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Chinese business in Miami brings East to West

It was all about China – and Miami, of course – at Fried On Business as we talked to a couple of experts who are intimately acquainted with both.

For starters, Jason A. Prescott, CEO of JP Communications Inc., told us about his upcoming Apparel Textile Sourcing Miami show.

After two years of tremendous success in Toronto, Jason said, he had to decide where next to take the show. He wanted to come home to the U.S., so he looked at Vegas. He looked at New York. He looked at Seattle. He looked at Denver.

“Then we saw Miami. Miami was irresistible. It’s the gateway city. You have the Americas, and you have a lot of migration in the country coming to South Florida,” he said.

The show will feature apparel and textile from 17 different countries at the Mana Wynwood Convention Center on May 21-23.

Believe it or not, the show has deep roots in China. Jason had been working for a small trade publisher in Connecticut, which ran TopTenWholesale.com.

He was at his booth at a trade show, and he was approached by a Chinese businessman who asked the company to buy Manufacturer.com and him to become the CEO.

This took Jason to China, where he was then approached by the director of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles and Apparel, which has 13,000 members.

The organization talked him into starting a trade show, which launched in Toronto and now has 800 exhibitors.

The Miami show will feature around 200 exhibitors, Jason said, mostly Chinese companies. More than 3,000 attendees have already registered.

“Let’s think of this. A lot of people have China wrong. China has created jobs in America. I can speak first-hand about that. Without the investment of the Chinese, we’d be short a few dozen personnel in our organization,” he said.

“Without the Chinese, these convention centers, these contractors, the vendors from Vegas to New York to Miami, they wouldn’t be working.”

Dave Reynolds, VP of Business Development for Spearhead Capital in West Palm Beach, said the firm has both offshore clients and U.S. nationals. The offshore clients are looking to invest in the U.S. utilizing investment structures that are tax efficient and compliant with U.S. laws.

Spearhead has several clients based in China, but with significant assets offshore. The assets outside of China are much easier to move to the U.S., he said.

Spearhead offers investment, estate planning, tax advice and other services to clients whose net worth ranges from $100 million to $500 million. The company oversees about $1 billion in assets.

Dave got involved in the hedge fund industry after college and moved to South Florida about nine years ago. He was introduced to Spearhead about five years ago.

Now, from my experience, commercial real estate is an attractive investment for Chinese nationals. They’re coming, but the market is still dominated by Canadians, the British, Latin Americans, Russians, and the Turks.

They see every condo unit as a safe deposit box, and that security is far less expensive here than in New York or LA.

A key service that Spearhead provides is to find tax-efficient ways for clients to own assets, Dave said.

“Often, we’re using trust structures or insurance structures which offer sort of black-letter tax deferral benefits to clients,” he said.

“Our biggest client has a balance sheet of about $1.5 billion and has no in-house investment team. He outsources it all to us specifically because he loves to fish and hunt,” he added.

Click here to listen to the entire conversation with Jason A. Prescott of JP Communications Inc. and Dave Reynolds of Spearhead Capital.

The value of staying positive

My wife Vivian his having what I call a “non-linear” recovery after her successful kidney transplant surgery. More often than not, it’s three steps forward, two steps back.

But part of the secret to getting through it all is to maintain a positive frame of mind. In fact, Vivian and I have started reading the book The Secret together every night before bed.

Our kidney donor, by the way, is doing great. Betty Demartini is the angel without whom Vivian and I wouldn’t have this second chance at life.

I want to tell you, if you’re in a chronic illness situation, stay positive. If you’re giving care, stay positive.

Call your friends. Surround yourself with them. Involve as many as you can. Don’t go it alone.

Need help? You can contact me at 305-773-6300 or the Miami Transplant Institute at 305-355-5000.

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