Monaco 2019

ConferenceMonaco 2019

Monaco 2019

Success breeds success as LuxPro races past another milestone in Monte-Carlo

One of Monaco’s more serious business events just took place in the epicenter of its famous Grand Prix overlooking Casino square above the Cafe de Paris – the beating heart of the Principality. But you could just as well be in Zurich, London or New York judging from the entrepreneurs, financiers, heads of corporations and philanthropists that frequent this banking and business hub. 

Historically it has attracted international capital and moguls such as Aristotle Onassis, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and pharmaceuticals’ magnate Stefano Pessina. Political titans fly in, such as President Obama who was just seen having an earnest conversation not 100 metres away – across what is labelled for good reason the Carré d’Or (Golden Square). 

It’s June 6, 2019, the environment is cosy, intimate and exclusive, the same atmosphere that surrounds the Three Commas Club reserved solely for those with a net worth in the billions. Unsurprisingly Monaco consistently ranks #1 for millionaire and billionaire density; unsurprisingly it’s where Luxpro has repeatedly set its anchor. 

Business owners, executives and the elite gather for Luxpro’s private soirée. VIP events are not new; however the innovative aspect here is the combination of exclusivity (there is a strict rule of only one leading business presenting from each sector ) and pre-matching guests, by invitation only, ensuring networking success. And that exclusivity and seriousness of purpose included the attendance of luminaries including H.E. Laurent Anselmi, Head of the Department of Justice of the Principality. 

There is a reason that Luxpro had chosen Monaco for a second time as the venue for its business conferences. The Principality is not only a melting pot for deal-making it also has a thriving economy in its own right. It is a natural magnet for luxury businesses and for Luxpro itself. They are perfect targets for the Monaco Economic Board (MEB) in its pursuit to diversify Monaco’s economy in niche areas where it has competitive advantage. Bain and Company estimate this 260 billion euro luxury sector is growing at an annual rate of 4% to 320-365 billion by 2025 and Monaco is determined to harvest its share. 

The Monaco Economic Board was there to provide some serious information lying behind the obvious economic success of the country – some keys to why Monaco has the 5th highest per capita GDP at $72,000 in the world, ahead of both Switzerland ($55,000) and the United States ($52,000). 

Diego Bonaventura, Director of the Monaco Chamber of Commerce pointed out that structural investment is key with Monaco currently undertaking one of the largest construction projects in Europe, the Monaco offshore extension on the sea – extending the natural contour of Monaco’s coastline into the Mediterranean. This 2 billion euro boost to the economy adds to another extra half a billion of new investment in the health sector and continued investments in ports and hotels. 

Political stability and rule of law is also a silent and powerful competitive advantage, that and its liberal governance. A debt free economy, a burgeoning array of some 5000 businesses, heavy investment in digital transformation including 5G for a “smart Principality” and a commitment to responsible sustainable development targeting carbon neutrality complete the picture. 

Monaco punches well above it weight in the world – and is worth watching as a bell-weather for change within Europe. 

Mathew Gareth Shaw of Formal Trade Group has a track record for predicting investment trends. He makes the case that Vegan presents a major field of opportunity for investors. He points to the largest study of its kind, the China Study, as evidencing the dangers of animal protein. No longer on the fringe , the IPO “Beyond Meat” is the top US IPO in 2019. with its multi-billion dollar valuation. The company and its many competitors are normalizing plant-based meat alternatives. Investors include Bill Gates. 

The current North American market, as an example, offers enormous growth. Plant-based meats are exploding, while sales of animal meat have only risen one per cent—but still total US$85 billion. 

With the pace of growth and high return, there’s high stakes and risk, so caution. 

Trading in Beyond Meat started at $46 on May 2.  It soared to a high of $186.43 on June 10. The next day, on June 11, Beyond Meat plunged to a low of $125.23. It has since whipsawed between the 120s and a high above $200. At the time of this writing, it is trading in the 160s. 

Luxpro obviously saw in Matthew someone who will create a buzz. And he didn’t disappoint. Catching the gathering completely by surprise Mathew suddenly gave a precise prescription for living a quality life to age 120. This was pretty brave considering Prof. Dr E.Baranova MD, PhD, and European Commission Expert for “Genomics , Life Sciences & Biotechnology for Health & Personalised Medicine” and International Expert in Anti-Aging Medicine was one of the speakers sitting close-by.

But it was perfect foil as a catalyst for getting people talking at the next break even if the conversation swiftly turned to business and deal-making. 

The role of Fine Art advisors versus dealers came up for discussion. We live in a world where the risks of not seeking impartial advice or not doing painstaking due diligence has serious consequences – and not just for the pocket book but for reputations at the pinnacle of society. 

Take the case of the Russian Oligarch, Dimitry Rybolovlev, resident in Monaco, who sued Yves Bouvier, a Swiss art dealer. It’s alleged that Bouvier overcharged for the sale of the “Salvator Mundi” by Leonardo da Vinci purchased for $128M USD. The painting recently sold for a world record $450 Million. 

A little known fascinating feature of such transactions is a secondary market offering guarantees to the seller of a minimum price – such as $100 million. Such guarantees are purchased for a risk premium which is set as a hefty share of the proceeds above the guaranteed amount (as much as 33%). 

The presumed guarantor for the Salvator Mundi sale would be wearing a smile as famous as the Mona Lisa, given the 450 million sale price which had lit up the auction room. 

Humorous anecdotes abound about compromising events surrounding fine art; humorous if you are not the victim. Featuring on the the news pages was the wife who switched a Picasso months prior to a divorce settlement. She filed for divorce after 31 years of marriage, fooling her ex-husband into thinking he was sleeping in the presence of a Picasso painting – that is after she had swapped the priceless piece of art for a fake she had created herself. 

The painting in question was jointly owned by the couple but was awarded to the wife by the judge. When the husband came to arrange for it to be shipped to his ex-wife’s home, she informed him that that wouldn’t be necessary!

The presence of the Principality’s Minister of Justice at the gathering is an indicator of how much importance Monaco places on cultivating a business-friendly environment. Monaco is an independent and sovereign state under international law and the Minister explained the government structure which is a hereditary constitutional monarchy, governed by the Constitution established on December 17, 1962 with the Grimaldi family dynasty intact still heading the Principality after 700 years. 

Stable politically in a world awash with populism but progressive economically, Monaco has strong business roots with deep pockets backing sustainability and energy transformation, fighting against pollution and protecting and cleaning up the environment (and particularly the marine environment). 

Just 50 years after forming its current modern Constitution, the country is wide open to women business leaders and including these entrepreneurs at its very apex. Luxpro’s decision to hold a repeat Monte Carlo convention of business leaders led by a women is timely. 

The content of the Luxpro Program, covered a surprising breadth of subject matter across a range of business sectors. The whole point is that each subject is a catalyst for the networking that gets underway swiftly at the next pause between presentations. 

Accompanying a serious exchange of information were passionate personal accounts of their life changing experiences by some of the speakers. It resonated with the audience adding a human touch and intimacy that also carried over to the cocktail meetings. Breaking the ice and creating common bonds of human experience actually eases the flow into genuine networking.

Known as the LUXPRO formula, the soirée had previously taken hold in Monte Carlo with over 150 privileged select guests. With events in Zurich, London, Moscow and Saint Petersburg also under her belt before launching this latest special repeat night in Monaco expect Gulshat Uzenbaeva to next take her LUXPRO brand right into the heart of Asia to continue her targeted globalization.

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