Brunner: real estate investing is a hedge against inflation risk
Angel Brunner is the CEO and Founder of EB5 Capital, an $ 800 million commercial real estate company with nearly 30 projects across the United States. The company has attracted foreign investors from 70 countries around the world, including Nigeria. In this interview, she talks about the various immigration and investment opportunities that EB5 Capital offers Nigerians. Hamid Ayodeji brings the extracts:
For those who have not met EB5 Capital, could you describe the company and its services?
For many years, I worked in finance in Washington, DC, and noticed that many neighborhoods in downtown Washington, DC, which are largely populated by the black community, were not under reconstruction due to lack of institutional funding. When I discovered that the EB-5 Investor Immigrant program was a way to bring development and employment to many of these communities, I decided to launch EB5 Capital. Today, over a decade later, we have remained true to our mission and have funded $ 800 million in various commercial real estate projects across the United States through the investment of nearly 1,600 foreign families from 70 countries, including Nigeria and other African countries. At its core, EB5 Capital is a commercial real estate investment firm in Washington, DC that provides qualified investors around the world with opportunities to invest in commercial real estate, obtain U.S. permanent residence (green cards), as well as secondary passports, such as the Grenada Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program.
Considering some of the challenges black people face in America, why should an African investor invest in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program?
There is no country in the world without its challenges; Certainly we in the United States have ours. I often try to remind those who ask, that the United States is a relatively young nation and faces the growing pains of a country that continues to suffer the collateral damage of the “original sin” of property slavery. furniture. Our youth, combined with our unique economy, our educational opportunities and the diversity of people, gives me hope that we will overcome these challenges. These are also the very reasons why so many of our current and past clients still see promise in the idea of the American Dream, even though we haven’t quite arrived yet.
How can potential clients in Nigeria specifically benefit from an investment in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor and Grenada Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program?
Nigerian families who wish to relocate to the United States permanently can invest the required investment amount of $ 900,000 and apply for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program. Our team noticed that the End SARS movement and the COVID-19 pandemic have increased the interest of Nigerian citizens who are considering residency programs abroad due to the desire to have a back-up plan for their families. With the EB-5 visa, Nigerians can live and work anywhere in the United States and benefit from lower tuition fees at some of the best colleges and universities in the world. For entrepreneurs, there are exciting business opportunities in the United States and of course EB-5 also allows the investor to apply for US citizenship after five years. We are proud to have helped many Nigerians in their efforts to settle in the United States through the EB-5 program. If EB-5 is not the right solution, but there is still a desire for a second passport, Grenada’s CBI program is a cheaper alternative to EB-5. Starting at $ 150,000, the Grenada CBI provides applicants with a strong passport with visa-free travel to most countries around the world, including China. The processing time for Grenadian citizenship is also quite quick within three to four months. One of the most important reasons for Nigerian citizens to invest in the Grenadian passport is that Grenadian citizens have access to the E-2 Investor Treaty visa, which gives them easy access to live and work in the United States.
What if someone wants to invest in real estate, but is not necessarily interested in permanent US residency or Grenadian citizenship?
Our team manages a private equity real estate fund, separate from our immigration offers. Nigerians looking to diversify their assets and access exclusive US offerings, while realizing returns at market rates, may be eligible for our private equity platform. Our fund structure can accommodate investors looking to make a large investment or those who want to start with the minimum $ 100,000 required. With the devaluation of the naira, investing in real estate in the United States, especially multi-family apartments which have historically performed well, is a method of hedging against inflation risk, protecting and growing capital.
Traditionally, many Nigerians who invest in the Caribbean go through the St. Kitts program. How is the Granada CBI different from Saint Kitts?
Grenada is the only country in the Caribbean with a CBI program whose citizens can apply for the US E-2 visa. As mentioned earlier, the E-2 visa allows an investor to live and do business in the United States and can usually be obtained within 3-4 months. The E-2 visa has an unlimited number of extensions and can be converted to an EB-5 green card over time. Grenada also offers visa-free travel to China. We know that St. Kitts is traditionally more popular in Nigeria, but the CBI Grenada program is a more comprehensive program and just has less exposure in Nigeria.
Are there limits to the number of people or family members that can be included in the EB-5 and Grenada CBI applications?
The EB-5 application includes the investor, his or her spouse and children under the age of 21. Grenada’s CBI application includes the investor, their spouse, unmarried children up to the age of 30, as well as the investor’s single parents and siblings.
How successful was EB5 Capital in executing EB-5? Have there been any exploits so far?
As every business owner knows, running a business always comes with its challenges. But I am proud to say that thanks to our selective approach and our high standards, we have become one of the most successful players in the industry. During our 13 year existence of EB-5, we have helped fund projects totaling over $ 3.5 billion in total development, we have maintained a 100% project approval rate in the ‘all of our investments, and no investor has received a refusal due to their selection project. It’s a record that’s hard to match. In terms of investor diversity, we have attracted investors from over 70 countries including Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Africa. South. We are also proud to have Nigerian investors who have completed their full investment cycle which means they got their green cards and received their full investment from us.
What if a person is denied a US green card after making their EB-5 investment?
If an investor receives a denial on the green card application, it is likely that either the US government has determined that the $ 900,000 investment was not legally secured or that the project has encountered problems and has failed. has not created the necessary jobs. These are two of the main reasons why a refusal would occur. It is important that Nigerians work with experienced US immigration lawyers who understand how to document “the source and the way” of the $ 900,000. Regarding the project, it is also essential to work with a company that has funded and overseen the development of many successful EB-5 projects.
How did your company manage to exceed $ 100 million in refunds to its EB-5 investors last year?
It was an important milestone last year. Once an investor holds the Green Card for two years, the investor is eligible to recoup their initial investment, if the real estate project has been successfully built and refinanced or sold. Across our portfolio, over $ 100 million has been repaid to our investors, and each of our project repayments has been made on schedule.