at loggerheads over a post Brexit trade deal
to replace a transitional agreement that expires at the end of the year on December 31st. Negotiators for both sides continue to warn that there are very wide divergences between the UK and the EU positions in the ongoing negotiations. There are ongoing fresh bids to break the current Brexit deadlock at the highest level by the EU’s European Commission’s Head of Task Force for Relations with the UK, Michael Barnier and the UK’s Chief Negotiator of Task Force Europe, Lord David Frost. UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson says a deal is there to be agreed between the UK and the EU but at the same time Johnson and his team have warned the EU there are only days left for a deal to be reached. This has sparked renewed concern in the EU, whose senior negotiators say they need a longer period to finalise details. Michael Barnier has
THE DRACONIAN RESPONSE TO THE COVID CRISIS AND THE NOW SECOND UK LOCKDOWN, IS SET TO BADLY IMPACT THE UK ECONOMY AND INDEED THE GLOBAL ECONOMY.
• Productivity, Strategy, Profitability
wa rn e d that he sees deepening divergences with the UK. Barnier signalled all was not well in a tweet on November 4th: ”Despite EU efforts to find solutions, very serious divergences remain in Level Playing Field, Governance & Fisheries. These are essential conditions for any economic partnership. [The EU] is prepared for all scenarios.” Sir David Frost replied on Twitter very soon thereafter: ”We’ve just finished two weeks of intensive talks with the EU. Progress made, but I agree with Michael Barnier that wide divergences remain on some core issues. We continue to work to find solutions that fully respect UK sovereignty.” Boris Johnson’s defeat in the House of Lords over his plans to breach international law on Brexit, further complicate matters and may weaken his team’s position. The bill is set to return to the House of Commons in December, when MPs are likely to reinsert the offending clauses. The plans would have allowed the UK government to ignore the Northern Ireland Protocol, handing UK ministers sole power to determine customs regulations on a unilateral basis and to determine when U.K. state aid rules
Photo: Roman Bodnarchuk / Shutterstock.com
might undercut EU companies, rather than having this decided by joint EU and UK committees. The potential election of Joe Biden as American President is another complicating factor as Biden is known to be pro European Union and in favour of the Good Friday Agreement and the Irish government’s position on Brexit, due to his Irish ancestry. Johnson and his negotiators’ brinkmanship on the Irish border issue in the Brexit negotiations
will likely not sit well with the president-elect. Hopefully, the ongoing negotiations and somewhat trenchant positions being adopted are the typical brinkmanship of a very tough negotiation but it is possible that the UK and EU negotiators fail to find compromise solutions on the red line issues. Hence the importance of taking steps to protect you, your families and your business’ finances. QE was always positioned as a short term emergency measure. We warned when it launched in November 2008, that there was a real risk that they would become a near permanent monetary injection in order to support fragile indebted banks, the massively over extended government debt markets and suppress interest rates to protect a hugely over indebted UK economy. And so it has come to pass. There are no free markets anymore, as markets are completely dependent on and hopelessly addicted to central bank monetary injections of trillions and trillions of pounds, euros, dollars, yen, yuan and other fiat currencies. Were they to withdraw them, the giant debt based Ponzi economy they have created since 1971, when Nixon went off the Gold Standard, would collapse. “QE to infinity” as we and others dubbed it does not appear reckless now, as much of the media completely fails to analyse the very real monetary risks and continues to cheerlead our central banks “saviours” and currency debasement on a scale never before seen in human history. However in time, it will be realised that our monetary overlords have been, and are engaged in, a reckless QE and ‘currency reset’ experiment. Ultimately it will lead to massive currency devaluations and potentially the collapse of many currencies a la the German mark in Weimar Germany, or the Argentinian peso in recent years. Prior to that, we may see a coordinated global devaluation and a “currency reset” which devalues all currencies versus gold and pegs the new electronic crypto fiat currencies to gold at a fixed price, at a set price - say for example £10,000, €10,000 and $10,000.
Gold’s average return in GBP of 13.7% per annum since 2005
CONCLUSION - FAIL TO PREPARE FINANCIALLY, PREPARE TO FAIL FINANCIALLY It might seem odd to quote an Irish man who lived from 1856 to 1950 to conclude an article about Brexit, and its likely impact on the financial wellbeing of British people, but it seems quite appropriate. Whether you are a ‘remainer’ or a ‘leaver’, whether you voted to leave or to stay in the EU, or neither, the words of writer, playwright and political activist, George Bernard Shaw, are as apt today as they were when he said them: “You have to choose between trusting to the natural stability of gold and the natural stability of the honesty and intelligence of the members of the government. And, with due respect to these gentlemen, I advise you, as long as the capitalist system lasts, to vote for gold.” Today, the stability, honesty and intelligence of the UK, EU and governments around the world, is being questioned. Given this and the massive debt bubble they and their central bank colleagues have created, it has never been more important for individuals to empower themselves. The key financial way to do this, is to in effect, become their own central back by owning gold as a “reserve of safety,” thereby becoming financially sovereign and independent. Brexit, the politicians and politics of today and the political outcomes of tomorrow, are beyond our control, as are national and global geopolitical and economic outcomes. So it is prudent to focus our energies on what we can do and what we can control – our investments and savings and our financial independence, freedom and prosperity. Each of us as individuals, with our families and in our companies, can control outcomes and ensure they are prosperous rather than poor. There are steps we can take to ensure that no matter what transpires in the very uncertain stormy world of today, we are positioned to be able to weather the storm. A vital part of this preparation involves owning physical gold in the safest ways - either securely in your possession (if you feel very secure in your home) or in the securest specialist gold vaults in safe jurisdictions like Zurich as provided by GoldCore. Diversifying out of depreciating fiat currencies like the pound, euro and dollar, and into physical gold, has never been more important. Investors and savers will weather the coming storms, by owning safe haven physical gold. They will become Sovereign individuals by owning gold coins (Gold Sovereigns and Britannias are CGT free) and gold bars in the most cost effective and safest ways. Ignore the turmoil and noise of Brexit, give yourself peace of mind by voting for gold! EG
Mark O’Byrne is the research consultant and founder of GoldCore.com. He is a leading international expert on gold and silver and using precious metals to protect and grow wealth.
Autumn 2020 •
Pento Portfolio Strategies
The Fed’s Inflation Conundrum Its official! The Fed changed its inflation target from 2% to one that averages above 2% in order to compensate for the years where inflation was below its target. Article by
CEO, PENTO PORTFOLIO STRATEGIES
owell used the specious reasoning that higher inflation would engender higher interest rates, which would then allow the Fed room to lower rates whenever a recession inevitably arrives. This means the Fed is oblivious to another zero figure to match its 0% return forced upon savers. There’s zero evidence, either historically or logically, that an economy needs a sustainable 2% + rate of inflation on the Core PCE Price Index to function properly. Regardless…this is far from the truth behind the Fed’s real motivation. The actual purpose behind its stated goal to create a condition of permanently rising inflation is to pump up asset prices into a perpetually-expanding bubble. This condition has now become necessary in order to ensure Wall Street and banks get bailed out of what would otherwise be a condition of insolvency. Let’s review. First, the Fed has a horrific track record with meeting its first and primary mandate of stable prices. Then, in the wake of the Great Recession, it redefined stable prices as 2% inflation—even though that means the dollar’s purchasing power gets cut in half in 36 years. Now, following his Jackson Hole speech, Chair Powell has adopted a new definition of stable prices, one where its new mandate will be to bring inflation above 2% with the same degree and duration in which it has fallen short of its 2% target.
To be clear, the Fed has no idea what causes inflation. It also deliberately goes way out of its way to under-measure it. Is it any wonder then that the Fed’s historical record proves it has little ability to meet its own inflation target? The Fed has been historically wedded to the belief that CPI is related to the unemployment rate. Inflation is not caused by how many people are successfully employed in gainful and productive work. It is the result of degradation in the faith of a fiat currency’s purchasing power. Such a loss can come from a nation losing the ability to defend itself. More often, a currency begins a protracted and significant erosion when extreme fiscal profligacy causes an insolvent government to begin massively monetising its own debt. The Fed has a tremendous amount of difficulty controlling inflation in either direction. In 7 out of the last 12 years, the Fed has been unable to achieve an average annualised CPI of at least 2%. Therefore, 58% of the time, the Fed has failed to reach its minimum inflation goal. Conversely, inflation spiked to double digits by 1975 and, after a brief pause in’ 76-’77, eventually soared to 14.6% by early 1980. During this process, our central bank found it necessary to raise rates from 3.75% in February 1971, all the way to 20% by the middle of 1980. Since the Fed has no idea what causes inflation and how to really measure its rate, how can it then ensure a genuine inflation target—one that represents economic reality—is achieved? It cannot; it is impossible.
• Productivity, Strategy, Profitability
Hence, although the Fed has raised its inflation target, there is no reason to believe it can reach it. After all, if it has clearly demonstrated that it cannot readily obtain a 2% target--using the Fed’s preferred core PCE metric--why would anyone think it can now magically boost inflation north of 2% by decree? WHY SO MUCH TROUBLE CREATING INFLATION? Since the U.S. is a debt-disabled economy, the normal transmission of monetary creation is broken. As you recall, coming out of the Great Recession, consumers and banks were saturated in debt. Therefore, they could not readily borrow a significant amount of new money into existence. As a result, the over whelm ing gravitational forces of deflation prevailed--with the exception of the certain asset prices (primarily stocks and bonds) that p ri vat e b a n k s were purchasing,
Pento Portfolio Strategies Photo: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo
using new credit from our central bank. In other words, Wall Street was the recipient of the Fed’s largess, and consumers were, for the most part, left behind. Therefore, broader aggregate money supply growth was muted; whereas reserves in the banking system soared from $800 billion to $4.5 trillion from 2008 thru 2014. What is necessary for consumer price inflation to rise in tandem with asset price inflation is the combination of both fiscal and monetary cooperation in USD debauchery. In order to combat the economic fallout from the Wuhan virus, the Treasury and the Fed joined forces to send direct payments to consumers and businesses. This was the reason there was a condition of stagflation earlier this year. The government borrowed $3 trillion of new money into existence, which was monetised by the Fed and doled out directly to consumers. This raised the money supply circulating around all sectors of the economy. The entire stock of M2 money supply surged by 18% from February to June of this year, and the Fed’s balance soared above a record-setting $7 trillion in a matter of a few unprecedented months. So, here’s a news flash to Mr. Powell: Core PCE Inflation won’t rise above 2% just because you say you want it to get there. He can squawk all he wants about now wanting to exceed a consumer inflation target that has been unachievable for many years. In sharp contrast, with trillions of dollars in stimulus running off just as forbearance measures are ending, the consumer will be in a desperate search for cash to pay in arrears their mortgages, credit card bills., student loans, and car loans instead of taking on new debt and expanding the money supply. It’s the same story for businesses that have exhausted their PPP grants/loans and are now saturated in debt. However, what the Fed did accomplish by raising its inflation target was to ensure (at a minimum) a protracted period of economic malaise, with the vast majority of its new money showing up in asset prices. To what degree consumer inflation does end up rising above Mr. Powell’s new target all depends on how
much new debt the Treasury is willing to take on to satisfy the potential new mandate from Washington for Universal Basic Income—all of which will need to be monetised by the Fed. Unfortunately, what this also virtually guarantees is that if the Fed is ever able to reach its asinine 2%+ level on core PCE inflation--and keep it there for multiple years--the Fed will then eventually have to slam on the brakes with QE and begin raising interest rates sharply; just as it did 40 years ago. Otherwise, inflation and bond yields could skyrocket and crash the economy and stocks. The only difference is that the value of equities was just 40% of GDP back in 1980, while today, it is an incredible and unprecedented 185% of GDP. The result will be the absolute and unprecedented carnage of asset prices, as they fall from the thermosphere once long-term rates begin to spike inexorably. In order to get some perspective on what should occur, just think about what happened to the stock market during the October Black Tuesday 1929 crash, the October Black Monday 1987 crash, the Great Recession calamity of 2008, and the 2020 Wuhan virus Depression; all rolled up into one. To sum it up, the current condition of economic stagflation should morph back into deflation and recession if D.C. doesn’t assent to another massive multi-trillion-dollar fiscal spending package very soon. As of this writing Joe Biden is set to take the Presidency, but Mitch McConnell looks poised to keep the Senate and has already suggested he has no intention of putting a multi-trillion dollar stimulus plan on the floor for a vote. Therefore, the Fed will fight the next round of deflation with its usual ”tools,”; expanding its balance sheet with another multi-trillion-dollar QE program, which will push equities valuations further into the twilight zone and an even greater distance away from economic reality. And, as mentioned, God help us if the Fed is ever able to achieve its new inflation mandate! This is why identifying the cycles of deflation and inflation is essential to your retirement success. A diversified portfolio that holds stocks and bonds will not protect you because both are concurrently in a massive bubble. Investors will need to have their portfolios actively managed to stand a chance of increasing their purchasing power and standard of living in this new pernicious paradigm. EG
For further information, please visit: www.pentoport.com
Michael Pento is the President and Founder of Pento Portfolio Strategies, produces the weekly podcast called, ”The Mid-week Reality Check” and Author of the book ”The Coming Bond Market Collapse.”
Autumn 2020 •
Matterhorn Asset Management AG Photo: PjrStudio / Alamy Stock Photo
Gold: Far More Than a Barbarous Relic In 1924, economist John M. Keynes famously described gold-backed currencies (and by proxy, gold) as a “barbarous relic.” Mr. Keynes was wrong. Nor was he alone.
