Passport to Success
For some wealthy investors, one nation is simply not enough. George Hopkin looks at the growth in investment migration
hough you’d never guess they share much ground, media mogul Rupert Murdoch does have something in common with film director Terry Gilliam. Both men have changed their citizenship to take advantage of the resulting business benefits.
Gilliam—famously known as the only non-british member of comedy troupe Monty Python—renounced his US citizenship to become a true Brit in every legal sense in 2006. “I thought I’d just simplify my life,” the writer-director told The Onion’s film industry website AV Club later that year. “I’m getting old. I’m gonna die. I’m not at all happy with what America has been in the last 10 years. The reality is, when I kick the bucket, American tax authorities assess everything I own in the world—everything I own is outside of America—and then tax me on it. And that would mean my wife would probably have to sell our house to pay the taxes. I didn’t think that was fair on my wife and children.”
Murdoch became a naturalised US citizen—and as a result forfeited his Australian citizenship—in 1985 in order to expand his American empire; legislation meant it was impossible for a non-us citizen to own a US television station. He was much less forthcoming than Gilliam about the decision. When asked at the time why he had traded citizenship, he answered simply: “Because I wanted to.”
Murdoch and Gilliam are far from alone; there is a growing number of wealthy businessmen who want to become global citizens of multiple nations. Make no mistake: This is not the hot-topic immigration that’s making headlines across a Europe suffering from migrant-crisis fatigue or a US dumbfounded by strident Donald Trump rhetoric. This is the world of migrant investors, where those with the right level of income and the appropriate legal advice can effectively buy themselves and their families the very best opportunities the planet has to offer.