"Be practical, work with discipline and focus on what’s important
is what allows you to execute and succeed in business and life"



Sunday, 12 November 2017

Find your passion, Specialize and be practical. // Encuentra tu pasión, especializate en ello y se práctico.

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Hace unos meses desde la Universidad Miguel Hernandez, donde cursé mis estudios de Derecho, me pidieron que relatase en video mi experiencia en la Universidad y aconsejase a los actuales estudiantes y futuros profesionales. Y tras años de experiencia y en perspectiva a mi época universitaria creo que el mejor consejo que podría dar se resume en tres ideas básicas:

Encuentra tu pasión, especialízate en ello y se práctico.


A few months ago the Miguel Hernández University, in which I studied my Bachelor Degree Law, I was asked to describe my experience at the University and to give an advice to the current students and future professionals.

And after years of career and in perspective to my university time I think the best advice I could give is summarized in three basic ideas:

Find your passion, Specialize and be practical.


~ Empowering Business and Strategies ~ ~

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Nev EarthFund; Surfing and fund investment in sustainable transformation // Nev EarthFund; Surfing y fondos de inversión en la transformación sostenible.

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En un post anterior, hablé sobre las ventajas del lanzamiento de los Fondos de Inversión Alternativos Reservados, y cómo puede marcar la diferencia.

Recientemente encontré un proyecto que, como persona involucrada en el surf de diferentes formas, como atleta, fundador de una organización de surf o ex miembro de la Federación Española, me llamó bastante la atención. Se trata de NevHouse, una empresa social sostenible fundada por la leyenda australiana del surf y filántropo, Nev Hyman.

Nev usa plástico reciclado y otros materiales ecológicos para crear viviendas, escuelas y clínicas médicas de bajo coste. Estos pueden ser utilizados para desastres naturales y situaciones devastadas por la guerra, así como para naciones subdesarrolladas y más recientemente en comunidades indígenas australianas. Empleando un método simple de "reutilización, reciclado, construcción", Nev ensambla hogares y comunidades en cuestión de días, en comparación con los meses requeridos para un enfoque convencional de "ladrillos y mortero".

Con el fin de recaudar dinero para la organización, se fundó Nev EarthFund, un Fondo de Inversión Alternativo Reservado (RAIF) domiciliado en Luxemburgo que está precalificado por LuxFLAG para dos marcas: medio ambiente, empresa social (ESG) y medio ambiente.

Luxemburgo se a convertido en un entorno ideal debido a que ofrezce un entorno de gestión de fondos ideal para la innovación y el desarrollo, altamente regulado, y que además cuenta con una agencia dedicada  al etiquetado de fondos y opera con los más altos niveles de transparencia y responsabilidad social.

Un gran proyecto que muestra cómo la industria de fondos puede fortalecer y ayudar la preservación del medioambiente y las empresas sociales sostenibles.

La leyenda del surf australiano y filántropo Nev Hyman explica por qué creó un fondo de inversión en Luxemburgo con objetio de reunir capital para construir casas prefabricadas eficientes con plástico reciclado:


In prevoius post I talked about the advantages of the launch of the Reserved Alternative Investment Funds, and how it can make the difference.

Recently I found a project that, as a person involved in surfing - as an athlete, founder of a surf organization and former member of the Spanish Federation - striked me, NevHouse a sustainable social enterprise founded by the Australian surfing legend and philanthrocapitalist Nev Hyman.

Nev uses recycled plastic and other eco-friendly materials to create low cost homes, schools and medical clinics. These can be used for natural disaster and war-torn situations as well as under-developed nations and more recently in indigenous Australian communities. Employing a simple ‘reuse, recycle, construct’ method, Nev assembles homes and communities in a matter of days, compared to the months required for a conventional ‘bricks and mortar’ approach.

In order to raise money for the organization, was founded Nev EarthFund, a Luxembourg-domiciled RAIF Reserved Alternative Investment Fund that is pre-qualified by LuxFLAG for two labels: environment, social and governance (ESG) and environment.