FOUNDER, MATTERHORN ASSET MANAGEMENT AG
COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR, MATTERHORN ASSET MANAGEMENT AG
Egon Von Greyerz
eductive Group Think—Chasing Central Bank “Stimulus” - Today, just 0.5% of global assets are invested in gold, the only asset that has held its purchasing power throughout history. The majority of investors continue to think in consensus-driven packs, continually over-weighting their portfolios with allocations to risk assets like stocks, bonds and property. Such group-think has been well rewarded in the post-08 tailwinds provided by global central bank stimulus. Thus, the vast majority of even UHNW investors continue to chase returns and market tops. They operate with an almost blind faith in policy and equally blind disregard for pending market risks and real-time currency risks. Such artificial policy support for stocks and bonds creates a dangerously false sense of complacency, akin to that of the pre-89 Nikkei disaster. Gold is thus often sought in haste, and frankly, when it’s too late—i.e. after a crash in risk assets.
INTELLIGENT CONTRARIANISM MANAGING RISK Sophisticated investors, however, play the longgame and consider risk even in the midst of extreme bull markets, such as the post-2008 era. They grasp the complex relationship between global debt levels, productivity measures, artificial liquidity, currency risks, and yes, precious metals as a critical hedge against repressed yet inevitable dangers. DEBT: THE ULTIMATE MARKET SIGNAL Extreme debt explains the unprecedented post2008 “recovery” in U.S. and global security markets. Global debt is now at a staggering $260 trillion: Such debt levels end badly, but the ride up can be deceptively seductive. The unprecedented rise in post-08 risk assets
does not evidence a natural economic and market recovery, but something more akin to a ticking time bomb. Healthy economies and markets are characterised by productivity growth, rather than debt growth. Global GDP growth rates are at embarrassing and historical lows, hovering at the $88 trillion level. This means global debt exceeds income by a ratio of 3 to 1. MARKET STIMULUS MASQUERADING AS ECONOMIC SUPPORT Monetary policies geared toward instant liquidity and artificial rate suppression go directly toward inflating risk assets, not stimulating economic growth. Given such unprecedented debt ratios, governments and markets now have no choice but to continue borrowing—i.e. issue more “IOU’s” to keep credit markets afloat. This, of course, makes governments and CEO’s desperate, which leads to policy and investment behaviour that is equally so. Artificial Support vs. Natural Market Forces: Ignoring the Warnings of Genuine Capitalism Today, not enough natural buyers can absorb such record amounts of debt. That’s a problem central banks “solve” by creating fiat money to monetise their own debt. Even the IMF is discussing plans for a “New Bretton Woods” and global crypto currency to help “pay for” these ever-increasing yet otherwise unwanted bonds. In healthy, free-market economies driven by natural supply and demand, any gross over-supply of bonds would go un-bought, forcing natural recessions and market corrections. Such declines in securities markets would serve as necessary reminders to focus on sound productivity, balance sheets and growth initiatives. Modern stock markets, economies and policy makers, however, have arrogantly attempted to control natural forces by creating more debt and
• Productivity, Strategy, Profitability
artificial liquidity to otherwise delay or even “outlaw” natural market forces, a policy which smacks of “Wall Street socialism.” In the last decade, policy makers have whistled past the debt graveyard while stimulating further risk-asset inflation, which can be temporarily achieved via central bank “accommodation.” Central banks have created trillions out of thin air to purchase otherwise un-wanted debt instruments—effectively borrowing from themselves with engineered money. As of 2020, there’s over $30 trillion of fiat currencies on the balance sheets of the major central banks. HOW ASSET BUBBLES ARE MADE Engineered bond demand paid for by printed dollars pushes bond prices higher, thereby creating over-valuation risk. As bond prices rise, bond yields fall (price moves inversely to yield). The staggering level of artificial bond price support has grown so unnaturally high, that nominal as well as real bond yields are now at lows never seen in the history of capital markets. Today’s global sovereign yields are negative, which is effectively a defaulting bond. Bond yields are correlated to interest rates. If yields are low, rates are low, which adds more debt air to risk asset bubbles. Interest rates, after all, represent the cost of debt. Companies are now addicted to cheap debt ($11 trillion of corporate debt in the US) to mask otherwise poor profit and earnings profiles. There is an undeniable correlation between extreme rate-repression and the simultaneous inflation in equity prices by executives who employ cheap debt to rollover old debt, or engage in record-breaking (and debt-supported) stock buy-back initiatives. FROM EUPHORIC ASSET INFLATION TO
Matterhorn Asset Management AG
FATAL REAL INFLATION Low interest rates grossly inflate all manner of risk assets, most notably bonds, stocks and real estate. Policy over-reach by market-focused central banks explains the embarrassing disconnect between the real economy (tanking) and risk asset markets (rising). Such disconnects and policies are not a sustainable. Risk assets will and can continue to melt-up on artificial tailwinds of rate suppression and infinite liquidity, but the law of diminishing returns indicates that such artificial support is slowly losing impact. Interest rates, now stapled to the floor by manmade monetary policies, gradually rise as natural inflation returns. Markets are thus poised for an inevitable day of reckoning when yields and rates rise. This is fatal to traditional, risk-parity portfolios of bonds, property and stocks which are dangerously correlated—i.e. poised to fall simultaneously in the next inflationary and rising-rate market correction. GLOBAL CURRENCIES—ALREADY ON THEIR KNEES AS GOLD RISES TO ITS FEET In the interim, global currencies are already suffering the effects of extreme money creation and central bank support. Pundits and financial advisory firms traditionally focus on the rising dollar, but a critical and deliberately overlooked point is that the relative strength of one currency vis-à-vis another currency is largely irrelevant. Instead, the far greater issue lies within the declining purchasing power of one’s currency, be it the dollar, yen, euro etc. Fiat money is not backed by any real collateral (i.e. gold) and is effectively nothing more than, well…a “barbarous relic” (sorry Mr. Keynes). Gold, unlike paper money, holds its value. Speculators typically focus on the price of gold or the strength of gold. But the ironic truth is not that www.executive-global.com
gold is getting stronger, but rather, that every major currency in the world is getting weaker. This is made clear by the chart included, which tracks the obvious (and lengthy) decline in currency purchasing power when measured against gold: Such graphs may even explain why the central banks have been quietly increasing their gold purchases, with countries like China and Russia, all-too-familiar with the “long game,” patiently leading the pack in gold acquisition. Informed investors see these trends, and are strong buyers of gold. They are driven by price appreciation, but see gold as an historicallyconfirmed hedge against blatant currency devaluations in play today, and the inevitable collapse in store for risk assets tomorrow. As investors slowly realise the lack of return/ yield for their bond risk, they begin to sell yieldless bonds en mass, thus creating a chain reaction of falling bond prices and hence spiking yields and interest rates. Such forces, accompanied by rising inflation, are fatal to risk assets. Contrarian investors recognise that from the Fed to the IMF, the only strategy at play is replacing old debt with new debt, and old currencies with new currencies. Such a global strategy is akin to an otherwise broke consumer replacing one maxed-out credit card with a new credit card. Again, this is not a policy plan, but a desperate act of can-kicking. Such can-kicking as a policy ends when inflation and yields rise, which also occurs as central banks become spenders rather than lenders and slowly (as well as desperately) begin making direct purchases into the private exchanges, which is now in play. Five years out, inflation will get the last dark laugh over these hubris and debt driven market highs. Those who hold physical gold outside of a fractured banking system teetering above a derivatives pile measured at over a quadrillion-dollars, are best prepared for such risks. Although outright gold confiscation as seen under the U.S. in the 1930’s is unlikely, the liquidity risk of bank hypothecation of gold assets or custodial failures by third-parties who “store” gold for the banks which hold gold for clients in unsegregated accounts, is extremely high, as is the potential for extreme tax measures by local jurisdictions against owners of paper gold. This is why sophisticated investors vault their physical gold privately and directly in their own name in safe jurisdictions with the highest privacy rights, namely Switzerland. ALL SIGNALS POINT TO GOLD The above charts empirically indicate open risks that are grossly asymmetric to reward. Informed investors give precedence to managing rather than ignoring risk. Toward this end gold emerges as an obvious and quantifiable hedge against such risks rather than as the fodder of silly debates between gold bugs and market bulls. For more on the clear role of precious metal ownership for sophisticated investors, the authors invite you to visit us at goldswitzerland.com. EG
For further information, please visit: www.goldswitzerland.com Autumn 2020 •
Dr K Olsen Global Tax
Everyone Must Pay Tax - Except Top Executives at the UN, OECD, World Bank, NATO, EU and Others International organisations like the UN, the World Bank, the OECD, NATO, the EU and other organisations repeatedly state that everyone should contribute a fair share of tax, However, their top executives do not pay income tax, as their salaries from these organisations are tax exempt. These executives do not contribute a single penny in income tax. Why? And is it fair? Article by
Dr. K. Olsen
CHARTERED GLOBAL TAX ADVISOR, NORWAY
he answer is that international organisations and their executives are exempt from paying tax due to international treaties. But is it fair? No, it is not! These top executives have exceedingly high salaries, and they receive numerous other benefits, such as furnished accommodation and chauffeurdriven cars that are available 24/7. If they travel, they may well travel by private jet, or as first class or business class passengers, and of course they have access to luxury lounges and five or six star hotels - all tax free. They have pension schemes - schemes that other people cannot even dream of. They have tax-free Internet, free newspapers, phones, and other tax-free benefits in kind. These executives are the elite, but they are zero taxpayers - they contribute nothing from their income!
EXEMPTIONS FROM TAX A pensioner on the lowest possible pension or a single, unemployed mother receiving social benefits, may have to pay tax at a rate of 25-40%. A selfemployed person who privately drives a company car a few miles must pay tax on this benefit. Why? Because everyone must contribute a fair share of tax – expect these top executives in international organisations. Why is no one in these organisations asking questions about unfair taxation, and whether it is fair that their executive are zero taxpayers, something they all claim is so important? Can they not afford to pay any tax at the same rate on their €200,000€300,000 salaries and benefits in kind? Of course, they can, but still, they pay absolutely nothing. Is this fair? No, it is not! Will anyone do anything about it? Probably not. Perhaps these organisations and their top
Photo: 88studio / Shutterstock.com
WHY IS NO ONE IN THESE ORGANISATIONS ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT UNFAIR TAXATION, AND WHETHER IT IS FAIR THAT THEIR EXECUTIVE ARE ZERO TAXPAYERS, SOMETHING THEY ALL CLAIM IS SO IMPORTANT?
• Productivity, Strategy, Profitability
executives should start to put their own houses in order and demand that their top executives should start paying their fair share? IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE The time has come for organisations and governments around the world to start asking these questions. The UN, the World Bank, the OECD, the EU, NATO, Transparency International and other international organisations, take advantage of every single opportunity to call for fair taxation and demand that everyone - else – should contribute their fair share. It is fair to ask: who must pay extra tax so that these executives on top salaries and benefits can continue being zero taxpayers? We do - all those other taxpayers who are not zero taxpayers. Top executives in international organisations: Shame on you! EG
For further information, please visit: www.knutolsen.com
FDI & INWARD INVESTMENT
Tourism and Business in Grenada Tourists and businessmen, let’s get acquainted with Grenada - an idyllic island state in the southeast of the Caribbean. The nation encompasses the entirety of the eponymous island, as well as several smaller islands located close by, which together constitute the southern part of the Grenadines archipelago, states Shannon Berkley. ost of the time, people come to Grenada to enjoy the local beaches and a variety of outdoor activities. However, the islands also offer a fertile environment for business opportunities to blossom, which we will touch upon further on in this article. Whether you’re looking to spend some quality time through sightseeing tours, hiking, waterfall and rainforest adventures, or you’re interested in establishing your enterprise in a highly advantageous taxation jurisdiction benefiting from a global reach, Grenada can be the perfect destination for both. Surrounded by warm water, the archipelago is a paradise for lovers of diving, yachting, fishing, but also those who wish to build a successful, profitable business.
