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Di Piazza Armerina
New member
Username: Palermodude

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Monday, December 10, 2007 - 7:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I am hoping either ApartmentsBA or Roberto might have some insight. I have been planning on starting a financial consulting company in the Miami area (I currently live in Chicago and work as a Management Consultant). I would basically be the outsourcer of M&A, private equity, corporate and alternative financial services. I have been developing a business plan for this project for over 12 months now.

I have been to BA several times, and I love it there. I was wondering if I might just incorporate the business in the US (probably Delaware) and move to BA and market my services to BA companies. I would also be doing some special private individual financial consulting as well.

Any thoughts on this? I would be giving up living in Miami for BA.

One other thing - I have heard many times (especially from ApartmentsBA) that finding traditional regular corporate work in BA is extremely difficult and not worth it. I know that France is not the same economy, but in 1998 fresh out of MBA school (Texas) in finance, I moved to Paris without knowing anyone except the family I stayed with. I managed to find a job with Goldman Sachs within a few months. I ended up staying in Paris for 8 years, having worked for 2 other companies as well. I have since moved back to the States end of 2006 and Miami is really the only US city I can handle these days for the long term, after living in Europe. So ... even for someone like me, with a lot of good corporate finance and investment banking experience (and I speak 4 languages), would I also have a huge difficulty finding regular work in BA?

Or maybe doing it as an entrepreneur is the way to go? It would certainly give me more freedom.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Advanced Member
Username: Saint

Post Number: 261
Registered: 5-2005

Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 6:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Di Piazza,

This is only my opinion so take it with a grain of salt. The market is extremely crowded with financial consulting companies. There are small firms, there are large firms and banks all doing M&A, private equity and corporate financial services. You will find the market for that is tough right now so not sure the timing is the best time on something like that.

Unless you already have existing clients or access to new business it will be tough in a crowded field. I'm not saying it's impossible but it's very competitive already with M&A's drying up now that funding is such an issue in the market.

Maybe you have tons of contacts already from your old company? I'm not sure. Sometimes it's all who you know and the contacts you have. For instance, when I moved to Buenos Aires I had no investors with me. I came alone yet I built up over a $100 million portfolio within a few years. My references? I had worked almost a decade with some of the wealthiest families in the USA. I had personal letters of reference from some Billionaire families as well as big institutions like the Federal Reserve Bank as well as Fortune 500 companies. I cultivated a relationship for almost a decade with them. Certainly that did a lot when a potential investor needed a reference and you have reference letters from these types of people and they can give an honest testimonial of your work ethic, the style in which you work and your track record. That did a lot to help me when I started out. Even though these people weren't investing directly with me having those initial reference letters did a lot to give credability. I'm NOT saying it built up my business because it didn't. That was long hard 16-17 hour days for a few years in the beginning when I formed my company.

In your business plan definitely work at how you plan to achieve your goals and get business and what differentiates you from the other guys on the street that are all trying to compete against you.

As to your question of trying to market BA companies. My advice is to forget about it. Local companies aren't a good market for this as they don't think logically for the most part. They are so used to getting cheated over by other companies, banks, the government they are going to be very reluctant to deal with you. Unless you have something extremely unique to bring to the table or you have really really really good contacts here in the government it will be tough. (and even if you do it's still tough).

I can tell you realistically that making money in Argentina is one of the most difficult things out there. Making money in Argentina has to be one of the most difficult places out there to make money in a traditional means of having a salaried position. Based on my experience and MANY locals I know including many top executives here I'd say your chances of getting a high paid position here in Buenos Aires with a corporation is extremely slim.

You can't compare France to Argentina. It's like trying to compare apples to doughnuts. It's just not in the same category. France and the USA and the UK are civilized first world powerhouse countries where things are efficient and business operates from a common sense frame of mind. Argentina is not.

I'm not saying it's impossible to find a good job in Buenos Aires or Argentina. I'm saying it's really difficult to find a high paying salaried position here. Very few companies are transferring Americans to Buenos Aires to work and paying them high salaries. It's just rare. So it's much different trying to compare finding a job and making money in Paris vs. Buenos Aires. To make a better comparison you should be comparing your chances of finding a good paying job in Africa vs. Paris. Because from a business standpoint Africa probably has more in common with Buenos Aires than Paris. I'm sure it's as unefficient in Africa as it is in Buenos Aires.

You could probably find a job here in Buenos Aires if you are fluent in 4 languages (especially Spanish) but it most likely won't be high paying jobs. Guess what? Most of the really highly educated Argentines don't live in Argentina anymore. They live in the USA, Canada, UK, Europe. Why? Because they simply can't make any money in Argentina compared to these other areas. That's the harsh reality of the situation here.

No one loves Argentina more than I do. But from a perspective of making money... it's a VERY difficult place to make money. There are so many inefficiencies here, very high taxes and the banking system here is a nightmare. The laws are constantly changes. Nothing about the business environment is efficient here.

I'm all for having an entrepreneurial spirit and I'm a true entrepreneur but I think you should have a very good game plan going into it if you plan on moving from the USA/Europe and want to make lots of money in Argentina. It's not so easy, no matter how many languages you may speak.

But look at it on the bright side. If you can make it work here in Argentina it means you can make it in any country in the world. These days I routinely get job offers for top positions in Fortune 500 companies as well as governmental agencies and especially financial firms. I don't ever think I'll work for someone else again but you never know. It feels good having the options. I've also had several offers to purchase my company. Again, I don't think I would sell but you never know.

I wish you the best of luck with all that you do.


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