Like so many financial marketplaces, EB5 has matured to the point of receiving inevitable scrutiny from federal regulators. This has separated players into two distinct groups. There are those who recognize that this is serious, and others who still feel that they can “always get caught up if they need to”. Those who adapt to these regulatory / compliance changes will flourish; those who maintain a “status quo” business philosophy will perish. Running an EB5 Regional Center using spreadsheets and documents stored in unsecured servers is dangerous and irresponsible.
The excuse for outdated technology use had been the absence of a suitable system to manage the complete activities of EB5. A traditional CRM lacks the ability to form complex relationships between projects, investors, agents, attorneys and the mountain of documents each of them bring to the relationship. CRMs do not contemplate the workflow necessary to process I-924, I-526 and I-829 documents along with the multitude of other procedure oriented functions that are more enterprise resource planning in nature.
Given the prospective, but inevitable, elements included in the Integrity Act (S.2415 / H.R.4530) we know that increased federal oversight of EB5 is coming in one form or another and based on the recent high profile cases of EB5 fraud there will be a concerted effort to rout out non-compliance.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that a typical Regional Center can expect to invest one man-month for every year of every project to bring records up to the level suitable for SEC level review. If a Regional Center has two projects; one three years old and the other two, that would be approximately five man months to bring all records to acceptable levels. It’s not that the data does not exist in the Regional Center, it is a factor of organization and a variety of versions of documents and notes that were never organized and finally snowballed out of control.
Additional responsibilities will fall on Regional Center operators based on upcoming legislation including the requirement for background verification for all Regional Center, NCE and JCE principals and the possible extension to major contractors performing work on EB5 projects. Controls for handling release of escrow should comply with established industry best practices.
While all of these measures will serve to strengthen our industry, they will be challenging for operators that do not have a plan and the necessary adaptive tools. We have created EB5 Suite for the sole purpose of serving the EB5 market and making Regional Centers more organized, efficient and compliant. With the number of centers now over 1,100 and annual investments exceeding four billion, the industry is in need of a custom solution dedicated to its specific needs – that solution is EB5 Suite.
To order EB5 Suite call 844-TECH-EB5 (844-832-4325), or visit http://iscoa.com/eb5-suite/ for more info, pricing and videos