TOURISM IN GRENADA Now, let’s go over the basics…You can visit the beautiful beaches of Grenada pretty much at any time of the year - the local subequatorial tropical climate guarantees a comfortable temperature, regardless whether it’s January or July. During the day, the thermometer habitually rises up to about +25 to 28 ° C, and there is little difference with the night. From November to February it can get
a little ”cooler” here (within Caribbean reason), while during the summer months there may be intermittent rains. Nature, generous in bright colours and exotic shapes, is perhaps the main attraction of the island. If you have never visited the Caribbean before, from the very first minutes of your stay in Grenada, you will discover a secret paradise that has been hidden away from the world to develop into a gem beyond comparison. You will have a chance to visit kilometres of white sand beaches lost in the curls of lush lagoons, to encounter exotic plants and outlandish flowers blossoming with life, and hear the songs of a mind-boggling number of unique bird species. Rest assured, all this splendour is carefully guarded within the vastness of national parks protected by vigilant jurisdiction. Stemming from a strong British influence in its history, Grenada’s laws on nature protection are enforced with European-level standards, and nothing here threatens the many rare species that call this island home. Another pride of Grenada, and one of its main tourist attractions, is its incredible variety of the purest, the most colourful inhabitants of the sea. In general,
• Productivity, Strategy, Profitability
the main pastime of tourists that visit the island is connected with the sea in one way or another. While the more passive type of tourist can enjoy blissful idleness on the beach, the more restless amateurs of the sea can enjoy scuba diving, or simply snorkel on the surface, as well as book a fishing trip, go boating or venture out into the ocean on a yacht. In addition to the beautiful nature, romantic vistas, and a truly unique fauna and flora, the island also boasts a particularly high quality of life. For instance, its rich natural resources are to thank for a remarkable level of local gastronomy: the restaurants on the island serve delicious fish dishes, a variety of vegetables, and a wealth of spices, yams and nutmeg. In terms of security, the country’s performance is also most commendable. In fact, the US State Department lists Grenada as the first level of security out of four, which means that visitors to the country must only follow the basic precautions (for your information: the second level recommends taking increased precautions, the third is to reconsider your travel plans to the country altogether, and the fourth is to avoid travel at all costs). The high quality of local medicine deserves a mention as well; there is a large and well-equipped hospital in each district. And not
FDI & INWARD INVESTMENT
only local residents study at the medical university, but also many visitors from other countries of this region and around the world. BUSINESS IN GRENADA Now, when it comes to business, Grenada also happens to be a worthy destination to establish your company and even obtain citizenship for yourself and your immediate family. An investor who has chosen Grenada as their second home can count on the following advantages: The ability to freely cross the borders of 144 countries of the world without the need for a visa. The list of countries includes Great Britain and the states of the Commonwealth of Nations, Singapore, South America and even China, which is quite the versatile selection that not many national passports can boast. However, do make sure to check before traveling: in some cases, a visa may be required upon arrival. The island’s citizens also enjoy an open doors access to study in higher education institutions in the United Kingdom. The taxation system is likely quite different from the one most people are used to. Various sources of income are exempt from taxation: capital gains, donation or inheritance of property and individual income coming from foreign sources. The tax rate for owning real estate in Grenada only goes up to as much as 0.5%. If these perks seem inviting, you are in luck! The procedure for obtaining a second passport does not require a candidate to actually be present in the country and does not take too long - only 3-5 months. It is also quite simple and requires little more than checks of due diligence, along with a verification in www.executive-global.com
law enforcement databases for a criminal record. That’s all... In 2013, the government of Grenada updated its Citizenship by Investment Program to attract more international investors. High net worth individuals such as world class businessmen, VIPs and celebrities often find themselves eager to obtain citizenship here. The passport of Grenada is also the key to obtaining an E-2 business visa in the United States, which allows you to open a business or a representative office in the US. From all of the Caribbean countries, it is only with a Grenada passport that this visa can be obtained. It is for this reason that many foreign citizens choose Grenada’s citizenship, seeing as the E-2 visa is sometimes not available for certain countries. HOW TO OBTAIN CITIZENSHIP The first thing to consider before applying for citizenship in Grenada, is the most appropriate investment option for a particular investor. In 2019, the migration program for obtaining a passport of Grenada saw a major update. According to the changes made to the conditions for obtaining citizenship, investors can either make a charitable contribution to the country’s National Development Fund or invest in real estate in the primary or secondary market approved by the government of Grenada. The list of family members who can apply for citizenship together with the main applicant, was also expanded. Having decided on the most convenient and profitable option, a prospect can then apply for participation in the citizenship by investment program with a set of accompanying documents. The process of consideration and registration of documents can
take up to 3-5 months, which is brief in comparison to many other nations around the globe. As part of the application for the citizenship of Grenada, the investor has the right to include the spouse, unmarried brothers and sisters of the main applicant and the wife / husband, children under the age of 30, as well as parents / grandparents over 55. Better yet, the entire registration procedure can be carried out without crossing into the borders of Grenada. Finished passports are issued by the agent remotely and then sent by post. Upon receiving a positive result, the investor must pay all the necessary fees. Next, it will be time to make investments in full. Obtaining citizenship of Grenada through a charitable donation to the National Development Fund, requires a contribution of $150,000 for an individual applicant and from $200,000 for an investor bringing a family. The passport is issued 1–2 weeks after the issuance of the naturalisation certificate. Investment in the country’s economy is irrevocable. The acquisition of real estate in Grenada will cost a bit more - at least $220,000 USD. The retention period of the property is 4 years, after which it can be sold and thus return the investment. You can also invest in a business, but this option is the most expensive one (at least $1.5 million). The citizenship of Grenada is a good alternative to other programs operating within the Caribbean, if your choice lies with the real estate investment option. Its favourable geographic location allows you to keep a sufficient distance from the hurricane paths, so you won’t have to worry about annual cataclysms. The island offers you a safe and prosperous environment to grow your business and enjoy life. EG Autumn 2020 •
FDI & INWARD INVESTMENT
Saint Vincent & Grenadines FDI
The Sensational Saint Vincent Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, also known as Saint Vincent, is an Anglo-Caribbean country situated at the southern end of the eastern border between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The 369 km2 territory spans across over 30 islands with a population of 110,000, writes Vincenzo Morello. ut it isn’t the unique location nor the nature that makes Saint Vincent a topic of interest. The reality is the small country is among the most favourable jurisdictions for High-Net-Worth individuals looking for investment and business opportunities abroad.
SAINT VINCENT’S ECONOMY The island’s economy depends heavily on agriculture, with the primary sector being banana production and export. The island also grows other exotic fruit, vegetables, and root crops. The tourism and the construction industries also have been on the rise in recent years, mainly after the island gained popularity as a scene in film productions like Pirates of the Caribbean. Yet, Saint Vincent’s economy lacks sustainability as it is too dependent on farming and crop production. The fact that the majority of the island is situated in the Hurricane Alley explains why in years when storms damaged the banana production, the local economy ended up in a critical condition. In 2017, Saint Vincent opened its new international airport, named Argyle International Airport. It is located just 8 kilometres from Kingstown, the island’s capital. In terms of accessibility, the island is well equipped. Mobile and telephone landlines are available all across its territory. The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC) and according to the World Bank, the island’s GDP for 2019 is $0.82B, with an unemployment rate at 18.9%. Monetary matters in the region are regulated by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, which promotes and maintains the stability of the Eastern Caribbean dollar. The currency is the single common one for a group of small island economies, including Anguilla, Antigua, and Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
WHY IS SAINT VINCENT SO ATTRACTIVE FOR BUSINESSES AND HNW INDIVIDUALS? Among the main reasons is the Government’s initiative to promote a range of flexible and favourable taxation policies in a bid to lure foreign investments and businesses. Although, for years, the corporate tax varied between 40% and 32.5%, in 2018, Saint Vincent introduced new tax policies that include corporate and income tax cuts, accompanied by a three-month tax amnesty. The taxation exemptions cover capital gains, income, withholding, and corporate taxes. Other benefits include duty-free concessions, profit repatriation, and, most importantly - tax holidays for up to 25 years from the date of registration
AMONG THE MAIN REASONS IS THE GOVERNMENT’S INITIATIVE TO PROMOTE A RANGE OF FLEXIBLE AND FAVOURABLE TAXATION POLICIES IN A BID TO LURE FOREIGN INVESMENTS...
for IBCs. For other companies, the tax holiday’s exact length depends on several factors, specified in the Fiscal Incentive Act No.5 of 1982. Among these are the value added to a product in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the level of employment, inter-industry and sectoral linkages, the opportunity to earn foreign exchange, and the scale of investment.
• Productivity, Strategy, Profitability
In 2007, the country introduced three tiers of VAT - standard (15%), reduced (10%), and zero (0%). The standard rate is the universal one, applied to most goods and services. Hotel accommodation, on the other hand, is charged with the reduced VAT rate. Individuals can also benefit from favourable policies. The most recent changes lead to a rise in the standard deduction for personal income tax from EC $18 000 to EC $20 000. The national insurance, also known as social security contributions, is charged on annual salaries up to EC $51,996 at a rate of 4.5% for the employer and 3.5% for the employee. Foreigners that work within the country are subject to the same tax rate incurred to the local population. Saint Vincent’s strive to tolerate entrepreneurship and ease the business environment extends beyond tax cuts. The Government announced that it is working on reforms intended to improve equity in the tax system and administrative efficiency. The measures’ end goal is to address loopholes, promote more transparent rules, halt tax evasions by conglomerates, and improve the overall business environment. As a direct result, Saint Vincent’s Government partners with the EU to develop an e-Business Sector and Business Skills Development Incubators. The local authorities also grant investment incentives in various areas, including agroprocessing, IT, financial services, film production, tourism, light manufacturing, and more. Initiatives like these make the island country an attractive jurisdiction for the relocation of
FDI & INWARD INVESTMENT
Saint Vincent & Grenadines FDI
Photo: Pawel Kazmierczak / Shutterstock.com
international businesses. The process is also eased by the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines International Business Companies (Amendment and Consolidation) Act 2007, which lifted many of the restrictions existing up until that point. Today, no residency or nationality is required from shareholders or directors of international business companies (IBCs) registered in the jurisdiction. Companies can be established with as few as a single shareholder (either a person or an entity) and just one director (either a person or an entity). There is no minimum capital requirement, and the identity of beneficial owners, shareholders, and directors may remain undisclosed in public records unless they prefer otherwise. Saint Vincent promotes an expedited incorporation process with an IBC registration fee of $125, with an annual renewal fee of $100. The full procedure can take anywhere from 24 hours up to 5 days. IBCs can take advantage of a tax exemption policy, upon which no personal income, estate, withholding, or corporate income taxes are charged. Besides, Saint Vincent corporations aren’t required to meet any auditing or accounting practices. If the investors’ domestic law requires tax payments evidence, corporations are free to submit a 1% payment on profits. Saint Vincent also has a flexible policy regarding Trusts and Mutual Funds establishment. The Trusts legislation in the country is set in the International Trusts Act 1996, as amended by the International Trust Amendments Act 2002. All Trusts deeds are registered in a confidential government Trust Registry. The settlor/grantor is issued an official Certificate of Registration. The www.executive-global.com
regulation allows international Trusts to own one or more IBCs. Registered trustees fall within the “financial institutions” definition and are subject to AML requirements. Investors choose Trusts because, upon the local law, a duly registered trust won’t be rendered unenforceable due to being invalid under the laws within the Settlor/Grantor’s residency jurisdiction. This allows to avoid community property regimes and forced heirship law. In addition, according to the local regulation, traditional fraudulent conveyance laws don’t apply to international Trusts. The bankruptcy of the settlor/grantor under his residing country’s laws doesn’t affect an international Trust registered in Saint Vincent. The registration fee for an international trust is set at $300, with a $150 annual fee. Mutual funds, on the other hand, are regulated by the Mutual Funds Act, 1997, with Regulations issued in 1999. The legal structures that can form a mutual fund include a unit trust, a partnership, or an incorporated company. Umbrella-type, integral, open-, and closed-ended funds are also allowed. There are public and private funds. Public funds represent mutual funds that offer all issued shares for subscription or purchase by the general public members. There are no capital adequacy requirements or minimum subscription limits for public funds to comply with. However, funds are required to maintain financial statements and accounting records. Private funds are mutual funds with less than 50 investors or which issue shares on a private basis.
