Oct. 15, 2021


Felipe Gutiérrez Arbeláez

Colombia

Felipe Gutiérrez Arbeláez

CEO & Partner, Gutierrez Group

Gutierrez Group is a Medellín-based multi-family office that specializes in personalized and client-oriented legal and investment services to foreigners living, relocating, or doing business in Colombia.

BIO

Felipe Gutiérrez Arbeláez is a founding partner & CEO at Gutierrez Group. He is an international negotiator and holds an MBA in project management with education and professional training completed in Medellín, Montreal, Copenhagen, and Miami. Gutiérrez served as CFO of Gutiérrez Márquez Asesores, a company with a four-decade experience in providing professional services in Colombia. In 2015, he and his two brothers branched off and co-founded Gutierrez Group. He is concurrently director of its investment and wealth management division.


What type of investors stands to benefit from partnering with Gutierrez Group?

Gutierrez Group is a multi-family office that specializes in serving foreigners that are interested in either relocating to or investing in Colombia. We help investors on all the aspects they require, especially if they have never been to Colombia. Gutierrez Group is a multi-family office composed of three different pillars. The first pillar is legal services in matters such as relocating to Colombia, applying to a visa, buying real estate, creating a company, among others. The second is our wealth management division, where we offer our own set of unique investment opportunities. We help our clients earn passive income in Colombia. The third division is real estate, through which we offer realty and property management services for those who end up buying real estate in Colombia. Finally, we also have a project management side. We are three brothers in the group: one handles legal, I handle investment, and the other handles real estate.

What makes your multi-family profile and approach so interesting to investors?

The most important advantage that we offer is the comprehensiveness of our services. Our services ultimately depend on what the client is interested in doing, we can assist our clients throughout the entire process, regardless of what they have in mind or what they want to do in Colombia. We assist them in absolutely every aspect of their investment: legal, consulting, real estate, and even more basic elements such as back-office services like obtaining insurance, airport transportation, and so on. We go as far as the client lets us, and usually we have the luck to work for clients with whom we develop a trusting relationship. The closest clients of our firm are the ones who trust us to handle absolutely every single aspect of their businesses in Colombia. My two brothers and I are the sole owners of the company, and we have an extremely active role in the organization in different fields. We have 20-25 employees, and we are first in line when it comes to taking care of our clients.

Which of your services have been garnering the most demand within the context of the pandemic?

We offer services and products. In the wealth management division, we offer the service of managing the wealth of our clients, though we also offer investment opportunities that we have not only structured, but also created and control entirely. During the pandemic, the legal department was in a difficult position. The wealth management division, especially investment opportunities, was able to see extremely positive growth, especially from our timber project. That was not affected by the pandemic at all for various reasons because we are planting trees in a special region of Colombia. With the timber project and the financial opportunities that arose with the pandemic, GG was able to reach the next level in its business development strategy.

What are the main reasons a foreigner should invest in Colombia?

We are a country that is center-right politically. We have been the US' main ally in the region for over two decades and counting. This could change in the future, but we do not see any risk materializing in the short term. We remain a country that is welcoming to foreign investment, where foreign investors have exactly the same rights as locals, where we have a buoyant middle class that is thriving and moving the real estate sector. Real estate in Colombia is a safe investment. The debt that the country has is relatively fair and stable. Both macro and micro economically speaking, Colombia is one of the best countries to look at currently. If we factor in the currency situation and exchange rate, there is tremendous opportunity for those holding a strong currency such as dollars or euros. Overall, Colombia is one of the best options in the region now to invest in, as far as the political and economic stability, as well as the opportunities that can be found here.

How is Gutierrez Group committed to the economic and social progress of Colombia?

Sometimes we do not even recognize the magnitude of our work. We are collaborating in a positive way to the overall progress of the country, especially in Vichada, where we have plantations. We employ 300 people, all from Vichada, a region that has always been underdeveloped in comparison to other regions in Colombia. The impact we have on this region and country overall is immense in terms of not only the jobs created, but the more than 40,000 tons of CO2 captured from the atmosphere every year. We also plan to build our own port for the exclusive use of the region and, most importantly, the timber industry in Vichada. In Medellín, we are working on four different real estate projects, some of which are focused on tourism. We are simply helping with the progress and incomes and employing people, directly and indirectly. We also grant financing to taxi drivers and have more than 500 active loans out there thus far. That means 500 families depend on what a taxi driver produces as an income for a family. This applies to everything—we have over 25 employees at our group, but in an indirect way, we are generating hundreds of other jobs.

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