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“Using AI and Automation” to Get Ahead: 10 on The Weekend With Imad Elbitar – IMI

10 On The Weekend is a weekly (-ish) feature in IMI, the concept of which is simple: Each time, we ask the same ten questions of a different IMI Pro, letting readers get to know the interviewee on a more personal and informal level than they might during the ordinary course of business.

Our guest this week is Imad Elbitar, Managing Partner at NTL Trust

How do you spend your weekends?

For me, weekends are about balance. I prioritize reconnecting with nature and my family and escaping the intensity of the city. 

It’s a time for reflection, both personally and professionally. When I’m not with family, I usually learn or prepare for the week ahead. Thankfully, our digital world makes it easy to stay connected to work when needed.

What are your top three business goals this year?

  • Our top priority this year is ensuring our clients’ success after they obtain Caribbean citizenship. We’re committed to helping them build a new life and a lasting legacy through personalized relocation and investment strategies. 
  • While our expertise in the Caribbean remains a cornerstone of our business, we’re continuously exploring diverse opportunities worldwide, especially as several Caribbean programs adjust their investment cost at the end of June 2024. Our commitment is to provide our clients with the most comprehensive and up-to-date solutions for their investment migration needs.
  • Finally, we’re investing in technology, including AI, not just to make our processes more efficient but to create a more personalized and seamless experience for our clients. This approach frees up our team to focus on what truly matters: understanding and fulfilling each client’s unique needs and goals.

What’s your biggest business concern right now?

Our biggest challenge is keeping pace with the ever-changing global landscape of international laws and geopolitical shifts. Staying ahead of these developments is critical in our industry. 

We’re constantly monitoring worldwide legislation and adapting our strategies to ensure our clients always have secure and viable options for residency or citizenship. We pride ourselves on being agile and proactive, always ready to pivot and find new solutions as the landscape evolves.

Which book is on your nightstand right now?

I’m reading Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations and enjoying its timeless insights into economics. It is fascinating to see how his ideas still resonate in today’s globalized world. 

I am also deeply engaged in writing my own book, exploring the multifaceted world of citizenship and residency by investment – a topic I’m incredibly passionate about

How and when did you first get into the investment migration industry?

My journey into investment migration began after realizing, during my early investment and real estate development career, the limitations that nationality could place on global ambitions. 

Citizenship by investment was a game-changer, and I recognized a growing trend. In 2008, I began exploring and getting involved in this industry, and haven’t looked back since. It’s been incredibly rewarding to help clients from all over the world achieve their dreams.

What was your proudest moment as a service provider?

There are countless moments I’m proud of. Each time we help a client achieve a better life. Every family we’ve assisted in securing a brighter future holds a special place in my heart. 

But one story that truly stands out is that of a Syrian investor we helped obtain citizenship. The highlight was when he received his Grenadian passport directly from the Prime Minister at our NTL Trust Summit in 2016. 

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Witnessing the joy and possibilities this opened up for him was profoundly moving and reinforced our mission to make a real difference in people’s lives

Which investment migration market development has surprised you the most in the last year?

The most surprising development in the investment migration market this past year has been the significant rise in demand from the Middle East and North Africa, driven by geopolitical uncertainties and economic diversification efforts. 

This shift marks a broader trend of individuals seeking stability and new opportunities beyond traditional Western markets. Additionally, Saint Kitts & Nevis’s price increase and the signing of agreements by four countries to raise the minimum investment from $100,000 to $200,000, effective July 2024, have been notable surprises.

If you could go ten years back in time, what business decision would you change?

I’m a firm believer in continuous improvement and course correction. If a decision isn’t working, I fix it quickly. 

So, honestly, any past business decision I might have wanted to change, I probably already have! I prefer to focus on the present and the future, not dwell on the past. I’m happy with where we are today and excited about what’s ahead.

What investment migration industry personality do you most admire?

Two people have really made an impression on me in this industry. 

The first is Dr. Christian H. Kaelin. He’s a true visionary, and his innovative approach has shaped our industry.

The second is a respected colleague and friend, Nicholas Stevens. He prefers to stay out of the limelight, but his expertise and strategic insights have been invaluable to me and the industry as a whole. He’s a brilliant mind with a deep understanding of investment migration.

If all goes according to plan, what will you be doing five years from now?

In five years, I envision our firm as a global leader in investment migration, using AI and automation to enhance client experiences and streamline processes. 

We will guide individuals and families to their ideal destinations while actively shaping the industry through thought leadership, ethical advocacy, and community-focused initiatives. 

My goal is not just to keep up but to drive change in investment migration, maintaining our commitment to excellence and integrity.

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