Applications for public and private fund establishment are submitted to the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines International Financial Services Authority. Overall, the procedure is pretty straightforward. However, there are some requirements regarding the fund’s managers or administrators that should be taken into account. Local authorities require that only fit and proper persons (who show evidence that they have or have available to them expertise and resources necessary to carry out the business proposed) may be issued licenses to carry on business as managers and administrators. Currently, there are over 75 mutual funds (including public, private funds, fund administrators, and managers) registered in Saint Vincent. Another major reason for HNW individuals and investors to turn their attention to Saint Vincent, is the relatively straightforward property investment process. Individuals who want to acquire land in Saint Vincent must obtain an official license from the local Government. Depending on the amount of land, there are two license applications – for purchasing an acre and over an acre of land. The first type requires an approved development plan and an execution of conveyance (completed within six months). The latter requires more documentation, including a development plan, physical and architectural aspects, financing details, and an overview of the needed labor force. Entities like an IBC are allowed to own land if they are issued the required landholding licenses. Companies established with the sole reason to own, manage, or invest in real estate are approved for incorporation as segregated cell companies and subject to compliance with strict criteria by the local regulator. HNW individuals also benefit from the island’s Preservation of Confidential Relationships Act of 1996, which ensures strict worldwide confidentiality for corporations and the individuals and entities involved with them. The Act is renowned as one of the best corporate privacy laws worldwide. Besides, there are no double taxation treaties with other countries, which further contributes to ensuring offshore investors’ privacy. OVERALL PROSPECTS OF WEALTH GENERATION IN THE FUTURE Saint Vincent’s policies have long been aimed at making the jurisdiction a favourable place for HNW individuals and international businesses. Current incentives, including complete or partial exemption from income tax on profits, tax holidays, low-cost operation, alongside the tradition of support for foreign private investment, had turned the chain of volcanic islands into a home to all types of international companies. From big international firms with over 400 employees and $60M in revenue to startups and small organisations all favour the island’s flexible corporate policy and benefits. And with the plans to introduce a citizenshipby-investment program, the island is setting its sight at topping the list of the most popular and preferred investment destinations. EG Autumn 2020 •
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Doing Business in Dubai Dubai is the leading city of the United Arab Emirates, enjoying a popularity that surpasses even the federal capital Abu Dhabi. Located on the Persian Gulf, the capital of the Emirate of Dubai has more than three million inhabitants. Dubai is also the country’s leading port, writes Thomas Hughes. lthough not the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai has become the most famous city in the country, and possibly, the region. This fame is due in particular to the media coverage of its tourist projects such as the Burj-al-Arab hotel - the most luxurious hotel in Dubai, to the gigantism of its real estate projects such as the Palm Islands - an artificial peninsula and archipelago in the shape of a palm tree, The World - an artificial archipelago that reproduces the map of the world, the Dubai Marina with its bigger than life architecture, and the tallest building in the world - the Burj Khalifa. Dubai is incredible! This largest city in the UAE never ceases to innovate and amaze. Even those who visited the emirate only a decade ago, no longer have the full right to say they saw Dubai, because Dubai prepares new surprises for its residents and guests every day. The only things that remain unchanged are the city’s rapid growth toward shining stars and new building heights, incredible architecture and grandiose projects, stunning shopping, a rich nightlife and entertainment, and the desert in which this modern and cosmopolitan centre of attraction has sprouted. While half a century ago, it was unremarkable at best, today Dubai has become one of the richest cities in the world - a leading tourist, trade, financial and transport point on the map. The emirate is well prepared to offer its guests the most unexpected and thrilling leisure options, such as a ski complex in
the middle of an eternal summer, a huge aquarium with tens of thousands of sea creatures, exhibitions of all kinds of world significance, festivals and unforgettable impressions of dizzying skyscrapers erected on man-made islands. In recent decades, the United Arab Emirates and Dubai in particular, have also emerged as a leading business hub for the Middle East - a centre of innovation, an important investment destination and an ideal place to start a new company. Business in Dubai and the Emirates attracts more and more entrepreneurs every year, welcoming businessmen and investors from all over the world, since there are no taxes on income, personal income and dividends in the UAE. The UAE and Dubai in particular, give expats the opportunity to enjoy not only the sea and the sun, but also a rich cultural and social life, highquality service, as well as an excellent healthcare and education system. According to the UAE Ministry of Economy, more than half a million licenses for doing business have been issued in the Emirates over the past half year. The trend suggests that the number of issued licenses will continue to grow by 3-5% per year, with new arrivals attracted by one of the most diversified economies in the world. In addition, the UAE has a stable economic growth of the state, government attention to innovation and technology, and a very convenient taxation system. In fact, that convenient tax system is one of the
• Productivity, Strategy, Profitability
key advantages of the state, letting its residents enjoy no taxation on their income! UAE’S INCOME TAX (OR THE ABSENCE THEREOF) Unlike most other countries where employee salaries and other income are highly taxed, Dubai offers working people a tax-free environment, which means that you get exactly what you earn. The United Arab Emirates has signed many double taxation treaties with a number of countries. If your current place of permanent residence is included in this list, it means that working in Dubai or any other emirate of the UAE, you will not pay taxes to the government of your country of origin. However, if you are a US citizen working in Dubai, please note that a double taxation avoidance agreement between the United States and the UAE has not yet been signed, though there has been a lot of talk about it in the recent years. While, as a general rule, there is no income tax in Dubai for employees of companies operating in the emirate, if you are a US citizen, you will have to file reports and pay income tax to the appropriate taxation authority in the United States of America every year. With regard to other countries’ citizens and their tax liability in their home countries, here’s what you need to know: if you relocate to work or open your own business in Dubai, you should consult with your local tax advisor to clarify any possible tax liabilities at home. Either way, moving to Dubai can
FDI & INWARD INVESTMENT
activation of Internet banking, the issuance of a debit card and cheque book, and it can go up to a full month. In addition, no bank in the UAE opens accounts by power of attorney and without the personal presence of a company’s shareholder. In the Emirates, everything is very strict in this matter, but it is also this approach that provides the UAE banks with a high level of trust and security at the regional and international levels.
Photo: Cara-Foto / Shutterstock.com
yield amazing opportunities, financial or otherwise, thus it’s worth taking the time to make sure you have everything figured out. The UAE market is still relatively young, so many niches are vacant or there is little competition in them. At the same time, doing business in the United Arab Emirates has its own particularities, which you need to know before starting a business. REQUIREMENTS FOR DOING BUSINESS IN DUBAI Many of us are used to thinking in terms and numbers that are typical for the region where we live and do business. However, it’s important to mention that doing business in the Emirates is nothing like in the United States or in Europe. The same is true for the costs of opening a company and the maintenance that follows. While there are no taxes in the UAE, instead there are annual government fees for a company license, which can amount to a few thousands of dollars. Furthermore, you need to add the cost of visas for employees to that amount, as well as office rent and other costs of running a business, unless you have a virtual enterprise or an offshore company. www.executive-global.com
If you are planning to open your business in Dubai, then it can only be operational no earlier than in 4 to 5 weeks from the beginning of the process. This is due to the fact that all new entrepreneurs have to be verified through a special foreign control system. And if, in addition, you plan to rent an office and renovate it, or your type of activity involves obtaining additional permits from the Emirati state authorities, then you can expect about 3-6 months. But there is a solution. In the neighbouring emirates of Dubai, you can open a company in 2-3 days. Therefore, if the speed of registration is a priority for you - it is better to choose the Northern Emirates; on the other hand, if you want to enjoy the prestige and / or work only with an address in Dubai - it will inevitably take longer, but your license will mention Dubai. In most Western countries, people are used to the fact that a bank account can be opened in 2-3 days, and in some cases even without your physical presence. In the Emirates, the situation is a little different. If you decide to open an account for the company on your own, expect a response no earlier than 10 days after submitting the application, and more often, even after all 15. Add to this the
RESIDENCY THROUGH INVESTMENT For those who have the opportunity to invest, there are two options for obtaining a resident visa: through business and through the purchase of real estate. If we are talking about business, it excludes offshore companies in free trade zones. The company must be located in the Emirates or be an onshore company in a free trade zone. This means that you, as a foreigner, will only be able to own 49% of the business, and 51% of the shares must be owned by a local partner. This may cause some complications, but it is the requirement of the local law. Therefore, if you decide to open a business, then you must either personally (and extensively) be familiar with local entrepreneurs, or use the services of intermediaries who will select a professional partner from local businesses. If you decide to buy real estate in the UAE, then prepare a decent amount - from 1 million dirhams (more than 270 thousand US dollars). For this amount, you will buy your house, villa or apartment at your discretion. With the owner’s documents and passport, insurance and photographs, you can then contact the immigration service in order to receive a residence permit. EG Autumn 2020 •
OUR MISSION REVOLUTIONIZE how clients leverage FMEA’s within their risk management and functional safety efforts to improve their products and processes with our innovative, high quality software products, expert training & consultation.
ELIMINATE • audit non-conformances in your design & process FMEA control plans • surprises of missed failures & ineffective control actions • waste in your team’s risk analysis activities
STAND • in front of your customers with confidence knowing that quality and efficacy of your risk analysis
OUR VISION RETHINK the way FMEA’s are approached, by understanding where the risk is and prioritize activities to stay focused and develop a functional model for a better company continous learning.
APiS North America, LLC 938 N. Washington Avenue Royal Oak, MI 48067
”CUSTOMER DRIVEN, SOLUTIONS FOCUSED” BENEFITS OF WORKING WITH THE APIS, NORTH AMERICA TEAM & THE IQ-SOFTWARE
DR. LYNN JOHNSON
• 20+ years of experiences in Healthcare Industry with technology Business Development knowledge.
• 29+ years of system and mechanical engineering experience in the automotive and aerospace field.
• Doctorate of Pharmacy and earned the Dean’s Award for Highest Academic Achievement Class of 2000.
• 20+ years with ZF/TRW automotive as System Engineer and Sig Sigma Master Black Belt certified.
• Experience in not-for-profit and for-profit delivery of healthcare, provides the business aspect paramount to the mission of APiS North America.
• Expert in the IQ-Software and FMEA methodology through years of developing its methods.
TELEPHONE: 1 (800) 470-8970 FAX: 1 (888) 857-3137 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org WEBSITE: www.apis-iq.com
APiS North America, LLC
Failure Mode Effective Analysis Our interview with DR. LYNN JOHNSON, President and Co-Founder at APiS North America LLC, examines the impact of Failure Mode Effective Analysis (FMEA), Functional Safety and Risk Analysis for business. Executive Global once again catch up with the co-founder of the pioneering firm revolutionising how clients leverage FMEAs within their risk management and functional safety operations, to improve their products and processes with high quality software products, expert training and consulting. What has the current global economic climate informed you about the critical importance of Failure Mode Effective Analysis (FMEA) processes to strengthen the integrity of a business? FMEA provides an opportunity to have lean LMJ processes, with less waste, both in man hours and materials. It is critical that the FMEA is built on a functional model, as with the IQ-Software, to ensure that each functionality is analysed for its potential risk and how to mitigate that risk. EG
What are the consequences of companies having a poor Failure Mode Effective Analysis (FMEA) process in place at this challenging time in the global economy? There are many consequences, anywhere from LMJ financial to, loss of customer base, or, most critically fatal injury due to a design and/or process failure not identified early enough. Financial loss can come in the form of a product recall or it can be from loss of revenue from lost contracts with OEM customers. EG
As President and Co-Founder of APiS North America, what has your experience growing the company from a leadership perspective, taught you about the importance of team building? LMJ: The team building that we have done over the past 4 years has been remarkable. Our team has utilised the changes that have occurred over the course of 2020 and implemented leadership training and weekly discussions of any issues, plans, projects, and outcomes. This has led to a highly productive year and many new opportunities! EG
APiS North America pays keen attention to customer service and innovative ideas. Why might this now be more important than ever? Our team’s attention to customer service is LMJ part of our culture and commitment to our customers. This provided a very strong foundation for APiS North America to continue to serve our customers throughout a global pandemic and economic change. When global travel was disrupted we were immediately available to provide our Basic, Advanced, and Systems IQ-Software training, consulting, and facilitating virtually and were flexible to our customer’s needs. Working together with anyone in need continues to be the most important thing to do. EG
And how would you compare the marketplace for your North American and South American customers with that of Europe? So many companies are global and have many LMJ differences across their teams’ FMEAs and that is where APIS® Inforamtionstechnologien GmbH, our parent company, APiS North America, and APIS Information Technologies (Shanghai) co, Ltd come in with the IQ-Software. The IQSoftware provides global teams the ability to work together to standardise the companies’ FMEAs. EG
As a multi award-winning executive in the healthcare field, what would you say it takes to succeed in the higher echelons of this industry? In my experience, continuous learning, LMJ continuous search for new opportunities, and the ability to pivot when changes are thrown your way provide the most advantageous path to success.
• Productivity, Strategy, Profitability
Success is also how you define it for yourself, of course. I am excited for each new day to enter the C-suite with renewed energy to move APiS North America and my colleagues to define and achieve their successes. You also give a lot back to the community and have an illustrious histor y of contributing within the not-for-profit sector. Do philanthropists generally make better leaders? Our four daughters taught me the most about LMJ philanthropy. Our younger generation strives for equality, equity, and emotional balance. It has made me a better leader, in my opinion, so I would say, yes, philanthropists make better, and more fulfilled, leaders. EG
Having dominated the pharmaceutical and healthcare technology field for a long time, what advice would you give to the next generation of industry professionals? Continually search for new opportunities LMJ throughout your endeavours. Read a lot, meet new people, be inquisitive with others, and be humble and ask for guidance. No one comes into a new industry from school as an expert. The next generation is very exciting and has many exciting opportunities. They are going to be a much smarter version of ourselves in many areas. I am very excited by this and passionate about education for this reason. You will be our next leaders, so take care, learn lots, and be great! EG EG
For further information, please visit: www.apis-iq.com
Our four daughters taught me the most about philanthropy.
or instance, if you run a business that conducts the majority of its operations remotely (that is, online, via computer), you cannot expect to get by on budget equipment. Well, technically you can, but the losses caused by equipment malfunction may cost your business more money than you have saved when you purchased a cheaper technology. Take our advice: you’re going to want to be wellequipped. If you want to make sure that everything runs smoothly, you owe it to yourself to acquire the best equipment on the market, which will guarantee speed and reliability. However, it isn’t always simple to figure out what’s the right technology to buy, especially if you’re not familiar with all the details and specifics… There seems to be only two brands of processor- Intel and AMD, but both feature a wide range of products,
The World's Fastest Computer Processors in 2020 The lockdowns that have forced millions around the globe to stay at home (and thus work from home), have greatly sped up the process of digital transformation among companies in every industry. More and more businesses are making the shift toward an online work environment, and while it offers unprecedented levels of flexibility and comfort at every level, it’s not without new challenges and requirements, writes Oliver Taylor.