The highly that Luxembourg offers an ideal fund management environment for innovation and development, is highly regulated, has a dedicated fund labelling agency, and operates to the highest levels of transparency and social responsibility.

A great project that shows how the funds industry empowers the  environment and the sustainable social enterprises.

The Australian surfing legend and philanthrocapitalist Nev Hyman explains why he set up a Luxembourg investment fund to raise capital to build efficient prefabricated houses out of recycled plastic:

~ Empowering Business and Strategies ~ ~

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Never, never give up. The Volvo Ocean Race is back!.

Over four decades the Volvo Ocean Race has kept an almost mythical hold over some of the greatest ever sailors – and the 2017-18 edition will take the teams 45,000 nautical miles around the world, across four oceans, touching six continents and 12 landmark Host Cities. The Volvo Ocean Race is often described as the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world, sailing’s toughest team challenge and one of the sport’s Big Three events, alongside the Olympics and America’s Cup. To truly understand the race, though, it’s better to think of it in a way the athletes who take part will recognise immediately. Put simply, the Volvo Ocean Race is an obsession, and many of the world's best sailors have dedicated years, even decades of their lives trying to win it.
"Never, never give up. Pain is temporary, give up is forever".
Something that I learned in the Volvo Ocean Race

Conditions couldn’t be better for the start in Alicante, Spain on Sunday afternoon, 22nd of October.

Now I am involved in other great adventures but I am proud to be a former staff member for the last 2 editions of the Volvo Ocean Race, the hardest and best sailing event of the world.

Let’s get ready to rumble, fasten your seatbelts... the Volvo Ocean Race is about to start! Good luck and safe journey to all of the sailors and crews!

~ Empowering Business and Strategies ~ ~

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The OECD and the problematic Global Tax ‘Standard’.

 4 minute

For some, the global standard for Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) in tax matters is a blessing. For others, it is a curse. Either way, it is much less global, much less standardized and much less automatic than its name suggests.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the intergovernmental organization coordinating AEOI, explains its rationale this way:
“As the world becomes increasingly globalized and cross-border activities become the norm, tax administrations need to work together to ensure that taxpayers pay the right amount of tax to the right jurisdiction. A key aspect for making tax administrations ready for the challenges of the 21st century is equipping them with the necessary legal, administrative and IT tools for verifying compliance of their taxpayers. Against that background, the enhanced co-operation between tax authorities through AEOI is crucial in bringing national tax administration in line with the globalized economy.” Switzerland, one of the countries adhering to AEOI, gives a direct, even blunt, explanation for its necessity: “Cross-border tax evasion should be prevented with the help of AEOI. … In the wake of the financial and debt crisis, combating tax evasion worldwide has become an important issue which is broadly pursued by the global community. … Approximately 50 states have announced that they will start to exchange in 2017 and the remainder will follow in 2018.”

How does it work?

The AEOI takes a double-layered approach (at least). The highest layer is at the OECD’s level. Here one finds the abstract standards formulated by the organization, including recommendations issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA), which is a legal treaty between the OECD countries. The second layer is formed by the bilateral agreements on the automatic exchange of information in tax matters, as they are negotiated between countries adhering to the standard. It remains unclear if there is a third layer (for example, between a national entity and its regional units, a relationship outside the OECD’s scope) or an intermediate layer (for example, a multinational automatic exchange of information).

The standard itself applies for both natural persons and legal entities. The beneficial owners of specific accounts should be identified when applying the OECD standard and the FATF recommendations. The information to be transmitted includes account and tax identification numbers, as well as the names, addresses and dates of birth of taxpayers abroad with an account in a country other than the country of origin, all types of income and account balances.

AEOI can be implemented based on the first layer, the MCAA, alone. But by only relying on the MCAA, countries renounce any specificity in exchanging tax information. Therefore, most countries that adhere to the standard opt to implement the AEOI through bilateral treaties with other adhering countries – the second layer. If a country chooses this path, compliance depends on signing into the global standard and then negotiating bilateral treaties with every single adherent country.

