WHY PUERTO RICO ?
As the saying goes, timing is everything. Some of the most successful CEOs and entrepreneurs in the world are not the best coders or sales people but instead are very good at seizing opportunities. The aftermath of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico has created a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the prepared and the knowledgeable. Unlike other nearby islands affected by the hurricane, Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory enjoying the full benefits of stability and confidence from U.S. legal and financial systems. The U.S. Dollar is its currency, its work force is fully bilingual and highly educated, and it possesses the one of the most favorable taxation structures (0 to 4%) compared to any other place in the U.S. or abroad.
There are many reasons for offshore long-term investment optimism and participation. Since Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory, its infrastructure, roads, bridges, water systems, and power will be restored, modernized, and in some cases, greatly improved. One obvious and significant bargain investors can discover is found in the greatly depressed real estate sector. There are enormous discounts currently available - in some cases 20-30 cents on the dollar. Growing participation of large and prominent U.S. tech companies can already be seen on the island, putting Puerto Rico on the tech-centric map as well as on a path to greater tech-savviness and competitiveness.
Puerto Rico's taxation is another very important reason for farsighted investors to take a closer look. The Conference will discuss the impact of Federal Tax Reform on Acts 20, 22 among others, and why Puerto Rico continues to offer better benefits for businesses and investors than any other place. In order to promote economic development, the Puerto Rican government has created tax incentives to encourage a wide range of industries, companies, wealthy investors, and entrepreneurs to establish residence and headquarter their global businesses to benefit from its current laws and regulations.
In addition to timing and seizing opportunities, there is no substitute for working with local experts. Outside companies, entrepreneurs, and investors undoubtedly require an experienced and knowledgeable local team on the ground in Puerto Rico who understand the business landscape, trends and culture.
THE HONORABLE ALBERTO BACÓ BAGUÉ
is a former Secretary of Economic Development & Commerce in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Bacó Bagué is the Founder and General Director of the Partnership for Modern Puerto Rico, a forum that promotes co-investment, macro project promotion, deep dive thought processes, and high-level networking to lead Puerto Rico in the future.
Bacó Bagué is an attorney, CPA, and entrepreneur. During his career, he has distinguished himself as an active supporter of the development of the venture capital and private equity industry in Puerto Rico and has held senior management positions in both the public and private sectors. In the public sector, Bacó Bagué has held positions as Executive Vice President, President and Chairman of the Board of the Economic Development Bank and the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico. For four years, he directed the economic development strategy and execution as a cabinet level Secretary. Prior to his appointment, Bacó Bagué held several leadership positions within the private sector, including CEO of Marvel and Bohio International, and Board seats with W Holdings and Assurant P.R., among others. He has held several positions within international accounting and law firms., and currently directs ABB Capital LLC, which specializes in strategies for growth, governance and turnarounds.
Bacó Bagué graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Puerto Rico with a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration. He also holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Puerto Rico. He is an active member of Young Presidents' Organization (YPO).
is the founder and CEO of Putnam Bridge, a firm engaged in the acquisitions and management of distressed landmark properties in the United States and abroad. Mr. Prouty has been a real estate principal in several companies, including a General Partner of Hudson Cross Financial, a company engaged in the acquisition and disposition of foreclosed houses on a nationwide basis. In addition, he has served as an advisor to many specialty real estate companies.
Within the last year, Mr. Prouty's firm has been active in Puerto Rico and has made two significant nine figure investments. Those investments include the acquisition of Ciudadela, a mixed use real estate development in Santurce and Puerto del Rey, the largest marina in Puerto Rico.
Mr. Prouty formerly headed acquisitions and restructuring for a $1+billion hedge fund focused on asset based lending and real estate finance. Prior experience also included serving as Managing Partner to a prominent family office, and as treasury analyst at Lazard Freres & Co.
Mr. Prouty is the founder of the Habitat Support Foundation, a non-profit entity based in Washington, D.C. engaged in providing non-recourse loan guarantees to Habitat for Humanity. Mr. Prouty received a Bachelors of Arts in European History from the Claremont Colleges in Claremont, California. He resides in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Jaime Morgan Stubbe
has over 32 years in top executive positions in high level positions in the private sector and in the executive branch of government. Mr. Stubbe has dedicated most of his career to the resort real estate development sector. He is currently Managing Director of Real Estate at DBR Development, the development company of Puerto Rico’s ultra lux residential resort Dorado Beach and Ritz-Carlton Reserve Hotel. Prior to joining the Dorado Beach Resort Development Team, he oversaw the development and sale of land and resort residences for 15 years during his tenure at one of Puerto Rico’s largest resort developments -Palmas del Mar- with sales averaging $131.0 million a year; closing over 1000 units from 2000-2009. He has participated in complex transactions such as $150 million bond issue; $230 million construction loan negotiation; oversaw and coordinated multi-discipline team in obtaining permits to build a 650,000 square feet regional retail center; was responsible for overseeing $100 million of capital expenses and real estate improvements from 2001-2008. Mr. Stubbe has also been a member of the board of the PR Home Builders Association and was selected as one of Puerto Rico’s Top Ten Businessmen of 2006 by the prestigious Caribbean Business.