• Productivity, Strategy, Profitability
and it isn’t easy to pinpoint which ones are the best, unless you’re in the know. You will need a good processor for your business computer, but how do you know which one to pick? Which processors are better - Intel or AMD? How many cores does a modern processor need and does more always mean faster? Should you choose a processor only by its frequency, or are there other characteristics that you should pay attention to? When it comes to buying a processor, there are many questions to consider... Therefore, we have researched and picked the best options for powerful processors on the market in 2020. Read on to find out more about the most powerful units you could buy, whether in Intel or AMD. HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST PROCESSOR Now, the first step is to decide which company you’re going to choose, so how do you pick the processor manufacturer that’s right for you? It would seem very easy to do this, since there are only two companies to pick from: Intel and AMD. But while it is red or blue, it isn’t necessarily black or white, since both manufacturers have their pros and cons. Intel has been the
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leader in sales by a significant margin for a very long time, as it used to have more modern production technologies, a higher performance of flagship models, better deals and good advertising. However, with the release of Ryzen processors, AMD has greatly strengthened its position and recently came to dominate in almost every price category! Fans and critics of both manufacturers have spent years filling thousands of forums, blogs and comment sections on the Internet with phrases like ”Intel makes the best processors” or ”AMD is still better”, but you shouldn’t simply take someone’s word for it when choosing a processor...The best way to find out who’s right and who’s wrong is mainly through the comparison of test results and current prices. Keep in mind: the most important thing in a processor is not the number of cores, but its full performance. Nonetheless, you can still view cores as a general guideline to what your processor can handle. To get an overall view of what each type of processor is best suited for, consider the following…2 core processors are exclusively for office work and browsing the Internet. 4 core processors are used in widespread and inexpensive personal computers. 6 core processors are found in medium and powerful gaming computers; 8 cores - in high-end gaming computers. Finally, 10 core processors, or higher, power specialised computers used by businesses that require very demanding software (e.g. videographers, 3D animators, etc.) It is worth noting that it makes no sense to buy powerful processors for simple tasks like browsing the web or answering emails, since in comparison with cheaper models, the increase in system speed will be insignificant, and the full potential of the processor will never be put to use. However, if your machine will serve as the centre of operations for several other computers in your office, then yes, by all means, make sure that you have the best equipment money can buy! Now, the frequency is not the only deciding factor in the matter. For example, the dual-core Intel Celeron G3900 and J1800 operate at similar frequencies, but the former is almost 4 times faster than the latter according to the test results, because the processor speed depends on other details as well. If you’d like to know for sure, the best indicator of a particular processor’s actual performance would be the benchmark results. If we analyse the results of processor performance tests and current prices, we can conclude that at this point in time (end of 2020), the highest ratio of performance to price is contested between the latest AMD Ryzen series and Intel 9-10th generation processors. AMD RYZEN 5000 With their new product, AMD has officially unveiled the Ryzen 5000 series of processors to the eager audience of computer enthusiasts. As announced, all devices are based on its Zen 3 system. The manufacturer also decided to increase the number of cores and threads in its models. The flagship Ryzen 9 5950X processor is 16-core and 32-thread, while the Ryzen 5 5600X has 6 cores and 12 threads, just like the highly popular Ryzen 5 3600X. The latest series of AMD Ryzen products have
brought numerous improvements to the Zen 3 architecture. The company initially decided to change the clusters, which currently consist of eight cores instead of four, as was the case before. Each of them has access to 32MB of L3 Cache. The purpose of the changes made by manufacturers was to reduce the number of delays in the exchange of data between the elements of the microcircuit, which proved to have a direct impact on improving the performance of the processor. AMD also announced that their latest series of processors have experienced a whopping 19% increase in IPC (i.e. inter-process communication). This is currently the biggest leap between two generations of Ryzen processors. Such a remarkable result was achieved thanks to: the optimisation of the frontend, better loading and storage of data, branch prediction and cache bootstrapping. Zen 3 also gives you a performance-per-watt improvement, which is 2.4x higher in recent processor series than older models. As an alternative, AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, AMD Ryzen 9 3900, as well as a slightly more modest but much cheaper AMD Ryzen 7 3800X and AMD Ryzen 7 3700X - are also very fast processors for powerful business operations and specialised computers that provide maximum performance at a fairly reasonable price. INTEL I9 10900K Intel launched its 9th Generation Comet Lake processors about two years ago and is now shipping 10th Gen Comet Lake processors. These are the company’s latest innovations, which it revealed after the release of the super successful AMD Ryzen 3000 in 2019. Intel clearly has clearly taken the threat from its competitor quite seriously - it has revised the entire line of Core chips, and also launched new motherboards based on the Z490 chipset. If you want the absolute best processor available on the market right now, then the Core i9 10900K is the one for you. Of course, in the vast majority of cases, the Intel Core i9-10900K is an overkill, unless you’re planning an extreme build with a flagship graphics card, or a central computer to service several other machines. However, for those who wish to get the optimal power, the Core i9-10900K is currently the fastest Intel processor. The Intel Core i9-10900K is also the company’s first mainstream processor with 10 cores and 20 threads. Considering its ability to operate at 5.3GHz, it delivers impressive performance for 14nm technology. Games still rely on high clock speeds, and this processor puts it above all others. The Intel Core i9-10900K has a power rating of 95W, but it will often be exceeded under load. Therefore, it is recommended to purchase a separate liquid cooler capable of dissipating more than 200W of heat, such as the NZXT Kraken X62.. Alternatively, if you’re not looking to dish out close to $500 USD, your best bet would be the Intel Core i7-10700K - which is one of the best processors among the more affordable ones. You will experience less performance than on a much more expensive Intel Core i9 processor, however the difference is not that big, and if your operation doesn’t require as much computing power, it won’t be as noticeable. EG Autumn 2020 •
Vision, strategy and execution Our interview with MARC DANIELS, Chief Executive Officer at ResultsBI, highlights the innovative firm enabling companies to achieve results by taking their vision, turning it into an actionable strategic plan, and providing the tools to execute an effective strategy. Executive Global talks to the $600 million dollar man who has helped more than 8,000 companies execute their strategy in over 17 different countries. Tell us about your illustrious background and 40-year history as a successful entrepreneur? My entrepreneurial journey started while I MD was still in college. I worked as an accountingintern for a Radio Shack Dealer, and the business was close to failure. To increase revenue quickly, I launched ”Computer Discount of America,” one of the country’s first computer mail-order companies. We launched our e-commerce component in 1985 as part of Compuserve’s Electonic Mall. Yes, in 1985! The most successful companies I have launched, succeeded by leveraging emerging trends. At PrePRESS Solutions, we eliminated an entire pre-press step and manufactured imagesetters that created the press’s printing plate. Then, Instrumentation Engineering who’s rapid growth was a result of the rapid growth of fibre optics. At Diligent Board Member Services, we revolutionised the distribution of board material to the Board of Directors, providing the instantaneous, secure transmission of board material to the board. And now, at Results BI, we help companies formulate a Strategic Plan and Execute that plan using some of the same methodologies I have used throughout my career. EG
What has your experience taught you about the need for effective strategic business planning? A vision without a strategy remains just a MD dream. Planning is key to turning your dream into a success. I have started every business with strategic planning and then continually updated that plan. And when I say a plan, I’m not talking about a spreadsheet that the finance team has put together; that’s a forecast, not a plan. Planning needs to be strategic where you first define your Vision, which includes; your long-term goals, core purpose, and core values. Then you begin to formulate your Strategy, which includes; clearly defining your target market, your offering, understanding competitive forces, EG
and a PEST (Political, Economic, Socio, and Technological) Analysis. Finally, you wrap up each quarter with a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis, set you strategic initiatives for the next quarter, and focus on a few significant initiatives for the next quarter. When this is done on a consistent quarterly basis, companies recognise success. And even if they miss at the end of the quarter, they are doing it again, fine-tuning, adjusting, and taking corrective action. They win! And why is it important, especially in these EG unprecedented economic times, for companies to implement an effective strategic business plan? These are challenging times for companies all MD around the world. The pandemic has caused economic challenges for many businesses. However, every financial downturn creates a vacuum, and new opportunities arise. That is why I presently recommend that companies do a modified SWOT, which I call a SWaTOL. Strengths, Weaknesses, and Trends, Opportunites and Leverage. It skips over Threats for now — because the Threat is here, it’s called “COVID-19”. Businesses need to look at trends both positive and negative and find that diamond in the rough that help them not only survive but allow them to explode with growth.
O ver the years, I have met many ”entrepreneurs” who had a good concept or a vision and started a business. However, they never took the time to formulate a strategic business plan. As Winston Churchill said, ”if you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail” And it could not be more accurate. Studies show that 70% of businesses do not put together even a yearly plan. Is it any wonder that so many companies fail? MD
And how may company executives benefit from ResultsBI offering one of the only strategic planning software systems designed to help execute a strategic plan? We have helped over 8,000 companies put MD together a strategic plan, but more importantly, are the components in the ResultsBI Strategy Execution Compass Software that help you drive that execution. Integrated ∫ Meetings™ in the Results platform is the magical component where data is an integral part of every meeting, decisions are recorded, and tasks are created and tracked. EG
ResultsBI has a philosophy that emphasises ‘Vision, Strategy, Execution’ - tell us more about this process? A vision and strategy are just not enough. The MD long-term key to success is Execution. Each day and every day! In my upcoming book ”Execute,” I focus extensively on how to drive execution. For a CEO or an executive, the most important tool they have is effective meetings. Meetings that include up to date data on leading metrics and strategic projects.
Having successfully sold Diligent Board Member Services to private equity for NZ$941 million in 2016, what advice would you give to business leaders wanting to emulate this success? Be relentless. You see, the plan is hard work, MD but unfortunately, it is the easy part. The hard part is Execution. Think about your last New Years’ resolution; it is simply an intention that most of us do not follow. Like your New Years’ resolution, your plan is an intention. Use the Results formula; Intention x Attention = Results. Every quarter use the first-week planning and creating your ”intention”, and then for the next 12 weeks, give it the attention it deserves and be relentless on Execution. EG
Why do you think it is that businesses without an effective strategic plan, are highly likely to fail?
For further information, please visit: www.ResultsBI.com www.FastTrack.International
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Planning needs to be strategic where you first define your vision, which includes; your longterm goals, core purpose, and core values.
Private Aviation Photo: Matt Crossick / Alamy Stock Photo
Private Jets of Diplomats and Heads of State Top state officials travel the world on specially designed aircraft that features such unparalleled comfort and safety, that no first class or even private jet can compare to. We have assembled a list of presidential grade airplanes belonging to some of the world’s most prominent country leaders, whose luxury would make even the best hotels envious, writes Rachel Smith. UNITED KINGDOM - AIRBUS A330 VOYAGER - $250,000,000 The members of the British government and the Royal Family are transported by Squadron 32 of the British Air Force. In 2016, an Airbus Voyager entered its service to become the new principal
carrier of the country’s top officials. The Airbus A330 Voyager made its first flight on July 8, 2016, bringing the ministers to a NATO conference in Warsaw. The conversion of the aircraft from commercial to presidential cost about 10 million pounds, adding missile detection,
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conference rooms, a changing room, and a secure satellite communications system. Curiously enough, the addition of the Airbus Voyager is actually saving money for the British Air Force: one flight on the new A330 costs about £2,000 versus 6,700 - roughly the cost of getting a chartered vessel.
Private Aviation The new aircraft has 100 economy class seats and 58 business class seats, as well as the latest navigation systems. The Airbus A330 Voyager was originally a tanker aircraft, outfitted in a dull grey colour. The aircraft was eventually repainted in the colours of the British flag for £900,000 in June 2020, at the behest of Boris Johnson. UNITED STATES - BOEING VC-25 $1,000,000,000 The President of the United States is taken around the globe on the so-called ”Air Force One” - the nickname comes from callsigns used for any aircraft that is carrying the US president. The Boeing VC-25 aircraft is the flagship of the presidential fleet - a heavily modified military version of the passenger Boeing 747. VC-25s often work in collaboration with Marine One, a helicopter that takes the President of the United States to the airport in circumstances where ground transportation is rendered unsuitable. When the first lady or the vice president of the United States flies on the plane instead of the president himself, the code designation changes to ”Air Force One Foxtrot”. Within, there is a long corridor along the left side of the aircraft, and the premises are located on the starboard side. The front of the plane is called the ”White House” because of the official nature of the premises. Behind the White House there is a hall adapted for guest accommodations. In the private part of the plane, there is a presidential suite with two sofas that converge into beds, a bathroom with a shower and an “Oval Office” aboard the Air Force One. If necessary, the president can broadcast live directly from the airplane: this feature was added after the September 11 attacks, when George W. Bush’s plane had to be urgently landed so that he could address the population. In addition, there is a medical room with an operating table on board, and a doctor and nurse accompany each flight. Food is prepared right on board, in a special kitchen where meals can be prepared for up to a 100 people. RUSSIA - IL-96-300PU - $500,000,000 Vladimir Putin travels the world in the special flight unit ”Russia”, which includes four Il-96-300s of various modifications. The flagship is the Il-96300PU (M), which is much more comfortable and opulent than the usual passenger versions of the same aircraft. The letters ”PU” in the name stand for ”control room”. The plane took its first flight in 2003. A real ”flying Kremlin”, it features the president’s office, several meeting rooms, a conference hall and a luxury salon for guests and accompanying persons. The plane has a special communications channel through which one can broadcast encrypted messages from any height to anywhere in the world. In addition, there is a mini-gym, a canteen, a bar, showers and even a medical unit for resuscitation and emergency medical care on board. Putin’s plane was custom-built in Voronezh, and it is said to have cost more than $50 million. It has www.executive-global.com
been optimised for communication, security and performance. The aircraft is equipped with four modernised PS-90A engines. Specialists from Diamond Aircraft Industries were involved in the layout of the premises and colours, featuring the Russian tricolor flag. Inside, it’s decorated with engravings on historical themes and embroidery by the masters of the Pavlovo-Posad silk factory. XI JINPING - BOEING 747-400S $250,000,000 Unlike other world leaders, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, does not have his own “number one” aircraft. For state visits and business travel, the leader of the People’s Republic of China uses two Boeing 747-400s belonging to Air China (tail numbers B-2447 and B-2472) whose catalog value, at the time of construction, was about 250 million US dollars. The interior of the Boeing 747-400 can only be judged by a very limited number of official photographs, in particular, taken during the talks between Xi Jinping and President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. It should be noted that the President of the PRC maintains his tastes
SPECIALISTS FROM DIAMOND AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIES WERE INVOLVED IN THE LAYOUT OF THE PREMISES AND COLOURS, FEATURING THE RUSSIAN TRICOLOUR FLAG.