What’s the catch?

Since most countries opt for the dual-layered approach, the catch is evident: There is no global standard as such, but a plethora of instances of some global principles. Depending on the negotiation skills of each country, these bilateral treaties will include varying notions of data protection, provisions on double-taxation agreements and even access to financial markets. In other words, negotiating bilateral treaties on AEOI becomes an exercise in trade policy.

From the individual country’s perspective – and from the taxpayer’s point of view, too – this is not necessarily bad. It allows for differentiation and competition, which usually leads to better economic outcomes than global uniformity would. On the other hand, however, and from the OECD’s point of view, this differentiation leads to de-standardization – the very thing the OECD wanted to prevent. Also, the sheer number of possibilities for differentiation means that multinational businesses have to deal with more complexity. This translates into higher fixed costs.

But there is a second catch. Despite all national and bilateral particularities, the highest layer always also applies. This layer automatically incorporates OECD principles and FATF recommendations. When they change – and they can be changed without national legislators even being aware of it – the standards in AEOI change, too. This means all the bilateral treaties need to be adjusted, leading to even more complexity and even higher fixed costs.

What will it become?

In the future, there might even be a third catch. The more differentiation there is between AEOI adhering countries, the more FATF can try to counter it by adjusting the principles and recommendations. Countries could be entangled in a series of bilateral treaty renegotiations. This severely contrasts with the OECD’s promise to institute a simple, stable standard. Instead, it turns the standard into a series of high-cost negotiations.

There is more to fear. As the OECD states its purpose, AEOI is not only a communication channel between adhering countries. The OECD wants to equip countries with the legal instruments necessary to curb tax evasion. This means through the AEOI, the OECD will be imposing legal norms on the tax systems and possibly even corporate laws of some countries.

For example, in 2017, the OECD and its “Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes” began assessing the corporate laws of different countries in the light of the AEOI. It found out that a particular type of share, the bearer share, is a tool for tax evasion. The OECD and the Global Forum never fully explained why, but they changed their principles to make countries pass legislation to either abolish the bearer share or convert it into some sort of registered share. Moreover, the OECD is pressing countries adhering to the AEOI to incorporate provisions into their respective criminal laws(!) against people holding unregistered bearer shares.


The global standard for the Automatic Exchange of Information in tax matters is not a simple and stable standard, as the OECD once promised it would be. For countries that adhere to the rules, it leads to a complicated system of wildly different bilateral treaties that all must be altered if the general principles are changed. This means that multinational businesses must bear higher fixed costs and endure long periods of negotiation and renegotiation. Furthermore, the OECD is using the AEOI to apply pressure on countries to change their tax, corporate and even criminal laws.


Words of Henrique Schneider at the Austrian Economic Center

~ Empowering Business and Strategies ~ ~

Friday, 8 September 2017

Are you ready? 1 year remaining until the mandatory amendment of articles to comply with the company law reform in Luxembourg.

 1 minute

The reform of the company law in July 2016, supposed the major step in the development of the Luxembourg company legal framework, which allow the country to consolidate its reputation as providing a flexible, business-friendly and secure corporate environment.

As regards the company law reform, it is worth pointing out that all existing Luxembourg companies are required to amend their articles of association to reflect the changes introduced by the New Law prior to 23 August 2018.

During this period, the current legislation will remain applicable to all provisions of the articles of association while the New Law will apply to all matters not mentioned in the articles of association. After such period, any provision in the articles of association contrary to the New Company Law shall be deemed unwritten and the mandatory rules under the legislation will apply. For any new company incorporated after 23 August 2016, the New Law shall automatically apply in its entirety.

~ Empowering Business and Strategies ~ ~

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

10 easy questions to avoid the investment on 'bucket shops'

 4 minute

The term 'bucket shops' define informally those entities that offer and provide investment services without being authorized to do it. They are dangerous because in most cases the apparent provision of such services is just a cover to appropriate the capital of their victims, making them believe that they are making a high-return investment.

The high yields they offer are often too good to be true; they are just the bait with which they get the less informed or more confident investors to give them their savings.

