As VP and head of Miami entertainment banking for City National Bank, Rodrigo Nieto Galvis helps steer the financial decisions of Latin acts, big and small.
It wasn’t always so. Specialized entertainment banking is still an anomaly in Latin America, and Nieto Galvis, born in Colombia and schooled in the U.S. (with a master’s degree from Georgetown University) had to essentially create his own Latin lane at City National and educate artists and managers from the ground up.
Here are five essential tips he gave us:
1. On the Golden Rule of Investment: “First, invest in your career and yourself. Especially if you’re a developing artist. What you generate has to be reinvested in yourself and your career. Investments and investment portfolios are not what will make you rich in the future. What will make you rich is your career and your work.”
2. On the Best Investment He Ever Made: “I don’t think the best investment is necessary a cause or action that gives you a return; the best investment is in yourself. And my best investment is my studies, my master’s at Georgetown. The experience that gave me, the doors it opened, that allowed me to enter the world of banking in the United States. My best investment was precisely investing in my career.
3. On the importance of having a business manager: “A business manager is a professional Company that truly advises artists and creators in terms of business, how to handle their finances, their operations and their taxes. As a banker, it is easier to work when there’s a business manager involved.”
4. Understand Where Your Money Is Going: “One of the biggest mistakes I see is people investing based on a promised return rather than understanding what they’re investing in. Many people and entities will offer you heaven and earth, but at the end of the day, that’s not what you get. So, get educated in your investment. Don’t invest with your heart.”
5. Build a Good Team: “By ‘team’ I mean, artists should have an accountant who understands U.S. tax law and an attorney who understands the entertainment industry in the United States, but also understands the bi-national or international arena, which is key for artists who are moving between countries. When you have accountants, business managers, attorneys in place, then we can sit together and engineer solutions.”
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