BY ANUSH A. HOVSEPYAN
Success comes to those that set the bar high. The Armenian Bar Association (ABA) for 24 years now has been raising the bar for professionals in the industry, by bringing together the best Armenian attorneys from all over the United States and Canada.
This year’s conference in San Diego created solid networking experience for the attendants, connecting them to opportunities both in the United States and Armenia. The panel included speakers such as renowned litigator for Fortune 500 companies David Balabanian, Justice Charles Poochigian and LA Superior Court Judge Zaven Sinanian.
Ameria Group of Companies, serving as a professional investment bridge between the Diaspora and Armenia, supported the event and during the opening reception presented possible avenues of cooperation between Ameria’s Legal Team in Armenia and the attorneys in the Diaspora.
Rafi Manoukian, the CEO of Ameria Group’s LA office, in his speech stressed the importance of proper due diligence when investing in Armenia: “Ameria encourages those who are interested in doing business in Armenia or the CIS countries, to do it the right way, similar to the US, hire a legal, management and accounting team, do the due diligence and then invest.”
Ameria has had a lasting relationship with the Armenian Bar Association (ABA). Prior to the Bar Association’s 24th annual meeting, Ameria had a meeting with ABA members to discuss how Ameria can better address the needs of the clients who turn to attorneys for advice.
“Ameria is the entity that is critical for the Diaspora. It is a bridge that is going to connect the Diaspora Armenians with their financial economic interests to better themselves individually, but at the same time to better Armenia. It’s a win-win situation,” says the Chair of the Armenian Bar Association Garo Ghazarian. In fact, Ameria itself is a unique partnership between the Diaspora professionals and local Armenians, having set a benchmark of business success in Armenia. With an initial investment capital of only $100, 000, it now has more than $ 600 million dollars in assets. Many renowned figures in the investment world are on Ameria’s board, including Robert Von Rekowsky, the Emerging Market’s Portfolio Manager of Fidelity Investments and Noubar Afeyan, the founder of a multimillion-dollar company Flagship Ventures.
“It is nice to see there is a well trusted, established organization in Armenia that has sophisticated people running it. As I was listening to the presentation about Ameria, it made me think how I can provide more services to my clients who trust me as an advisor. I think it will be very easy to team up with Ameria in the future when my clients have questions about doing business in Armenia,” says Attorney at Law Aram Ordubegian. Harry Dikranian, the Vice Chair of the Bar Association, with a practice in Canada, also believes there is a need for such cooperation: “I wish I had known earlier about Ameria to refer people seeking professional advice in Armenia.”
McKenna Long & Aldridge Partner Raymond Aghaian says Ameria’s idea is great: “I think given the large diaspora here in Southern California, particularly in Glendale, Ameria is at the right place at the right time. There are a lot of issues for Ameria to address and to alleviate some of the concerns that potential investors have.”
Bar Association’s Gerard Kassabian in his turn says there is a need for dispelling the fears of the diaspora by presenting successful business deals made in Armenia: “One of the most important things is to reduce the unknown and the anxiety of anybody who’s looking to invest in the motherland. Ameria has come forward and given people the channel to be able to ask questions, inquire about the facilities available that make investment a possibility in Armenia, such as with the investment advisors or the legal department. Ameria has done a phenomenal job in making their presence known here in the US, especially to the diaspora Armenians.”
Ameria’s Board Member Noubar Afeyan has stated on many occasions that the relationship between the Diaspora and Armenia needs to be stronger for the sake of Armenia’s progress: “We need to understand that the nucleus of the Armenian race is Armenia. At the moment, Diaspora’s Armenians are a loose network of people that have something in common. I hope that the Diaspora’s connection to each other becomes Armenia and Armenia’s betterment. I would like Armenians to work together to have every Armenian on the same footing no matter what part of the world they live in.”
Ameria Group of Companies, continues to be a one-stop resource for potential investors interested in Armenia’s emerging market, by providing full-fledged advisory services be it for their legal, management, research or financial needs. Ameria Group’s LA office is located in the heart of Glendale, at 330 N. Brand, # 140. For additional information, contact 818 646 1111.