Prior to being involved in real estate development, Mr. Stubbe practiced law in the areas of real estate, commercial and business law, and held Governor’s Cabinet level positions in the Puerto Rico Government. He was the Director of the PR Economic Development Administration and President of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (now Department of Economic Development & Commerce). In this role, besides developing and executing economic development policies, he was responsible for marketing PR as a destination for investment and promoting and managing multiple tax incentives, including Act 20 . He has served in multiple boards of directors including that of a publicly (NYSE) traded company. He has also served in Boards of financial institutions such as the Government Development Bank and the Economic Development Bank.
Mr. Stubbe graduated from Tulane University with a BA in International Relation and Economics and obtained a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law. He returned to Tulane School of Law to pursue post JD education. He is admitted to practice in the bar of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, the U.S. District Court of Puerto Rico and the U.S. First Circuit of Appeals.
is Chief Executive Officer of Advantage Insurance Inc., the leading international specialty company headquartered in Puerto Rico. Advantage serves over 400 clients worldwide and administers over $2 billion of insurance assets for captive insurance companies, private placement life insurance, and other insurance structures. Mr. Keenan holds an Act 22 Grant and Advantage operates in Puerto Rico using Act 20, Act 273, and Act 399 benefits.
Prior to leading Advantage's recapitalization and growth plan in 2013, Mr. Keenan was a private equity investment professional in San Francisco and New York focused on financial services investments. He relocated to Puerto Rico in 2013 an through Advantage, has created over 25 new jobs in Puerto Rico. He has been a supporter and speaker at the Puerto Rico Investment summit, on several editions.
has professionally invested billions of dollars for many of the world's largest corporations and financial groups since 1987. Mr. Marber has headed emerging market investments for Loomis, Sayles & Company, HSBC Global Asset Management, and was a partner and president of the emerging market subsidiaries at Wasserstein, Perella & Co.
Mr. Marber currently teaches at Harvard and has been on the faculty of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs since 1993. He has lectured at dozens of international conferences, and has been a market commentator for CNN, the Financial Times, CNBC, Barron’s, Reuters, Bloomberg, and the Wall Street Journal. He serves on various boards for New America, World Policy Institute, Columbia University, and the Emerging Markets Traders Association, and is a Fellow of the RSA in London. Mr. Marber has authored more than 100 articles and columns on international finance and globalization and has authored or edited six books.
MANUEL LOPEZ-ZAMBRANA ("NOLIN")
Manuel López-Zambrana ("Nolin") represents clients in a variety of industries such as financial, mutual funds, manufacturing, not for profit, insurance airline transportation, maritime transportation and telecommunications industries. Mr. López-Zambrana's expertise is highly sought after in all stages of tax controversies. He is considered by Chambers and Partners publication as a "standout tax practitioner who receives glowing recommendations from sources as one of the leading lawyers in the field." Mr. López-Zambrana has also served as advisor to the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury and to the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico. He was capital member of various major law firms in Puerto Rico and is a frequent speaker at numerous seminars and conferences sponsored by the Puerto Rico State Society of Certified Public Accountants, Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association and other professional organizations.
Mr. López-Zambrana has favorably obtained significant rulings and Closing Agreements with the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury and the United States Internal Revenue Service. He has also served as an expert witness in various controversies, including an international dispute resolution case. His publications include Private equity and hedge funds in Puerto Rico – a welcoming environment in the Caribbean, 14 March 2018; Tax incentives in Puerto Rico: a quick introduction, 13 Jun 2017; Puerto Rico's Act 20 and Act 22 – key tax benefits, 4 Aug 2016. Mr. López-Zambrana holds a J.D. degree from University of Puerto Rico School of Law.
is a senior relationship manager and a director with Allianz Global Investors, which he joined in 2015. He is responsible for developing the firm’s institutional client relationships in the Northeast and is a member of the Institutional Business Development team. Mr. Lelek has 11 years of investment-industry experience. He was previously a director at BlackRock, where he was responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with institutional clients, including pension and defined contribution plans, endowments, foundations and outsourced CIOs. Mr. Lelek began his career in the analyst program at BlackRock. He has a B.A. in economics and sociology from Connecticut College. Mr. Lelek holds the FINRA series 3, 7 and 63 licenses.
