Henley & Partners
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|Christian Kälin, Chairman and CEO|
Henley & Partners is a global citizenship and residence advisory firm with its main office in London and with over 25 offices worldwide. It advises governments on residence and citizenship-by-investment policy and works with them to develop and implement residence and citizenship programs. It also consults on general immigration law and policy as well as visa policy and the negotiation of associated treaties. Henley & Partners' Residence and Citizenship Practice Group advises individuals and their advisors such as law firms, banks, and family offices on alternative residence and citizenship.
While its origins date back to the 1970s, Henley & Partners as it exists today was formed in 1997 through the combination of a private client immigration consultancy and a corporate and family services company. In the late 1990s and through the 2000s, the firm advised wealthy businesspeople and individuals move their businesses and families around the world, largely through the acquisition of residence and citizenship from Austria, Canada, Hong Kong, US, Switzerland, and St. Kitts and Nevis. At the time, the concept of residence and citizenship planning was relatively new and not considered to be of much relevance. This situation changed in 2006, however, when Henley & Partners became involved in the restructuring of St. Kitts and Nevis's citizenship-by-investment program, introducing better procedures and due diligence, and incorporating much-needed donations to support the country's transition to tourism and services following the closure of the sugar industry in 2005. The firm obtained exclusive rights to market St. Kitts & Nevis worldwide. In 2006, 1% of St. Kitts and Nevis's GDP came from the country's citizenship-by-investment program. By 2014, this figure had grown to 25%, with nearly half of the capital inflows generated by the donations under the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation contribution option.
Following the successful restructuring of the St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship program, Henley & Partners began to advise the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, and Cyprus, among others, on how to develop their own investment migration programs. In 2013, Henley & Partners participated in a public tender and won the right to design and globally promote Malta's citizenship-by-investment program, the Malta Individual Investor Programme, which raised over USD 1 billion within 18 months of its launch.
The firm and its individual partners, directors, and senior officers are regulated where applicable by the relevant authorities in the countries where they operate. They are also members of various professional associations, including the Investment Migration Council and STEP; Henley & Partners is a founding member of the Investment Migration Council (IMC), the worldwide association for investor immigration and citizenship-by-investment based in Geneva and the chairman of Henley & Partners is a member of the IMC's governing board.
Today, Henley & Partners is led by Christian H. Kälin, an immigration and citizenship law specialist who heads an executive committee of seven members and a management board of 30 managing partners. In addition to advising private clients and governments, Kälin is a speaker and writer who is regularly quoted in the international media. Having coined the term ius doni as a stand-in for citizenship-by-investment, Kälin introduced the concept of ius doni into the contemporary legal and political theory of citizenship by providing the first comprehensive academic analysis of the subject. Jürg Steffen, the firm's chief operating officer, is also a writer and speaker. Among other publications he has published books on Relocation to Switzerland and Relocation to Austria.
Publications and research
Henley & Partners has published a variety of books and reports offering information on the investment migration industry. The Global Residence and Citizenship Handbook, updated regularly, covers a number of topics pertaining to the industry, including residence rules, citizenship law, dual citizenship, passports, visa-free travel, and tax and real estate planning. The International Real Estate Handbook is a reference manual on the subject of international real estate It is also published in German. The annual Global Residence and Citizenship Programs (GRCP) report uses a scientific methodology to systematically analyse some of the world's major residence- and citizenship-by-investment programs. The report details the outcomes of the Global Residence Program Index (GRPI) and the Global Citizenship Program Index (GCPI), which are produced by an independent panel of experts and also updated annually.
The Henley & Partners Passport Index (HVRI) is the original global ranking of all the passports of the world according to the number of countries they can access visa-free or with a visa-on-arrival. The Index is produced annually ofor over 10 years in collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world's largest database of travel information. In June 2016, the firm launched its latest index in collaboration with Dr. Dimitry Kochenov, Professor of EU Constitutional and Citizenship Law in the Department of European and Economic Law at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. The Henley & Partners – Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index ranks the different nationalities of the world according to the quality of life they provide their citizens. It explores both the internal factors (such as scale of the economy, human development, and peace and stability) and the external factors (such as visa-free travel and the ability to settle and work abroad) that make one nationality stronger than another.
In 2015, Henley & Partners formed a multi-year partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). As part of the partnership, the firm provides financial support and raises awareness for the refugee cause among its global client base and stakeholders. Since 2015, Henley & Partners has donated over USD 1.5 million to the UNHCR. The firm has also developed the annual Global Citizen Award, which consists of a USD 50,000 monetary prize. Henley & Partners also provides scholarships and runs, inter alia, the Hero Scholarship program in Antigua and Barbuda, in conjunction with the Halo Foundation. In an interview with Malta Today, Kälin stated that it was only natural for the firm "to acknowledge the plight of millions of uprooted families who flee each day the horror of war and conflict to look for international protection in other countries, and to join our forces with UNHCR."
Criticism and controversy
In 2013, Arton Capital, a competing firm that had also tendered to be the Malta government's concessionaire for the Malta Individual Investor Programme, filed a judicial protest, appealing the decision by the Ministry of Home Affairs and National Security to elect Henley & Partners for the role. The firm claimed that Henley & Partners had already been associated with the former Maltese administration, providing consultation to the government on a similar program. Arton Capital eventually dropped its court case, however.
The launch of the Malta Individual Investor Programme in 2014 drew criticism from opposition officials, who claimed the program could open a back door into Europe for criminals. It was reported at the time that officials believed the screening process would be compromised because Malta had outsourced the vetting of citizenship applicants to a single company. Henley & Partners argued in response that screening encompassed multiple steps, including criminal and financial background checks using online databases, vetting by independent security contractors, and an analysis using risk-assessment software, with the Maltese government then doing its own checks through resources such as Interpol and American government agencies. Peter Vincent, a former senior counter-terrorism official with the US Departments of Homeland Security and Justice and currently Assistant Director General for BORDERPOL, said in a 2017 interview with the Investment Migration Insider, “If we’re looking for a model, not just for the European Union but for the entire world, I would look to a country like Malta.”
In December 2017, The Shift News, an online news publication based in Malta, published a cease and desist letter sent by Henley & Partners that threatened legal action against the publication for their negative coverage of the firm, involving the illegal sale of a diplomatic passport from Grenada to a Pakistani citizen who held no position within the Grenadian government. In this letter Henley & Partners stated that there was no basis to connect the firm with the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
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- Steffen, Juerg (2018). Relocation to Austria, An Introduction for High Net Worth Individuals and Entrepreneurs (2nd ed.). Zürich: Ideos Publications Ltd. ISBN 9783952474266
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