The origin of the term 'bucket shop' has nothing to do with financial markets, as the term originated from England in the 1820s. During the 1820s, street urchins drained beer kegs which were discarded from public houses. The street urchins would take the dregs to an abandoned shop and drink them. This practice became known as bucketing, and the location at which they drained the kegs became known as a bucket shop. The idea was transferred to illegal brokers because they too sought to profit from sources too small or too unreliable for legitimate brokers to handle. The term bucket shop came to apply to low-class pseudo stock brokerages that did not execute trades. Wikipedia

As a professional in the legal and financial field, here I introduce to you some easy questions to avoid the investment in bucket shops or the wrong investment firm because is not only about investing with entities out of the legality, which tries to deceive the investor, is also find an authorized and solvent entities with the best skills or values in financial management.

1 -  How did you get my name and my phone number? Why have they contacted me?

Be wary of the following alarm signals and frequent techniques:

  • Unexpected calls or emails.
  • The urgency of investment.
  • Personal affinity.
  • Entrance bonuses.
  • Pyramid schemes in which you are asked to also capture customers.
  • Psychological pressure to take an immediate decision.
  • Mention or use of the public authorities or supervisors logo. Remember that the public authorities would never invite you to make an investment.

2 - Where is your entity registered? Are they supervised by any public financial institution? Are they attached to any investment guarantee fund?

Verify that the entity is authorized and that the company has not been subject to a warning by the public authorities or other supervisors. In case of doubt, consult them.

3 - How long have they been in this business? What is your professional experience? Is there a financial institution that can give me references of your entity?

Adopt an active attitude. Ask questions about the service and investment features that are being proposed. Get written information.

4 - Does this investment match my objectives? Is it right for me?

Be wary of high returns without risk. Be wary of complex products. Do not invest in what you do not understand.

5 - What are the characteristics and risks of the product? How much can I lose and in what circumstances?

It is important to be clear about all the characteristics and risks of the product before you commit capital. The investor needs time to decide and has the right to express and get answers to all their doubts. However, some entities pressure the victim to obtain an immediate response, without giving him the opportunity to reflect.

It is a common tactic of bad reputation entities to confuse the investor and make him feel ignorant so that he can trust them without questioning his arguments. In this sense, no question can be improper or relevant when it comes to how to invest your money.

Also very important, get written information about the firm, the service and the characteristics of the investment products.

6 - How long should I keep investing? What is the liquidity of the product?, How and under what conditions can I recover the capital if necessary?

If you can not get your money back, do not continue making contributions.

7 - What fees do I have to pay for your services? How are they calculated? Can you send me a copy of the tariffs in force?

Pay always attention to commissions and expenses.

8 - How and how often will I receive information about my investment?

9 - Could you send me a written and detailed explanation of the proposed investment to meditate on it calmly and discuss it with an independent expert? Would you mind explaining the investment in a meeting that I could go to with my lawyer or some trusted financial expert?

10 - What mechanisms I have to claim my rights as investor?

Remember, adopt always an active attitude about your investments and in case of doubt, contact with the public authorities or supervisors.

~ Empowering Business and Strategies ~ ~

About Alberto


Alberto builds and structures great solutions for business challenges. He acquired a legal and investment expertise in banking, law firms and international companies by working in operational, financial and legal projects.

Along the way, he became a prolific advisor assisting companies across borders in full spectrum of legal, corporate and investment operations, regulatory requirements, setting-up cross border activities and fund migrations in different countries, as Spain, Russia or Luxembourg.


Alberto Tello

Convinced that growth is just the reward for the work well done, Alberto is an strategist across borders and passionate of the legal and financial area.

His blog on corporate, finance and new perspectives, is visited by more than 7,000 people every month. Alberto also colaborates with specialized media such as Thompson Reuters.


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All of Albert Tello’s views expressed in this web or social media are strictly personal and do not reflect the strategy or philosophy of any specific firm. For services, enquiries, request of interviews or conferences, use the contact form.