emphatically strict and far from ostentatious luxury; as such, when the airplane isn’t needed for presidential flights, it returns to commercial operation by Air China. GERMANY - AIRBUS A340 - $300,000,000 German Chancellor Angela Merkel flies an Airbus A340-313X VIP. The aircraft was handed over to the government by Lufthansa in 2009, after it had flown the airline’s routes for ten years. It bears the name of the first chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Konrad Adenauer. There are first-person suites on board, which include a bedroom, shower and study, as well as a conference room and a special room for confidential conversations with serious soundproofing. Great attention has been paid to safety: the airplane is equipped with a friend or foe detection system and anti-missile defence. The Konrad Adenauer also has additional fuel tanks, so that it can fly more than 13.5 thousand kilometers
without refuelling, for example, from Berlin to Washington. The wingspan of the Airbus A340 is 60 meters, and its length is over 75 meters. The commercial version of the jumbo jet can accommodate nearly 300 passengers, but the government version is designed for just 143. FRANCE - AIRBUS A330-200 $270,000,000 Since 2011, the Presidents of France have flown aboard the A330-200. The refitting of the Airbus A330-200 has cost the treasury nearly $240 million. For this hefty sum, it has gained a presidential suite with a shower, satellite communications and internet access (which are available at an altitude of 10,000 meters), an office and a conference hall for 60 seats. The Airbus A330-200 is considered an economical and mobile type of aircraft. It is designed for both short and long flights, and can cover up to 12,000 kilometers without refuelling. The wingspan of the aircraft is 60 meters and the length is 59. The passenger version of the A330-200 can carry up to 400 people, with the cabin layout only in economy class seats. ITALY - AIRBUS 340-541 - $609,000,000 The Italian President and Prime Minister take their long-distance flights in an Airbus A340-541, which the Air Force leases from Etihad Airways. This vessel does not have the traditional military marking MM (Matricola Militare); instead, it is assigned with a civil tail number I-TALY. There is a presidential suite and a study on board. Airbus A340-541 is a modification of the A340-500 aircraft, capable of covering 16 thousand kilometers. The passenger version can accommodate up to 440 people. The length of the aircraft is almost 68 meters, the wingspan is 63.5 meters. JAPAN - BOEING 747-400 - $300,000,000 Traditionally, Japanese culture is based on humility and simplicity. But the same cannot be accurately attributed to the Boeing 747-400, which costs $300 million. It is impressive in every way. Firstly, with a speed of 916 km / h, the plane can cover the distance of 12.3 thousand km without refuelling. Secondly, it possesses first-class aerodynamic characteristics, and its wingspan reaches 70 m. The aircraft is operated by two crews at once. SAUDI ARABIA - AIRBUS A380 $500,000,000 The $500 million aircraft - the Airbus A380, is used to transport the Prince of Saudi Arabia. It looks more like a flying five-star hotel with accommodations for 800 passengers on board. In addition, the Prince’s collection has not just one such plane, but four. Aboard the A380, there is everything you need for a comfortable and luxurious life, including a sauna, spa and a dining room for up to 20 people. There is also a room called the ”Magic Carpet”, which is designed to amaze the guests with its beauty and wealth. EG Autumn 2020 •
Cessna Citation X Photo: Meaning March / Shutterstock.com
The Fastest Jets in the World – The Cessna Citation X+ (Model 750) The last few years marked a significant development in the world of private travel. Nowadays, jets’ producers compete on several fronts, and aesthetics and budget alone are no more decisive factors, states Vincenzo Morello. hings from speed, functionality, and capacity to every small detail in the interior, add up to appeal to the ultrahigh-net-worth individuals’ needs. In the world of private jets, there are some models that are a cut above the rest. Cessna Citation X+ is a prime example of the cream of the crop in the niche. The model takes air travel to new heights with stateof-the-art flying experience.
THE CESSNA CITATION X+ Citation X is a flagship model in the business jet portfolio of one of the world’s oldest aircraft producers, Cessna. The jet was announced in 1990, with the first flight in 1996. In 2012, Cessna updated the model, adding a “plus” to its name. The improvements include everything from upgraded engines, flight display screens, and bigger wingspan, to length for improved passenger comfort, increased payload, lower fuel consumption, and higher top speed. In a nutshell, experts say that the “plus” is for speed, range, sophistication, and style. Designed to cut your flight time without compromising on the comfort, Citation X+ (Model 750) is one of the most preferred super-midsize private jets worldwide. THE FASTEST PRIVATE JET CURRENTLY IN PRODUCTION Private jets had long been flirting with the sound barrier. For years, Cessna had the reputation that its models lacked speed compared to those of other producers. It is safe to say Cessna’s engineers took that personally, and, ever since Citation X+ was introduced, it has been the fastest private business jet currently in production.
The max speed, certified by the FAA, is Mach 0.935, or 717 mph. To put this into perspective, with Citation X+, you can make the trip from Los Angeles to New York in less than four hours. This is over an hour faster than most business jets. During tests, the model broke the sound barrier several times. It registered four speed records, including a coast-to-coast Seattle to Miami flight in 4 hours and 52 minutes, with an average cruising speed of 486.2 knots (560 mph). With a threeperson crew, the jet flew from Wichita to Seattle to Miami and back on the next day. Each flight was awarded a speed record by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA). However, Citation X+ may lose its “king of speed” title in 2023, when Aerion AS2 is expected to be released. The theoretical speed of the jet is projected to be Mach 1.4, or 1,074 mph. If going supersonic isn’t your priority, though, then there is no need to part ways with 6x more money. DESIGN AND PERFORMANCE In 1997, the design team behind Citation X won the Collier Trophy - the most prestigious aviation award at the time. Considering that the X+ has
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an even better design than its predecessor, it is no wonder why it is considered among the private jets with the best appearance. The aggressive aerodynamics and aesthetic look make the Citation X+ both the bad boy and the classy gentlemen of the private jets. Thanks to its iconic look, Flying Magazine featured the Citation X+ in its “25 Most Beautiful Airplanes” ranking. The drastic 37° swept-back wings optimise efficiency, drag, stability, and control at high speeds. Flying on the Citation X+ is comfortable, and even at maximum cruise speed, it feels more like a smooth gliding. Flying Magazine even stated that the Citation X+ offered their team “the best ride ever in a bizjet.” The jet is powered by two powerful engines Rolls-Royce AE 3007C2, with 7,034 lbs of thrust each. Due to these bad boys, the X+ is capable of climbing directly, without an intermediate level-off, to 43,000 feet in just 23 minutes. If that doesn’t ring a bell, let’s say that the X+ feels like a fighter jet for civilians. Citation X+ has a maximum altitude of 51,000 feet that allows flying above commercial air traffic and adverse weather conditions. Among the model’s main pros is its maximum range of 3,460 nmi or
Cessna Citation X a greatly enhanced situational awareness and more head-up flying time. PRICE AND COSTS Among the best things about the jet is its relatively lower price when compared to the rest of the comparable models. Citation X+ starts at $23 million for a new jet, while pre-owned models can range between $10 and $18 million depending on their condition, year of production, amenities, and more. This ranks it as one of the cheapest super-midsize models and way beyond the prices of the competition. Gulfstream’s G280 starts at $25 million, for example, while the Dassault Falcon 2000 costs north of $35 million. Bombardier Challenger 350 is no difference, starting at $32 million. The only close to or cheaper model is Embraer’s Legacy 500, which ranges between $18 and $20 million, depending on the model’s specifics. However, it is worth noting that all of the models mentioned above are comparable to the Citation X+ only in size and comfort. When it comes to the combination of speed and maximum range, no competition in the category comes close. Gulfstream’s G650, the fastest plane before Citation X+’s introduction, costs north of $70 million. When it comes to total variable cost, X+ falls behind the competition. According to Conkling & de Decker, the variable hourly cost for the Citation X+ is $3,400. This includes expenses like fuel, maintenance labor, scheduled parts, and miscellaneous trips.
6,407 km. This means you can hop on the jet in New York and land in London directly. INTERIOR The Cessna Citation X+ falls in the supermidsize cabin class and is renowned for having one of the best-looking interiors. Citation X+ can accommodate up to 12 passengers and a crew of 2. The light beige leather seats are extra-large and comfortable for maximum
THE AGGRESSIVE AERODYNAMICS AND AESTHETIC LOOK, MAKE THE CITATION X+ BOTH THE BAD BOY AND THE CLASSY GENTLEMAN OF THE PRIVATE JETS.
relaxation. The double club configuration and the functional interior design, guarantee extra space for passengers and a built-in head and shoulder room for comfortable flight experience. The jet has a fully equipped forward cabin galley and a spacious bathroom in the back that is large enough to double as a dressing room. It has a 78 cubic feet storage pressurised department that can accommodate luggage up to 1,095 lb. There are an iPad cabin management system and information displays that allows passengers to easily manage cabin lighting, window shades, temperature, and entertainment. Additional VIP controls can be assigned to any seat in the cabin. The high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi allows you to stay connected and work or relax through the entirety of your flight. The jet has 13 large windows, equipped with electronic window shades and includes four executive writing tables. The model is also available with customised interior finishes and personalised touches to make the jet your own. The interior is designed in high-gloss hand-finished hardwoods and exceptional fabrics. X+ is equipped with leading-edge avionics, including the Garmin™ G5000™ system, to guarantee reliable and efficient operations. The pilots can enjoy
SHOULD YOU BUY IT? It depends on what you are looking for in a jet. If your time is too precious and speed is the most crucial thing, then none of the deficiencies, including higher operating costs and relatively smaller size, really matter. The X+ can trim an hour or more of the time it takes you to travel from, let’s say, Teterboro, New Jersey, to Van Nuys, California, or flights between Boston and London, when compared to the rest of the bizjets. Whether to choose the X+ also depends on how often and for what distances you intend to use it. If you plan to fly over 50 hours annually and use private jets out of necessity rather than luxury, then the X+ is worth the money. For shorter trips or less frequent travel, though, there are better choices. IN CONCLUSION Cessna says that the X+ model was designed for a new kind of customer - one who wanted style, power, and presence while still banking on its award-winning service. And this is precisely the case. Executive travellers looking for speed, luxury, and reliability all at once, should look no further than Cessna’s X+. If you need a luxurious jet capable of taking you coast to coast and back within a workday, Cessna Citation X+ is the best choice in terms of cost and quality. The plane can serve your regional and intercontinental needs, ensuring a seamless flying experience. EG Autumn 2020 •
Unlocking Human Potential Through Learning English Those of us in the anglophone business world often take for granted the ability to easily express ourselves and instantly understand everything around us at work. As English has become the undisputed language of commerce and academia, professionals across much of the planet must contend with language and communication obstacles daily on top of maintaining every other facet of their effectiveness at work.
Photo: Song_about_summer / Shutterstock.com
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or international companies, effective cross-border collaboration is critical to their success. To survive and thrive in a global, digital economy, they must overcome language barriers to maximise the potential of all their people. From 2015 to the present day, ArcelorMittal alongside EF Education First has sought to break down these barriers of understanding to unlock human potential and business growth.
DEFINING THE CHALLENGE When Arcelor and Mittal merged in 2007 and later acquired 35 foreign companies, disparate levels of English meant that the full potential of using a common language was untapped. In some areas, language was a barrier to development for both individuals and the business. Employees were not maximising communication across all geographies equally, which impacted job satisfaction, knowledge transfer, engagement and productivity. Like most companies, ArcelorMittal has a minimum English requirement to access further development, particularly in leadership, meaning that those who did not meet the standard struggled to realise their full potential. The talent pool was being narrowed unnecessarily and biased towards those who had been brought up in an Englishspeaking environment. The growth of tens of thousands of employees and the entire organisation was being held back, something which needed addressing urgently in order to embrace inclusivity. After a few false starts with other providers, ArcelorMittal began working in partnership with EF Education First and rolled out an ambitious English language programme to staff in 53 countries, with over 12,000 courses delivered in total to date. The result has been the development of a common language around topics that affect us all, including sustainability, diversity, the environment and the cyclical nature of business. “Our business is global and we want to boost performance through facilitating communication across geographically diverse functions. English is an enabler of that,” says Brian Callaghan, Vice President Resourcing, Leadership Development and Learning SENIOR COMMITMENT AS A CATALYST Senior stakeholder commitment from ArcelorMittal at group level was crucial to the success of the global project. The CEO Lakshmi Mittal observed after a gathering of top leaders which included numerous translators that this was becoming a real barrier to future success and that English needed to move from being the “unofficial” to “official” language of the company. To add even greater weight to the situation, there were clear messages being received at senior levels that it was becoming increasingly difficult to recruit the right talent with all boxes ticked, including language proficiency. “As the labour market keeps getting tighter, we need to ensure that we capitalise on the talent that we already have internally. We cannot afford to have English as a barrier to advancement into leadership roles. Supporting English language learning allows www.executive-global.com
us to be fully inclusive in resourcing from all areas of our global reach’’, says Sergey Ippolitov, Head of Resourcing. THE WAY FORWARD As part of the development of this global learning initiative ArcelorMittal and EF codesigned outcomes that could be accurately measured and easily understood by a global audience. They established an ArcelorMittal English Proficiency scale against which employees could be measured and individualised support put in place. Following this, they carefully assessed large cohorts of employees (over 11,000 to date), mapping and analysing their needs to ensure the correct programme design for them. The programme was deployed with specific attention paid to particular sets of talent: identified talent already on a path to leadership, targeted local initiatives (for example, following an acquisition), and needs analysed through large-scale assessments of the employee population as mentioned above. Accessibility was key to making this complex L&D initiative sustainable. At the core of this learning and development project is a solution based on 100% digital training delivery available to all, from anywhere, at any time. Unlimited study and assessment are available in the EF English Live virtual school, housed within the ArcelorMittal Online Campus. This includes live trainer access on demand, over 2,000 hours of engaging content, and full functionality on any device.
UNLIMITED STUDY AND ASSESSMENT ARE AVAILABLE IN THE EF ENGLISH LIVE VIRTUAL SCHOOL, HOUSED WITHIN THE ARCELORMITTAL ONLINE CAMPUS.
