RIF Trust is one of the leading residency and citizenship by investment advisories in the Middle East and Africa. The firm was established to cater to the needs of high-net-worth individuals and help them with visa-free travel and asset optimization. Working with the aim to provide greater freedom to families, RIF Trust offers transparency in its operations and with a focus in offering and designing the top residency or citizenship programmes.
Corporate Leaders Magazine Interview with Mimoun A. Assraoui, Founder And CEO, RIF Trust
How did you come up with the idea or concept for your business?
Coming from an immigrant background having been born in Morocco, raised in France, and proudly living in the UAE for many years, I have always valued freedom above all else and felt it is a human right to be able to travel freely without boundaries. This business has allowed us to fulfill our core value of giving our clients and their families the freedom to become global citizens and to achieve their full potential.
What are your company offerings? How have consumer responses shaped them over the years?
As one of the largest global investment migration advisories, RIF Trust offers over 20 Citizenship and Residency by Investment programs from countries around the world.
We have successfully assisted high-net-worth individuals and their families with obtaining a second passport in the Caribbean (e.g., St Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, or Vanuatu) or European residency (e.g., Portugal, Spain, or Malta). We offer a bespoke solution for each of our clients and will guide them each step of the way until they receive their new passport or residency, as well as post-approval services with our exclusive after-care service.
Ultimately, consumers are looking to S.M.I.L.E.: Security, Mobility, Investment opportunities, Lifestyle, and Education and Employment. RIF Trust’s service has continually evolved over the last decade to ensure that we are offering the best programmes and investment opportunities for clients to allow them the best chance to S.M.I.L.E.
Every business, big or small, gets its fair share of challenges, especially during the initial days. Tell us about your challenges and how you managed to overcome them.
The initial challenge was awareness and trust. When RIF Trust was first formed, investment migration was virtually an unknown niche industry. With a small team behind me, I found myself constantly having to prove the legitimacy, legality, and benefits of our service.
However, with the passage of time and a lot of hard work, we were able to build a global brand that people know and trust.
The current scenario is that the market is becoming increasingly competitive with new entrants, who are often unlicensed, inexperienced, and small operations, entering the industry each month. However, clients are also becoming a lot more selective about who they work with and can identify legitimate and experienced advisories, like RIF Trust, from the smaller advisory in the industry.
On what ideals are your work culture and business ethics based?
We value trust, excellence, and transparency. We treat our employees, clients, and partners like family. We are all driven by the same goal, where each of our roles helps to make the lives of our clients better. We hire people that are committed, positive and caring.
What would you say are the factors that have contributed to your success as an organization?
Despite our growth as a company, we have never forgotten our entrepreneurial mentality. We continue to work hard each day to improve our service and ensure that we maintain our leadership position and stay ahead of our competitors.
What do you think is the most unique aspect of your business?
With over 50 staff members just at our UAE headquarters, RIF Trust is the largest government-approved agent operating in the Middle East and Africa. With our merger with the Latitude Group in 2018, we now have a global footprint with over 100 team members across 22 offices worldwide. Due to our global presence and reach, we’re able to offer over 20 different programme options for our clients, ensuring that they have a wide range of solutions to choose from in the Caribbean and Europe.
We have a diverse board of directors who are pioneers in this industry with a combined experience of 100 years in building and offering citizenship and residency by investment programmes.
RIF Trust has built our business around our clients. When deciding on the best solution, our pricing is always fair and competitive. We are focused on building trust with our clients during each step of the process.
Business leaders have always emphasized the habit of reading for success, on the record. Is there a book that you draw inspiration from?
One of the positive impacts of COVID was finding more time to read. I started reading books in French as the language is highly nuanced. Currently, I am reading Le Naufrage des Civilisations by Amin Mallouf, a French-Lebanese writer.
Where do you see your company a few years from now?
We emerged stronger from the COVID crisis and our goal over the next few years is to become the international leader in the investment migration industry.
How has your journey been so far?
Our journey has certainly been very impactful to the lives of our clients, and I am proud of what we have achieved. RIF Trust is impact-driven and we derive the most joy from how many lives we were able to improve. We have delivered passports to over 4,000 clients over nearly a decade and we are growing our staff and network every single day.
Knowing Mimoun A. Assraoui, Founder and CEO
Almost a decade ago, Mimoun left the banking world to establish RIF Trust in 2013. Mimoun has over 27 years of experience in the Middle East and Europe. He has worked at different international banks, sovereign wealth funds, and family offices throughout the Middle East and Africa. After noticing the opportunity, Mimoun leveraged his expertise in banking and entrepreneurial mindset and founded RIF Trust.
His ambitious vision of becoming an industry leader has helped him shape RIF Trust’s core values of outstanding service, a smooth process, and transparency while building its international network of offices.
Quote: “My success formula can be abbreviated as C.E.O.: Clients, Employees, and Owners. When you find the perfect mix of these three core elements there is no limit to what a company can achieve.”