NEW YORK, USA — Apex Capital Partners Corp., an advisory firm specializing in investment consulting and wealth management for a multinational audience, has commented on the state of the citizenship by investment (CIP) industry following scrutiny from an internationally broadcast segment of the CBS programme “60 Minutes”.
On January 1, CBS aired an episode of 60 Minutes entitled “Passports for Sale” that highlighted the growing citizenship by investment industry, fueling globalization and facilitating the movement of capital and individuals around the world. During the segment, multiple on-camera interviewees brought forward concerns surrounding the due diligence performed by countries providing citizenship in exchange for a one-time fee or investment within said country.
Apex Capital interacts directly with many governments mentioned in the segment including Antigua and Barbuda, Cyprus, Saint Lucia, Dominica, and St Kitts and Nevis on behalf of its clients. Many of the countries APEX works with provide citizenship that facilitates ease of travel, simplifies financial management, and offers a high quality of life.
“While 60 Minutes certainly featured concerns expressed over the years, most of the countries and services providers participating in these citizenship by investment programmes are doing so via a successful process that supports domestic growth as well as the individual citizen,” said Nuri Katz, founder and president of Apex Capital. “Our team witnesses firsthand the extensive due diligence process which involves background checks and interviews, while also conducting information exchanges within the international community, including numerous foreign governments. The programs we recommend are credible, best of breed programs which rely upon maximum possible oversight.”
“The country of Dominica realizes not only the importance of providing a transparent citizenship by investment programme, but also the key role the industry plays in fueling economic growth,” said Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit. “We have carefully developed this programme, conducting extensive background checks and reviews for global citizens who wish to contribute to our country.”
“St Kitts and Nevis has taken great strides to present what we consider to be one of the most attractive and well-guarded citizenship by investment programmes in the world,” said St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Timothy Harris. “First and foremost, our efficient process is designed to benefit our citizens and the local economy, attracting only top-tier international citizens, while remaining supremely conscious of our responsibility and commitments to the international community of nations. St Kitts and Nevis is highly regarded as a responsible member of the international community, and is compliant with its international obligations.”
The segment, while likely inadvertent, incorrectly claims that the industry was created by a service provider in the last decade. In fact, the industry was created in 1984 by St Kitts and Nevis when they launched the first citizenship by investment programme, which was then followed by Dominica with the launch of a similar program in 1994.
Similarly, in a clear conflict of interest, an individual named Peter Vincent raised significant questions surrounding due diligence for countries mentioned in the segment, while curiously omitting that his present employer, Thomson Reuters, is actually a due diligence services provider, commercially competing to be hired by those countries that have citizenship by investment programmes. Unfortunately, his role and clear conflict of interest in participating in the segment is not mentioned by the journalists or its producers.
APEX applauded 60 Minutes for the focus it has placed on the citizenship by investment industry and said it believes that due diligence is of the utmost importance to these programmes. In fact, many of the due diligence providers relied upon by these countries are first world and internationally acclaimed.
As one of the leading firms to operate in this sector, APEX added that it is proud to identify much-needed alternative sources of financing, for domestic infrastructure and other budgetary needs. APEX said it looks forward to the positive economic support these programmes have for countries around the world, their respective citizens, and the future growth of the industry.