Interactive lessons provide a variety of task types covering listening, speaking, reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, plus specially created Steel & Mining industry-specific material so learners could practice highly targeted industry scenarios and vocabulary. FROM GLOBAL TO LOCAL Translating this global mission into local action was seen as key to the success of the project. Experience on both sides of the relationship had taught the partners how important local knowledge, ownership, and accountability are in order to get the required results and maximum uptake. A global agreement between EF and ArcelorMittal was developed collaboratively, allowing local units to
take advantage of economies of scale and ensuring consistency in the programme. The programme has provided support for learners in all time zones, across 16 languages, through a dedicated EF central team, working alongside local teams in 20 strategic locations who liaise with ArcelorMittal contacts on the ground. This support takes many forms including robust reporting and analysis of KPIs, custom communications to engage learners, and annual learner evaluations translated into seven languages. “EF has a global reach and is one of the few players on the market who can consistently support our local units. They often travel to meet with key local HR people in our major plants. It feels like a local, tailor-made approach but one that also benefits from having a global contract and resources”, according to Christian Standaert, General Manager of the ArcelorMittal University. A CONFIDENT ENGAGED AND PRODUCTIVE GLOBAL WORKFORCE The project has succeeded in reaching thousands of ArcelorMittal employees. It has led to measurable competence improvements for them. In many cases, too, their families have also benefited as the programme has been offered to family members. So far, the programme has delivered wide-reaching impact and multiple interconnected changes, by creating an environment where employees feel that ArcelorMittal is truly investing in their future. For ArcelorMittal employees involved in this programme, the average proficiency level has increased from A2 (elementary) to B1 (intermediate) on the standard Common European Framework for Reference scale. This means that thousands more employees have become eligible for further development into future leadership or management pathways. To illustrate this, the most recent cohort in one of ArcelorMittal’s flagship Leadership Development Programmes was more international than ever before, with only 6% coming from a native English language background. Removing language as a barrier for ArcelorMittal employees has enabled them to be more impactful in their current roles as well, with 93% of those surveyed reporting that they feel more productive at work and 95% of learners reporting that they have saved time at work since taking part. Employees have been able to collaborate and transfer knowledge more effectively, and build stronger relationships with international customers. This large-scale global language programme is a building block for ArcelorMittal’s global Learning and Development programmes and a key part of their future international success. The ongoing partnership with EF will continue to develop English language learning towards facilitating communication and performance across geographically diverse functions and business endeavours for the world’s largest steel company. EG
For further information, please visit: www.globalfocusmagazine.com Autumn 2020 •
Association of MBAs
Reflecting and Looking Forward I don’t think any economist, futurologist or fortune teller in the world could have predicted the disruption, threat and challenges we, as a global business education community, have managed our way through this year. Photo: GaudiLab / Shutterstock.com
Andrew Main Wilson CEO, AMBA & BGA
he first part of our International MBA Survey, published in September, polled more than 1,000 employers on the topic of MBA recruitment. The report shows that 41% of employers still believe that next year they will recruit the same number of managerial positions, or more, or – understandably – are still unsure about their management-level recruitment plans at this stage. The research’s findings are indicative of the state of the entire global economy in the wake of Covid-19, and demonstrate that employers in industries most heavily impacted by the pandemic (including logistics, travel and tourism, and retail) are the most conservative in their estimations of increasing the recruitment volume of roles that are pertinent to MBAs. In saying that, the lack of confidence is endemic across the entire employment landscape and, as various studies have shown in the past weeks and months, this affects all roles and industries as the international community struggles to cope with continuing uncertainty that could last well into 2021 or even 2022. There is a silver lining though, in that employers believe that it is MBAs that will make a difference to business, in terms of strategy and quality. While they may be forced to reduce the number of management positions for which they’re recruiting, the survey indicates that MBA graduates are still desirable: 86% of employers think MBAs have the skills that meet the needs of their organisations; 81% believe MBAs are good problem solvers; and 69% are confident that MBAs bring more benefits to business than non-MBAs. Employers polled were also confident that Business Schools are producing MBAs with mindsets focused on maximising profit and that MBAs have the skills and qualities their organisations need in order to continue to grow and thrive.
One thing seems certain, however, and that is that successful and effective MBA employment lies with employers being clear and decisive with Business Schools, when defining the requirements they’re looking for. Although the survey highlighted a reduction in MBA job opportunities due to Covid-19, 87% of employers said ‘accreditation of the MBA was very important or fairly important when recruiting MBAs in the future’ – a higher proportion than any other factor in recruitment decisions polled, which included rankings, course duration, and MBA type. In October, I was delighted to unveil our analysis of the second part of AMBA & BGA’s International MBA Survey which explored the career trajectories of MBA graduates. We asked them to tell us – candidly – if the MBA boosted their career prospects and leadership potential in the ways they wanted. The answer was a resounding ‘yes’. More than two thirds of graduates (68%) said they were more confident in themselves on completion of their MBA; 56% believe themselves
• Productivity, Strategy, Profitability
to be better at dealing with people in a professional capacity; 35% said they have been able to accelerate their careers faster than they otherwise would have been, having completed an MBA; 27% believed the MBA has enabled them to earn ‘substantially more money’ post-graduation; and 24% believe that their MBA has enabled them to be better placed to start their own business. Volatility caused by geopolitical issues is set to continue and could even exacerbate challenges in the recruitment market, making future trends on MBA recruitment figures hard to predict. Yet, in spite of such uncertainty, AMBA & BGA’s survey of MBA student and graduates, combined with its survey of MBA employers, indicates that both these groups are confident that MBAs have the skills and qualities that employers need to succeed, and are best placed to face these ongoing and unpredictable challenges. EG
For further information, please visit: www.mbaworld.com
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Compass Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco’s Real Estate Powerhouse We sat down with BEVERLY BARNETT, Luxury Property Specialist at Compass Luxury Real Estate, to discuss opportunities, client satisfaction, profitability and the luxury property market in the City by the Bay. Executive Global gets the exclusive from the dedicated and tenacious property entrepreneur, with over two decades experience connecting buyers and sellers in the fabulous city of San Francisco, California. You have been referred to as a ‘’real estate powerhouse’’ by clients. What unique attributes do you possess that enables you to consistently dominate in San Francisco’s real estate market? Ah, I don’t know if I’d say “dominate”. I am BB very grateful for my career, but I’m surrounded by amazing talent. I am passionate about what I do and truly love helping clients achieve their dreams. It is so rewarding to say ‘congratulations’ to a client and knowing that you’re making a difference in their life. Hard work, my ”Can Do” attitude, excitement, optimism, problem solving abilities and perseverance, help me continue to work and play in one of the greatest cities on earth and Marin County. EG
With some of the highest salaries, disposable income, and median home prices in the world, as well as the highest median rents, what opportunities are most exciting for investors in this market? Currently, with the changes that the pandemic BB has brought to San Francisco, now is an incredible time to buy property, especially in the luxury market above $5MM. It’s rare San Francisco real estate skips a beat. There are also opportunities in multi-unit properties and condos of all price ranges, plus single family homes that need work. Declining rents, the demand for outdoor space and very few buyers wanting to take on projects have created some great buyer opportunities. EG
Also tell us about some of the generous work EG you are doing to give back to the local community? I fully believe in giving back and making a BB difference in not only my community, but also globally. I support many local charities, public and private schools, the arts and charities that help our planet.
Having lived in Boston and now residing in San Francisco, how would you compare the living experience in both the East and West Coast of the United States and how has this deepened your insight? Actually, Boston and San Francisco are very BB similar except for the weather, LOL! Both cities are made up of so many charming neighbourhoods unique in their own right and quite diverse. Having an understanding of the lifestyle and opportunities each area offers is key in helping clients find a home or investment opportunity. Some people want to be in the middle of the hustle and bustle and others the exact opposite. Given that both cities have amazing educational institutions, I’ve also helped clients invest in properties while their children were attending one of the universities. EG
You also have a great track record. How do you ensure maximum profitability for home sellers who wish to complete as close to the asking price as possible? With each homeowner, we look at current BB market conditions, price range, time of year, consumer confidence and the property owner’s goals. Based on that information, we create a strategy. Each price range and location are a bit different in approach. I am brutally honest with my clients versus telling them what they want to hear to “win” them over. EG
What is the secret to a successful career selling multi-million dollar luxury real estate? Secret, hahaha. I’m still learning and forever BB a student of life. For me, it’s been creating great relationships and cultivating those relationships, treating each client as if they’re my only client by providing excellent customer service, active listening,
• Productivity, Strategy, Profitability
timely feedback and ultimately, it’s about achieving great results. Another important factor is having respect from and for my fellow colleagues. While we compete and negotiate hard for our clients, having confidence in the realtor on the other side of the deal is so important for a smooth transaction and successful close. As a twenty year veteran of the real estate market, what have you learned about the importance of strategic timing? In addition to location, timing and pricing BB are the three most important factors in obtaining the best results. Missing the right time of year for a location and price point can really affect a client’s bottom line. As one might say, I’ve been able to knock it out of the ballpark many many times and that’s so exciting, but I’ve had clients miss the market due to personal reasons and it definitely affected their bottom line. EG
And with over two decades of experience in the San Francisco property market, what can wealthy buyers and sellers expect when being represented by you? First, my team and I not only work with wealthy BB clients, but all price points whether they’re buying their first home or selling a multi-milliondollar mansion, it’s incredibly rewarding to make a difference in someone’s life. I am committed to doing my absolute best to help each client achieve their real estate goals whether that’s creating a strategic plan to help a buyer win in a multiple offer situation or helping a seller obtain the highest possible price. Hard work, determination and thinking outside the box are some of the key components to that success. EG EG
For further information, please visit: www.beverlybarnett.com
In addition to location, timing and pricing are the three most important factors in obtaining the best results.
9918 AVALON CREEK COURT
www.compass.com/agents/mark-cain/ email@example.com +1 (214) 642 6516
5 beds | 6.2 baths | 4-car garage | 9,929 SF
Designed by Richard Drummond Davis and situated on arguably one of the most beautiful and scenic lots in Dallas, this spectacular residence is a welcoming respite and stunning oasis! With 9,929 SF of indulgent living space there are 5 bedrooms, 6.2 baths, 4 living areas, 5 fireplaces, a knock-out kitchen, cheerful breakfast room, butlerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pantry, elegant formal dining room, bar area, formal study, fitness room, 4-car garage, large motor court, and 3 outdoor living areas. High ceilings, abundant natural light, Crestron system, bespoke wall finishes, wine cellar, Otis elevator, and resort-style amenities including an outdoor living area with fireplace and summer kitchen, a sparkling pool & spa, and incomparable views of the large grassy lawn, natural creek, and a tapestry of forestry beyond.
LIV Sotheby’s International Realty Ojai
The Ojai Valley Property Expert Our interview with PATTY WALTCHER, Luxury Realtor at LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, returns to the familiar world of high end luxury real estate in the Ojai Valley, California. Executive Global gets the inside scoop from the prolific agent and architectural specialist who has been connecting the dots for people and buying and selling for over 27 years, representing the grandest properties in Ojai, as well as family homes, commercial properties and buildable lots. What is it about the Ojai Valley that makes it such an attractive location for wealthy home buyers? Ojai is a unique, country getaway for many PW types of successful people: Hollywood stars, business executives, artists and politicians. They come to the Ojai Valley to be surrounded by nature, silence, beauty and community. Only 90 minutes from LA and 40 minutes from Santa Barbara, Ojai has amazing schools and is a wonderful place to raise children. Often a second home will become a primary residence. Especially now, in the pandemic, people are flocking to the safety and serenity of Ojai. EG
To home buyers who may be new to these areas, how would you compare both the Ojai and Malibu real estate markets? For over a century, Ojai has been a place where PW A-list architects come to build unique properties. There are homes in Ojai designed by some of the most famous California architects, such as George Washington Smith, Paul Williams, Green & Green, Mead & Requa, Julia Morgan, Richard Neutra. Ojai is about 15 minutes inland and more rural, whereas Malibu is right on the coast and much closer to LA. The architecturally unique homes in Ojai are more affordable compared to other nearby, high-end neighbourhoods such as Malibu, Beverly Hills, Montecito and Brentwood. EG
With a flair for aesthetics as a specialist in EG unique architectural homes, what fundamental elements are required to sell a property at the maximum asking price in the Ojai Valley? In Ojai, people are looking for large parcels PW of land, amazing views of the surrounding
mountains and the valley, beautiful landscaping, including ancient native oak trees, and, of course, gorgeous, well-maintained, modernised and unique homes.
by providing access to education. I feel that my privilege, in particular, access to education and opportunity, demands that I offer something to other women who are less fortunate.
What is the most expensive real estate deal you have ever closed, and what factors led to your success in the sale of the property? The highest price home I ever sold was in PW Be verly Hills, which was listed at $26,995,000. In Ojai, I have sold the vast majority of the highest priced homes over the years. I just closed the El Toro Estate which listed at $13,500,000, a magnificent restoration of an estate designed by Arthur E. Harvey, and prior to that I closed Twin Peaks Ranch, another iconic Ojai estate designed by Pasadena architect Palmer Sabin that listed at $16,000,000. I attribute my success to my willingness and ability to work with people through challenging and sometimes emotional situations. I don’t sell anything; I facilitate a process that is trying to happen. Every transaction has its challenges, whether during the initial negotiations or while working through inspections and contingencies. If my clients aren’t happy, I’m not happy. So I do my best to create a supportive, transparent environment where the best outcome for everybody is available.
You have been the top-grossing realtor in the Ojai valley for several years! What is the secret to your success? My business is all about relationships. The PW majority of my clients are repeat clients or referrals and many of them have become very close friends. Ojai is a small community, so integrity is everything. Because I honour the relationships and do my best to help people get to the best outcome, people come back.