Allianz Global Investors manages $569 billion
María de los Angeles Rivera, CPA
is a Tax Partner in charge and International Business Director of Kevane Grant Thornton in Puerto Rico and has over thirty-two years of experience in public accounting. In her role as tax partner, she serves clients in various industries, with a focus on those in hospitality, construction and manufacturing. Mrs. Rivera assists clients with decisions related to tax applications and audits and helps business clients and their owners to lessen corporate, individual, estate and gift taxes. She is responsible for the administrative aspects of the Tax Department and coordinates the technical tax training of the tax department professionals. In addition, she is a member of the firm's Executive and Marketing Committee as well as an active member of the Tax Committees of the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce and Puerto Rico State Society of CPAs. She has written numerous tax related articles for prominent local media outlets. Mrs. Rivera is a summa cum laude graduate and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Catholic University of Puerto Rico, and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Accountancy from the University of Texas in Austin.
Francisco Luis, CPA
is a Tax Partner at Kevane Grant Thornton in Puerto Rico and has over twenty-five years of experience in public accounting, including the “Big Four” and in private consulting practice. Mr. Luis engages in the design and development of tax planning and consulting strategies. This includes tax services in the area of mergers and acquisitions, business reorganizations, partnership transactions, tax incentives and exemptions, individual and corporate tax issues, personal financial matters, and others. Mr. Luis has experience in assisting clients before state and federal agencies and various municipalities. He also possesses extensive tax compliance experience. He is a Member of Puerto Rico State Society of Certified Public Accountants and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Mr. Luis holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration in Accounting from University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez and an Juris Doctor Degree from University of Puerto Rico School of Law.
is Co-Founder and COO of iXledger an alternative marketplace for insurance based on blockchain. As a former executive at a software company that offers award winning global multi-asset institutional trading solutions in the cloud, she is applying her knowledge of traditional marketplaces to the creation of next generation blockchain enabled marketplaces in combination with advanced technologies through digital transformation to create efficiencies and opportunities.
Internet Pioneer and MIT Media Lab alumna, Cristina, co-founded OneMain, which grew to be the 10 largest Internet Service Provider. The company was later acquired by Earthlink after a highly successful initial public offering. At Hearst and Disney she headed up technology and built the first consumer internet websites. In addition to executive roles at IBM and Oracle bringing new products to market, Cristina was CEO of venture backed MIT spinoff Wordstream.
As an engineer, computer scientist, futurist and solutionist, Cristina appreciates the value of applying engineering skills to problem solving, which was the topic of her TEDx talk “Just Solve It”. In 2013 she launched the global student competition “Dream it. Code it. Win it.” which has been honored with; a Trader Magazine Charitable Contribution Award, a MIT Harold E. Lobdell Distinguished Service Award and four Stevie Awards for Best Organization, Best Female Innovator and Best Executive of the Year. Currently, Cristina serves as the MIT Enterprise Forum of NYC Vice Chair.
Cristina earned a Master’s Degree from the MIT Media Lab and holds a Master of Computer Science and Bachelors of Electrical Engineering with concentrations in Computer Science, Data Communications and Business. She was a member of the US Bobsled and Skeleton team, earned first place in US Nationals and Empire State Games. She placed second for women at the Skeleton World Cup Championship.
Richard j. cooper
is a partner based in Cleary Gottlieb’s New York office. His practice focuses on international and domestic restructurings both in the private and public sectors. He has represented corporate, sovereign and municipal debtors; creditors, creditor committees, buyers and sellers of distressed assets and securities, DIP lenders, and other participants in out-of-court and in-court bankruptcy proceedings.
Mr. Cooper led the team that advised the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico with the restructuring of approximately $73 billion of indebtedness prior to the change in administrations. He also played a lead role in the development and passage of the federal statute known as the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act, or “PROMESA”, which creates the first federal debt restructuring regime available to U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico. Additionally, Rich led the team that advised the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), the largest municipal utility in the U.S., in its restructuring of over $9.5 billion of indebtedness and related matters, and the Government Development Bank of Puerto Rico in its negotiations with creditors.
In Latin America, Mr. Cooper has advised on many of the most high profile restructuring transactions in recent years, including OGPar, Oi, GVO, OAS, Odebrecht Oil and Gas, QGOG Constellation, Rioprevidencia, Embraport and Tonon in Brazil; ICA, GEO, Oceanografía, Oro Negro, Grupo R, Cemex, Comerci Mexicana and Vitro in Mexico; San Antonio Oil and Gas, Edenor, Metrogas, Telecom Argentina and Easa in Argentina; and Gildemeister and Alsacia and Express in Chile, among others.
