San Juan Area

The event tries to boost the island’s rebuilding efforts and economic recovery on the island. (Courtesy Puerto Rico Icon)

Last year, Colectivo 360 hosted the Puerto Rico Opportunity Zone (OZ) Investors Conference, devoted exclusively to the federal incentives program that seeks to trigger economic development in distressed areas by encouraging long-term investments through significant tax breaks.

This year, the real estate, investment and business consultancy firm widened the scope of the conference to discuss the island’s business ecosystem, from the Incentives Code to the success story of the O:live Boutique Hotel, owned by local entrepreneurs Loisse Herger and Fernando Dávila.

“It’s a business, finance and real estate two day forum showcasing Puerto Rico’s unique investment opportunities, tax incentives and competitive advantages. It’s also a platform to promote business collaboration and economic transformation within Latin America and beyond,” explained Richard Santana, managing partner of Colectivo 360.

The conference will take place on Feb. 25 and 26 at the La Concha Renaissance Resort in Condado. In a span of two days, Puerto Rico ICON will bring together over 50 speakers and 350 private investors, real estate agents, entrepreneurs, fund managers and developers from the United States, Latin America and Puerto Rico. The registration fee is $995 but attendees who purchase their tickets before Jan. 15 will pay $795. Tickets bought before Feb. 15 go for $895.

“Our goal is to connect capital with development opportunities in the private and public sectors,” Santana told THE WEEKLY JOURNAL.

He indicated that the summit seeks to offer an overview of the economic development opportunities on the island while addressing other global trends like artificial intelligence and social responsibility.

“We want to start a conversation about different industries and explore opportunities through Latin America, but we also want to inspire Puerto Ricans to think of themselves as entrepreneurs, highlighting the experiences of Orlando Bravo, Ricardo Álvarez and Loisse Herger,” Santana said.

Co-founder and managing partner of the private equity firm Thoma Bravo, Bravo was described by Forbes as “Wall Street’s hottest dealmaker” and the first Puerto Rico-born billionaire.

Following this premise, the conference crafted sessions to explore subjects like the cannabis industry, investment strategies, OZ, Acts 20 and 22, urban development and luxury market and the Puerto Rican diaspora.

“We want to show the other side of the coin. For instance, Act 20 is not just a tool to attract outside investment, local entrepreneurs can also export their services and take advantage of this tax break,” Santana said.

So far, some 20 speakers have confirmed their attendance, including Jean-Louis Lelogeais, Strategic Value Partners; Hank Holland, Pegasus Growth Capital; Robb Rill, The Strategic Group P.R.; Dennis González, CDBG-DR Program; former secretary of Economic Development Alberto Bacó, Partnership for Modern Puerto Rico, Secretary of Housing Fernando Gil, Ricardo Álvarez, Álvarez-Díaz and Villalón, Omar Marrero, chief financial officer of Puerto Rico, and Adrián Franco, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, among others.

“Puerto Rico has tax autonomy, but under the U.S. flag, and that makes the island a very unique place. You can have a tax advantage and the reliability of investing in a jurisdiction endorsed by the federal government,” Santana pointed out.

Reporter for The Weekly Journal. She is a curious and fearless journalist, equipped with 16-plus years of writing. Cynthia received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and English Literature from Sacred Heart University.

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