Wednesday, September 28, 2011
While there is the usual impressive panel of speakers, the participation of Miami's Ronnie Fieldstone of Arnstein & Lehr LLP is what will make this particular event invaluable for those of us who are NOT securities experts and who must wrestle with tangential securities issues as we service our EB-5 clients. Ronnie is no run-of-the-mill securities guy: he's been THE securities attorney for dozens of EB-5 Regional Centers and his experience in our sector is unparalleled. Moreover, like me, Ronnie is a "business guy" who has been involved with entrepreneurial ventures his entire life. This experience -- as opposed to academic experience -- makes all the difference in the world when you are putting together a formidable EB-5 project or Regional Center. (In fact, I asked Ronnie to give me some feedback on EB-5 security issues, and he did one better: he's provided me with an article he's written which I know my readers will find invaluable. Here it is for your education: Download Ronnie Fieldstone article for II
ONLY SIX TICKETS are left so get busy: Brian Su's Orlando Event Registr
Friday, September 9, 2011
I will soon be making a major announcement regarding the expansion of a Florida EB-5 Regional Center in which I am now a principal. The RC, governed and administered by some of the most respected entrepreneurs and business leaders in the country, will be going Florida-wide. I have been given carte blanche to modify the RC, and will be doing so in keeping with the same spirit of fair-dealing with which I have governed my law firm for the past two decades. Specifically, we are looking for projects which meet the following criteria:
- Project principals whose professional and financial backgrounds will withstand detailed due diligence scrutiny;
- Job-creation-driven projects in credible industry sectors located in TEAs or rural areas;
- Principals comfortable with our RC-wide structure, which is a 60 month interest-only model with principal repayment at maturation of loan...no equity EB-5 funding;
- "Troubled Enterprise" projects, but only those whose historical financials show profitable activity before being interrupted by the current economic crisis;
- Projects which do not seek to "cash out" principal investors via EB-5 funds;
- Projects in which principals have significant equity and domain expertise;
- Projects able to front the administrative hard costs for inclusion under the Regional Center umbrella (i.e., I-946 amendment, preparation of EB-5-compliant business plan, offering documents, econometrics, I-526 exemplar, marketing materials, web content and SEO), which typically run from $25-30K.
The principals will have to agree to a number of concrete operational guidelines intended to protect the EB-5 funds invested; these will be project-specific but will include things such as real-time job creation modeling (to distinguish reality from projections BEFORE additional investors are brought in), back-end structural protections designed to control EB-5 investor risk (e.g., seniority at liquidation, revenue set-asides for repayment, etc.), and a clear understanding that the availability of low-cost Foreign Venture Capital (FVC) is wholly dependant upon the viability of the job creation requirements which will secure permanent residency for ALL EB-5 investors at the I-829 level. The bottom line: your project will be subject to ongoing scrutiny and supervision by the Regional Center in order to insure that our investors' interests are protected.
Since the handshake happened a few weeks ago, we've seen a signficant increase in the number of prospective projects making their way to my email...via word of mouth, I suppose. Now that we are "going public" with the news, inquiries will increase. As they do, I am forced to spend an increasingly greater percentage of my time examining and discussing potential projects...uncompensated time. I've always been of the opinion that it isn't right to charge a person to get them to the point where they can make an intelligent decision about whether or not they need your services, and I feel the same way about EB-5..."free initial consultation", tragically, has been my hallmark for decades. (-: In order to keep it this way, I ask any prospective projects who want to know more about what we are doing to please:
- NOT call but, rather, contact me via my email, email@example.com, with a brief summary of the project, total capitalization, and EB-5 capital needs. I promise I'll respond ASAP -- a few days or less unless I am abroad -- and tell you whether or not the project is of interest.
- Send me whatever documents you can but please do NOT ask me to sign an NDA...whether or not the project is of interest to the RC, you are communicating them via me, an attorney, so all that you relay to me is protected and confidential. (Besides, I can't even remember what I had for lunch yesterday...)
If we like the project, next comes the DD on the principals and the project's history, followed by agreement on terms and project deployment/exemplar prep and submission. (Despite all you've read online about having to have a new project "pre-approved" before an existing EB-5 Regional Center can market it, that's baloney . When the project plan is prepared, the project can be marketed subject to USCIS conditions to which we will faithfully adhere.)
So...TALK TO ME! Next up, a story about a Chinese dynamo and our upcoming three week seminar tour of China...have a great weekend and 去鳄鱼 (Go Gators!) J
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
It is no secret that Chinese investors are bullish on real estate. According to the Asia-Pacific Wealth Report 2008 by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini, in 2007, a year that saw investors diversify into other assets against the backdrop of a booming stock market, high net-worth individuals in China allocated 21% of their assets to real estate, against a global average of 14%. Fast forward to 2011 and the dual elements of a massive U.S. real estate inventory and nonexistant conventional financing...and you can see where this is going. In his press release on the Orlando event, Brian quotes the GroupM Knowledge - Hurun Wealth Report 2011....check out these stats:
- China today has 960,000 ‘millionaires’ with personal wealth of 10 million Yuan or more (USD$1.5 million), up 85,000 individuals or 9.7% from the prior year.
- In 2009, there were 825,000 millionaires, growing last year to 875,000.
- China also has 60,000 ‘super rich’ with 100 million Yuan or more, up 9.0% from last year.
But to me the single most telling statistic is this one: four out of five Chinese millionaires are thinking of sending their children to study overseas...with the US and UK their preferred destinations.
While still EB-5 focused, this event marks a new emphasis on the real estate sector by Brian. As always, it will be a full day event and feature an impressive panel of experts. The opportunity to network, however, is the single most compelling point (especially to those of us who have heard every possible variation of the EB-5 "Book of Revelations" a dozen times (-;)
My good friends Scott Barnhart (the distinguished economist with whom I work on Regional Center projects) and John Jiang (from Henry Global, one of China's largest and most reputable EB-5 agencies) will be speaking, as will my old friend Ed Beshara, whom I haven't seen in a zillion years. Seats are limited and if this one goes the way of the last few, it will be a sell-out, so get your seats now: Register for Brian's 9/30 EB-5 Orlando Forum and see you in Mickey Town!