Jane Kimemia is the managing director/CEO of Optiva Capital Partners Limited, a leading Investment Immigration Wealth Management Company. In an interactive session with senior editors, among other areas of discussion, spoke about her firm’s commitment to supporting Nigerians to get access to global investment opportunities. Zebulon Agomuo, who was at the event, brings the excerpts.
In Nigeria, assets under Management at the end of 2022, of which Investment Immigration is a sub-set is estimated to be N3.5trillion, according to Agusto & Co. Agusto & Co. expects an estimated average growth rate of 15.9percent over the next three years. How is Optiva positioned to take advantage of this growth projected by Agusto?
If you look at the projections in terms of growth that talks about a need, a need to provide solutions, so how have we prepared to take advantage, basically to leverage on the need that already exists in the market? So what we have set out to do first of all, over the years is, we have strengthened and worked on our network of international partners and have strengthened that base and right now we can say that we have a rich network of international partners.
Why are these important? To be able to provide the solutions, in terms of investment immigration, investment services, and advisory. These are very specialized solutions that require professionals, so our network of international partners across investment immigration, advisory, that is part of our confidence to be able to continue to expand our offerings of solutions. So when it comes to investment immigration, you talk about the holistic view, looking at all the jurisdictions.
So, at Optiva Capital we have got the whole range of investments. So depending on what our clients need would be, if they are looking for global access, if they are looking for immigration, then basically we have got that, so that is one of the ways we have put in the platforms to leverage this anticipated growth.
Number two, when it comes to investment advisory, still we are talking about the strength of our partnerships, which means that looking at the global space for example, if you look at the New York Stock Exchange, and Frankfurt Stock Exchange, there is a multiplicity of investment options. So that multiplicity, we break it down to what our clients will be investing in because through our partnerships they develop products based on investment strategy, bridge the gap between what we see globally and the client’s aspirations, to real products that they can invest in.
These are very specialized solutions that require professionals, so our network of international partners across investment immigration, advisory, that is part of our confidence to be able to continue to expand our offerings of solutions.
When it comes to distribution, we have invested heavily in branches with seventeen branches presently and four more coming shortly. If you look at our distribution, we are where our clients are, where they do business, their homes, and we continue to expand to reach our clients. We are looking at Aba, ASPAMDA, to also tap into the informal market where you have clients who do business, they are traders. They need to travel, they need access to passports that allow them to do international travels, they need to save because they import in international currency, and they need to invest in international currency.
We are also heavily invested in people because of our commitment to learning because there is a lot of learning that is required to say you are an expert in the wealth management space. So at Optiva Capital we are committed to life-long learning. So these are some of the ways we are leveraged to take advantage of the anticipated growth.
In terms of returns relative to other forms of asset management services, how does Investment Immigration stand out for those seeking to obtain alternative citizenship or residency in other countries?
When you talk about return on investments, say you invested in mutual funds, so basically you are looking at an increase in valuation of what you are investing in whether its financial assets or real estate, it will be an increase in valuation, dividends. So on the whole you are looking at return on investments.
When it comes to investment immigration, you are looking at return on investments not only in financial terms, it’s in both direct and indirect returns. Some of our clients are traders, people in business, executives, they are high net worth individuals, global access is very important to them so second citizenship or permanent residency in a number of jurisdictions is important to them which means that they have got the world of opportunities because there are so many people who have lost opportunities to do business because they were carrying one passport, they have to go through long visa queues to get access to some markets. So when you think of return on investment on immigration investment, first of all is that global access and that gives them access to business that they ordinarily would not have accessed.
With investment immigration also, clients optimize their spending. If you are a Canadian permanent resident, you have an opportunity to optimise your spending. In education for instance, the fees you will be paying as an international student is like times twelve what you will be paying as a Canadian resident so that is a huge saving and a return on investment. One of our clients had arranged for their daughter to go and study medicine in the United States, but they have a Grenada passport, but when they looked at the options, they realized that Grenada has one of the finest schools of medicine, Saint George’s University, and their daughter will go to University as a resident of Grenada, as a citizen of Grenada, and will pay $20,000 as against $100,000 per annum.
So, the benefits are immense. Another return on investment, if you look at the EB5 programme, there is return of 5 percent because client will invest $800,000. That is guaranteed return for five years, but also remember that their end goal is citizenship, its green card leading up to citizenship, but in the meantime, there is a return on investment because every year they will be earning about $40,000 from that particular investment. Very importantly they have invested in a currency that safeguards the value over time.
And lastly think about the return on investment across generations because once you obtain citizenship or permanent residency, it is for you and generations to come, which translates to access to world class education opportunities, trade opportunities, that’s what it is.
Tell us about some of your partnerships in Investment Immigration for Citizenship By Investment (CBI)?
One of our success stories is our ability to develop partnerships with strong and well recognized reputable institutions. One of them is Stuart Financial with headquarters in Montreal, Canada, a global company with offices in many countries. They are the financial intermediaries to the Quebec government, and they are members of the Investment Regulatory Council of Canada. A very strong institution, they have never had any African partner before now, and we are their only African partners. Not only that, we are engaged with them in Greece, Portugal, and of course here in Africa, for the Federal Start-up programme in Canada.
So for them to have that level of confidence in us, that should tell you something. We also have Green and Spiegel, which is Canada’s oldest and largest immigration law firm based in Toronto, specializing in corporate and personal immigration services. They have offices in five countries including the USA, and we are their only African partners.
Then you have the Heng Sheng Group, which is another global group with footprints in many countries like USA, China, Singapore, Grenada. They have the largest investment in the Caribbean right now, a $2.4B investment. They are building the Grenada National Resort. We are equally their only African partner because prior to our relationship with them they had pockets of relationship but as soon as we came everything was subsumed into our relationship. Then we have Range Developments, an award-winning developer of luxury resorts offering Citizenship By Investment programmes in Grenada and the Caribbean. We are not exclusive because Range has other partners.
We also have Anchor Capital, easily the largest trading investment banking group in South Africa with Asset Under Management of over Seven Billion US Dollars. We are their only partners right now. There is also AIL, an international insurance group, and also TIW Capital Group, a global asset management company in South East Asia with offices in Singapore, India, and UAE. Then we have CTP in Tampa, Florida, USA, which develops and manages over 760 old peoples’ homes. So we have a very strong and robust operation and we hope to grow it.