By Uglobal Staff
Nicky Gouder is a tax and private clients partner at Seed Consultancy in Malta. Seed is an internationally focused and research driven advisory firm, which focuses on private clients and tax, strategy and financial services. Gouder is an authorized agent for all immigration programs in Malta and has vast experience in the immigration industry.
How and why did you get involved in the investment immigration industry?
I got involved around 2014, when Malta introduced its citizenship program. The reason why I got involved is that I believe that the immigration industry can provide two-fold solutions. Firstly, to the clients, by providing solutions for families, and secondly to Malta, by attracting the right individuals and investors to the island, to invest in Malta and develop new sectors and ecosystems for everyone’s benefit.
What is it like working in the industry?
Working in the immigration industry, and in private clients advisory, is rewarding mainly because of the relationships you build with your clients and their families. Ultimately, we become our clients’ trusted advisors and friends, and create long-term relationships. This is definitely the most rewarding part of working with private clients in the immigration industry. There is a lot of travelling involved (although the pandemic has now slowed this down) to meet clients and create relationships – I would say its busy, hectic, but rewarding.
What are some current trends you are seeing in the RCBI industry globally?
The main trends I am seeing is the increase in both the demand for RCBI programs and also the supply. We have seen many countries, over the last few years, introduce new RCBI programs to attract investors and raise government funding. This has been matched by an increase in the demand for such programs from individuals and families who invest in these programs for a variety of different reasons – be it, access to better education, health, new markets, relocation.
What are some current trends you are seeing with Malta’s program and its investors?
Similar to the global immigration industry, we are also seeing an increase in demand for Malta’s programs – coupled with this, we are also seeing a common trend that the investors are looking at Malta as a place from where they can carry out their business from and make certain investments, which go beyond the requirements of the specific programs they apply for.
How do you think the pandemic has impacted the global RCBI industry?
The pandemic has impacted the industry in two ways. Firstly, in view of the travel restrictions we have, it has postponed a number of applicants from making investments; this is mainly due to the fact that investors were not allowed to, or had complications in, travel to Malta, and this has postponed the decision to invest. Furthermore, I believe that, as a result of the pandemic, we will see an increase in demand for these programs as investors seek new locations for personal reasons.
Has there been any recent changes to Malta’s program or any new investment options or streams?
Malta has recently launched a new permanent residence program and also a Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment which could lead to citizenship in 12 or 36 months. Both require an investment (or lease) of a property in Malta, and other investments which would lead to obtaining residence or citizenship in Malta, after a number of months.
What achievement in this market has been the most rewarding for you? Why?
The biggest achievement relates to the personal solutions which these programs offer – remembering a particular case, we assisted clients in securing schooling for their children in Malta which was their main aim as to why they wanted to relocate here; they were extremely pleased when that happened as this meant that their children now have access to better education than they had.
What are your thoughts on vaccine passports?
I think that until the pandemic is totally eradicated, it makes sense that individuals can travel either by presenting a vaccine passport or a negative PCR test taken not more than 48 hours before travel; this is the only way that we can ensure that we will get rid of this pandemic.
What is your take on the importance of cryptocurrency in the RCBI industry?
I don’t see any particular importance of cryptocurrency specifically to the industry. I think the importance of cryptocurrency is a global phenomenon which will be even more widely accepted as time goes by. We are currently seeing this happen. I think it is an important asset, not specifically relating to the immigration industry, but as a means of exchange, acceptance and wealth accumulation.
Why do you think global mobility is important these days?
The world is only becoming smaller and will continue to. Global mobility is part of who we are, and individuals and families will continue to seek new places to relocate to as the world continues to become smaller.
Why did you decide to join our Uglobal verified community and what has it done for your business?
I believe it is always important to be part of a community and discuss ideas, thoughts, solutions with others in the industry, and this is what being part of Uglobal has done. It has enriched us by discussing and collaborating with other experts in the industry.
What is your favorite quote and why?
‘Be Ubuntu’. ‘Ubuntu’ is not a word, but it’s a way of life which perfectly explains our purpose. It can be explained in the following manner: “I can never be threatened because you’re good, because the better you are, the better I am”, and ‘A person is a person through other people”. It is ultimately about lifting everyone up, and that we can only be better as individuals if everyone in society is moving forward.
What is the favorite book you have read recently? Why?
‘A Promised Land’, by Barack Obama. I have always looked up to Obama, and this book clearly shows his sense of purpose in anything he decided to do. I am a firm believe that everything should be about purpose (that is why my second favorite book is ‘The Infinite Game’ by Simon Sinek’) and Obama’s purpose is always about helping others and improving the lives of anyone who he can be in contact with. Inspirational.
What are your top destinations in the world and why?
Definitely South Africa; I was lucky enough to travel quite a bit, and I don’t think anywhere I travelled to beats South Africa. It has just everything, the scenery, the food, the beaches, mountains, wildlife, everything.
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