Mr. Cooper has also worked on the U.S. restructurings of Aleris, America West Airlines, Circle K, Color Tile, Continental Airlines, Foxwoods Casino, Insight Healthcare, Lehman Brothers, Milagro Holdings, Pan American Airways, Revco and Van Camp Seafood, among others.
Mr. Cooper was recognized by Law360 as an MVP in bankruptcy and restructuring, by TMA for each of the last two years as one of a handful of outstanding restructuring lawyers in the U.S., by Global M&A Network as a Top 100 Restructuring Professional and by the Financial Times in its fifth annual North America Innovative Lawyers Report for his role in representing a consortium of creditors in OGX’s bankruptcy. He is internationally distinguished as one of the world’s leading lawyers by The Legal 500 Latin America, Latin Lawyer 250, Latinvex’s Top 100 Lawyers, Global M&A Network, Chambers Global, Chambers USA, Chambers Latin America, The Legal 500 U.S., IFLR 1000, The Best Lawyers in America and Global M&A Network.
Margaret Pena Juvelier
is the Founder/President of Puerto Rico Sotheby's International Realty. Up until September of 2012, Margaret Pena Juvelier was a Senior Vice President and Associate Broker with Sotheby's International Realty in New York City, joining the firm in 1986 shortly after starting her real estate career. In September of 2012, Margaret gracefully transitioned, after 28 years in the acclaimed NY office, to become Founder/President of Puerto Rico Sotheby's International Realty, located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
A seasoned, savvy and skilled negotiator, Margaret has sold in excess of $700 million worth of properties and has created stellar sales including the most recent sale of 5th Avenue property selling at $32,000,000 substantially above the asking price and featured in the Wall Street Journal. Her performance as a producer has been consistently in the top percentile. She was in the top ten producers in 2007 and 2011. Margaret was featured as one of Manhattan's "big budget brokers" in the wealthiest zip code on the Upper East Side in Gotham magazine, as well as being noted in periodicals such as the Wall Street Journal, for her success.
Specializing in residential sales, and unique homes , Margaret covers a broad range of property type. She is an extremely hard worker with a passion for properties, shown through her dedication and professionalism which is evident to all who work with her. Margaret has assisted international investors in securing prime, luxury-brand, Manhattan residential real estate. It is with great excitement and enthusiasm Margaret enters the Caribbean marketplace. With an International eye on the market, she intends to bring this knowledge and expertise to Puerto Rico. Margaret speaks Spanish, French and Portuguese.
is the Managing Member of Commonwealth Advisors, LLC in San Juan. Commonwealth Advisors is a member of the Alianza Fenix de Construccion, LLC, consisting of CIC Group, the largest Puerto Rican-owned general contractor, and Ecologia Carmelo, the largest Puerto Rican-owned quarrying, mortar and construction materials company. The mission of the Alianza is to provide replacement homes for Puerto Rican families whose homes were destroyed by Hurricane Maria in connection with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) utilizing Puerto Rican companies, labor and materials.
Mr. Porter has been engaged in the practice of law and investment banking; has held elective office; and is a long standing advocate for environmental stewardship. He holds BA and MBA degrees from Columbia University, and a JD degree from Case Western Reserve School of Law.
Mr. Porter will offer insight into the efforts being made by both governmental and private agencies in to remedy the unprecedented, catastrophic hurricane damage principally affecting the interior portions of the island, and a majority of the least fortunate residents of the island.
MARIA DEL MAR ORTIZ TAIT
For almost 15 years Maria del Mar Ortiz has been a leader in the financial services industry of Puerto Rico. She began her career as the assistant to Treasurer at BBVA before shifting her focus to the private client side of the industry. As a Financial Advisor for UBS Financial Services, she provided exemplary service to some of the most high-profile investors in the Caribbean. As always, Ms. Ortiz was never comfortable with basic service and recognized a shift in the needs of the sophisticated investor. She was an original pioneer of a new breed of advisor focusing her practice to help mainland investors understand and take advantage of unprecedented tax saving opportunities afforded to new Puerto Rican residents. In 2013, her talents were recognized by a private family fund, Sol Partners LLC, and because of these talents she was placed in a leading role to manage business activities for the family: a high design Coworking space and a Non-Profit Organization focused on helping homeless people in Puerto Rico. Again Ms. Ortiz grew this business to a self-sustaining position and is now stepping out on her own to lend her unique talent and market knowledge to her current role as founder of ‘We Got This’ a Premium Concierge Service in Puerto Rico. Maria del Mar Ortiz received her undergraduate degree from the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington DC.
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