Event Review: Investment Migration Forum 2018
Over the course of 4 to 6 June, the Investment Migration Council (IMC) hosted its renowned Investment Migration Forum (IMF) — the world’s leading independent forum on investment migration. The annual three-day event, which was held at the Grand Hotel Kempinski in Geneva, Switzerland, again attracted over 300 academics, government officials (including the Prime Ministers of St. Lucia and St. Kitts and Nevis), media, and industry stakeholders from over 40 countries and provided exclusive insight into a variety of investment migration-related topics. This year the main focus was regulation and compliance in the investment migration industry, with informative panel discussions, forum sessions, and government roundtables providing ample opportunities to grapple with these important themes. The event attracted highly influential and vastly knowledgeable individuals such as Austin Fragomen (Chairman, Fragomen Worldwide, New York; Chairman of the Council for Global Immigration of the Society for Human Resource Management); Kristin Surak (Associate Professor of Politics, SOAS University of London); Laura Austin (Head of Investor Immigration Due Diligence, BDO); and James Swenson (Global Head of Proposition, Customer Screening, and Enhanced Due Diligence, Thomson Reuters).
Key topics at the forum included ‘The Immigration Landscape Post Brexit’; ‘How Technology is Revolutionizing the Due Diligence Landscape’; ‘The Growing Market for Citizenship and Residence’; ‘Global Mobility, Tax Regime, and Planning Techniques’; ‘The Positive Impact of Programs’; ‘Current Migration Trends in China’; and ‘Residence and the Common Reporting Standard/Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act’. Reflecting on the program, Prof. Dr. Dimitry Kochenov, who is Chairman of the IMC, highlighted that the academic rigor of the content is what distinguishes the IMC’s gathering from other similar events, an indication of the council’s “resounding commitment to the intellectual enrichment of the industry”. Kochenov has confirmed that “two fundamental research papers have already been accepted for publication as a result of the academic meeting preceding the forum”.
One of the keynote speakers at the event, Editor in Chief of Global Citizenship Review and Group Chairman of Henley & Partners Dr. Christian Kaelin shared some insightful observations concerning the longevity of the investment migration industry, stating that “the concept of global citizenship has become the new cultural norm and investment migration is here to stay”. On the issue of regulation, Dr. Kaelin opined: “The level of self-regulation that has already taken place is significant for an emerging industry such as ours and is to be applauded, but I think we are set to see regulation becoming one of the major focuses going forward.”
Indeed, the benefits of a more stringent industry extend to both service providers and potential applicants. “Regulation builds trust and confidence with major partners, especially with financial institutions, and it will serve to make all our operations much smoother and more secure over the long term,” Kaelin concluded.
The next edition of the forum will be held from 3 to 5 June 2019. To register, visit investmentmigrationforum. org/registration/