You also do a lot of charitable work as President of Lotus International. How important is giving back to the community? I have been on the Board of Lotus Outreach PW International for 25 years and its president for the last 12. Lotus Outreach serves vulnerable girls and women in India and Cambodia primarily
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As a 25+ year professional with an intricate knowledge of the Ojai real estate market, what can High Net Worth clients expect when being represented by you? My goal is to find a buyer the property that PW makes their heart thump and then connect all the dots so the transaction goes smoothly. I also have exclusive access to high end properties not on the market. EG
As someone who is highly successful in this industry, can you tell us why some realtors succeed in the world of luxury real estate where others fail? I work hard, respond quickly to the needs of my PW clients, find creative solutions, and I am dedicated to the well-being of everybody involved. EG EG
For further information, please visit: www.pattywaltcher.com
My goal is to find a buyer the property that makes their heart thump and then connect all the dots so the transaction goes smoothly.
Create a Life of Greater Luxury, Freedom and Prosperity Overseas If we have learned anything from 2020, it is that it pays to be prepared and diversified so that you can weather any storm - because there will be storms. Between pandemics, politics, cultural backlash, civil unrest, and natural disasters, there is always something that you could be concerned about these days.
â&#x20AC;˘ Productivity, Strategy, Profitability
Andrew Henderson MANAGING PARTNER, NOMAD CAPITALIST
ut personally, I have never felt greater peace in my life than I have this year. For over a decade, I have been traveling the world, researching, and putting into practice holistic, legal strategies that enable successful entrepreneurs and investors to reduce their tax bill, grow wealth overseas, and become global citizens. Through our premium holistic offshore consulting service at Nomad Capitalist, we have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs and investors legally gain more money, more freedom, and more options by taking themselves, their businesses, and their investments overseas. Using these strategies in my own life has given me a quiet confidence that I will be fine no matter what happens – because I will be. Which is why I relentlessly share these strategies with other highnet-worth individuals who are looking to create lives of greater luxury, freedom, and prosperity. Today, let me share a few of these strategies with you to show you how you can follow my five magic words to “go where you’re treated best.”
1. DIVERSIFY YOUR ASSETS VIA OFFSHORE BANKING I am always astounded when I work with entrepreneurs running multi-million-dollar companies who still keep all their assets in one bank account. The risk that something would happen to that bank or to their account – closures, freezes, bank errors – that would lead them to lose access to their money and stall business operations is very real. I have seen it happen. For that reason alone, it is smart to create a banking portfolio to spread your assets across different accounts that provide various and unique benefits alongside diversification. Then, take that a step further and set up multiple bank accounts around the world. This is not only legal, but also a solid diversification strategy that will protect you from any real or perceived panic that may occur in just one country. And you may be surprised to find that offshore banks rank higher than many UK and US banks in terms of safety. In addition, as central banks in many western countries slash interest rates, moving your savings into a high-interest bank account offshore can give you higher returns, as well as benefits such as currency diversification and greater liquidity. 2. CUT BUSINESS COSTS BY REDUCING TAXES Want to know the easiest, safest way to increase your business profits? Reduce your tax bill. Especially in a year when business owners are concerned about falling revenues, saving money is a top priority. While you can try everything from A/B split www.executive-global.com
testing to raising prices to maximise profits, there is no guarantee that those methods will actually get you the results you need. Moving your business offshore, on the other hand – if done legally and as part of a holistic plan – eliminates the guessing by guaranteeing that you will eliminate one of the biggest ongoing costs of your business: taxes. The process of forming an offshore company can usually be done remotely. That is the easy part. Before you decide where to set up shop, there are several questions you should ask yourself to find the right offshore jurisdiction for your business. Everything from what you sell to how you make payments and get paid, to who you sell to and where they are located, all matter when it comes to picking the right jurisdiction and saving the most on tax without sacrificing any other part of your business equation. 3. INVEST IN CITIZENSHIP INSURANCE Having a second citizenship is one of the best ways to increase your freedom, especially in 2020. Not only does dual citizenship ensure that you are no longer tethered to just one country it also gives you more rights in more places around the world. For example, at the height of quarantine and the unknowns of the initial days of COVID-19, many countries closed their borders to everyone except their own citizens and residents. The US passport went from being one of the strongest in the world to one of the weakest as US citizens were denied entrance to many countries around the world. A second passport can give you greater taxplanning strategies, increase your travel freedom, and provide a solid Plan B in the case that you ever needed to renounce your current citizenship or permanently move overseas. And just as dual citizenship gives you options in times of trouble, obtaining a second residence can provide many similar benefits. In late January, I returned to my base in Malaysia on my long-term Malaysian residence permit and was able to live and travel throughout the region during the following months. Then, just a few weeks ago, I was able to fly to my new base in Serbia where the purchase of a home in the city centre had qualified me for residence there. My wife and I have since enjoyed traveling throughout the Serbian countryside with friends and meeting with our entire team for a night of dinner and celebration. As a global citizen, I thrive on options. I own apartments in cities all around the world, usually in places where I also have a residence permit or citizenship. Even in 2020, I can go from home to home with no need to deal with hotels or worry about getting rejected at the airport. The knowledge that I can stay in Malaysia, Montenegro, Colombia, or Turkey for as long as I want, or explore Serbia without restraint is a major benefit to my lifestyle, freedom, and business. With second citizenships and residence permits in hand, I can know that no matter where I find myself in the world, I have a safe place to stay.
4. MAKE PROFITABLE INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENTS One of the best ways to qualify for a second residence or citizenship, is to invest in foreign real estate. But there are more benefits of owning international real estate than investment migration. And there are even more ways to invest overseas and get higher yields than you could ever get in your western home country. On our website and YouTube channel, we frequently discuss overseas investment opportunities that get returns in the double digits. Our team is constantly doing boots-on-the-ground research to find the best real estate investment markets, highinterest bank deposits, foreign stocks and bonds, and offshore gold storage facilities. You can adopt many of these strategies from your home, while others will require some travel and incountry navigation on your part. But it is possible to get higher yields than the single-digit rates that you have likely come to expect in places like London. And now is the time to buy. Just this year, my wife and I were able to negotiate a price for a home in Malaysia that was 10% lower than when I had been in the country nine months earlier. They say, “Buy when there’s blood in the streets.” Now is the time to follow through on that advice and go overseas where you can benefit from the growth of emerging markets with solid investment fundamentals. GO WHERE YOU’RE TREATED BEST The motto to go where you’re treated best can be scary to some people. It requires you to do what most people have never even considered and are likely unwilling to do. Successful entrepreneurs and investors are already rare enough. If you’re willing to take that success and invest in Cambodia, bank in Singapore, live in Colombia, have citizenship in St. Lucia, and incorporate in the UAE, you can take that success to the next level and find the places where you truly belong and can live the life you want. Of course, those countries and examples are merely examples. What is right for you will depend on your unique desires, business needs, investment interests, and possibly even your family tree. But the opportunities are there. There is no need to live in fear or give into panic when you can create a lifestyle of freedom and prosperity overseas that is all your own. And as with most things, “now” is always the best time to start. Take bold action to control and create the life you want, reclaim your freedoms, and grow and protect your wealth overseas. EG
Nomad Capitalist is the world’s leading offshore consulting firm. Nomad Capitalist offers holistic, legal strategies to successful entrepreneurs and investors to reduce their tax bill, grow wealth overseas, and become global citizens. Our team of experts has extensive professional experience in law, finance, and the offshore field in general. For further information, please visit: www.nomadcapitalist.com
Autumn 2020 •
The Platinum Standard With Silicon Valley’s Finest Our interview with MICHAEL REPKA, Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel at DeLeon Realty, showcases one of Silicon Valley’s pre-eminent firms delivering exceptional customer service and superior value within the neighbourhoods of Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Mountain View and Los Altos, through a unique new business model that reduces conflicts of interest. Executive Global discusses luxury real estate and the DeLeon difference with the number #1 real estate team in Northern California. Tell us about DeLeon Platinum and how you serve the needs of high net worth clients in the luxury real estate market. We fully stage our houses at no cost to our MR sellers and market them extensively via television commercials, multiple magazines and newspapers, and extensive international marketing. EG
Being the number one real estate team in Northern California due to your business model what would you say it is that makes your approach so special? Among many other things, we never take a MR commission from both sides of any transaction. We also offer access to lawyers at no additional charge. EG
What unique advantages do clients gain by having access to one stop shop brokerages with attorneys, tax advisers, and real estate professionals working diligently under one roof ? An integrated suite of professionals to MR collaborate with, at no additional charge to the client, results in a far more comprehensive and stress-free transaction. EG
Talk about the particular benefits posed to buyers with your ethical commission structure. Buyers who prefer to work without an agent, MR or to utilise a DeLeon Realty buyer’s agent, will have a 2.5% advantage over other buyers. Nevertheless, they will still receive comprehensive, professional advice. EG
What is your experience working within the luxury real estate sector taught you about the importance of quality customer service? Quality customer service is exceptionally MR important. Buyers in this price range stay in the best hotels, fly first class or privately, and drive luxury cars. They are used to the very best in customer service. It is our obligation to deliver an experience consistent with the other facets of their life. EG
DeLeon is known for being generous to employees. How important is it to ensure staff members remain motivated and how may this affect overall profitability in Silicon Valley real estate? Our success comes directly from the quality MR of our people. That is why we pay above-
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market salaries, pay health insurance, paid vacation, and even take our employees and their spouses on weeklong vacations. As an NYU Law School-trained attorney specialising in taxation, what future opportunities do you see on the horizon for real estate investors? In high-end real estate, there are often tax MR structuring opportunities, or legal pitfalls, that are simply missed by agents who lack the legal or tax training. We believe that clients deserve a higher level of representation than is typical in the real estate industry. EG
With several wonderful testimonials, what can affluent clients expect when having their properties represented by you? Quite candidly, our clients expect that every MR facet of the transaction will be at a level that is the best in the industry. We make less money per transaction than other agents or teams, but the quality of our work, and the prices we achieve, attract a lot of people to us. EG EG
For further information, please visit: www.deleonrealty.com
Acadia Realty Group
Profitability in The Marvel of Maine’s Luxury Market Our interview with STEVEN SHELTON, Broker-Owner at Acadia Realty Group, highlights one of Maine’s notable real estate firms assisting customers with passionate drive and integrity within Hancock and Washington Counties. Executive Global sit down to talk Mid Coast Maine luxury real estate with one of Bar Harbor’s most knowledgeable real estate professionals. What is it about the Acadia Region that makes it such a wonderful place to live? The Acadia Region is such a spectacular place SS to call home or to make it your summer home. The dramatic coastline, quaint small villages and miles and miles of Carriage Roads and hiking in the park. It is a fantastic playground year round with some of the best views in the country in my opinion. The traffic is light and the trails are usually not crowded so it’s a great escape no matter what time of year. EG
What fundamental factors are key to successfully selling real estate at the maximum asking price in Maine? To get the maximum asking price I believe it SS starts with the online presentation and print advertising to properly display the property. I’ve been using drones for years through different professional photographers that I am very pleased with and it shows with some of the properties not lasting long at all because of those presentations. EG
What advantages may Acadia Realty Group EG offer to clients when acting as a buyer agent? We have 23 agents with a wide variety of SS expertise and a wide variety of their own listings. I have agents I can match up to certain areas that they specialise in so we give basically first hand knowledge to the areas in and around our region. How would you compare the three real estate EG markets within Ellsworth, Acadia and Bar
Harbor for living and investing? Ellsworth is a great year round community SS with great shopping and hospital and it pulls from the entire area from about 25 miles south to 75 miles from the north so it’s a great hub. Bar Harbor is essentially a tourist town now, but with the virus this last year they will most likely have to change their approach and hopefully will return to a little more of a year round community but it’s a great place to live and raise a family as well. I grew up in that town and had a great experience there. Acadia encompasses Bar Harbor, Northeast Harbor, Southwest Harbor, Tremont and basically the entire Mount Desert Island area so all of the towns are included there. The Southwest Harbor side is a little more of a sleeper town that has great shops and restaurants and a little slower pace than Bar Harbor. You also have a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation. How may this additionally be of particular advantage to affluent retirees and people looking to relocate to Maine? We have plenty of agents that can help out SS with seniors and there are some great senior developments but we also sell mostly stand alone homes or condos to seniors depending on what they are looking for. EG
With over 15 years experience in the market, how important is exemplary customer service to a successful career in real estate?
• Productivity, Strategy, Profitability
Customer Service is very important and we take great pride in always making sure we keep everyone satisfied in the transaction to the best of our ability. If anything goes wrong we are great problem solvers and if we need further assistance we have great resources to help with any issue that may come up. It is always our preference to have a totally smooth transaction where both sides feel grateful when finished. SS
What is the highest real estate deal you have ever closed and what factors lead to your success in this transaction? My highest is only $4,125,000 but have done SS a few in the $3M range also where I have represented both buyer and seller and it is extremely gratifying when you can represent both sides of such an important transaction and have both people happy with your services. EG
What can Ultra High Net Worth Individuals look forward to when being represented by
I work tirelessly until I find the perfect property for the buyers I work with and sometimes it takes years even to find that perfect property. When representing sellers I do my very best to give it the highest exposure I can online and in print so people can make an intelligent decision if the property is right for them. EG SS
For further information, please visit: www.acadiarealtygroup.com
Photo: Mihai_Andritoiu / Shutterstock.com
Five luxury apartments at the centre of the Belair district
from 57 to 300 sq.m.
Elegance. Exclusivity. Belair
A PROJECT BY