H. Burak Erten
H. Burak Erten has been an international business leader, strategic and financial advisor, real estate expert, and a key player in global affairs for over 27 years, working with investors, companies, and government spanning from the U.S. to Europe. He is the principal for The Center for Transatlantic Economic Partnership (CTEP), executive director of Q Group, and president of US Institutional Capital Investments, LLC (USIC), a strategic advisory firm that serves as a gateway between U.S. capital markets and emerging market economies by way of assisting and advising in the deployment of U.S. institutional capital to foreign governments, financial institutions, and projects. With both U.S. and E.U. capital markets expertise, Burak specializes in financial architecture, structuring and risk mitigation, structured finance, governmental advisory, and international commerce partnerships. As a respected authority on the geopolitical and geoeconomic stage, he’s dealt with over 50 emerging market governments and institutions, shared his views in international economic and trade forums and in the EU Parliament Independent Press Agency, and serves as senior policy advisor for the COH Foundation in Palm Beach, Florida.
Now, Burak is bringing together the collective forces of those three organizations to help reverse what he sees as the greatest challenge to the security, prosperity, and standing of not only the United States and its people, but all of humanity—China. His sights are now set on what he views as the key to it all—helping to bring U.S. manufacturing back home to return the country to its economic glory. “Manufacturing is an essential part of a robust economy for our homeland, which, in turn, benefits all of humanity,” he says. “Every period of chaos presents the opportunity to make a better world. It’s time for the U.S. to seize this opportunity now.”
At the same time, Burak recognizes that it will take an international village to lead global markets out of the China quagmire. To this end, his upcoming book, Prosperity Bonds, is an unabashed call to action for the G7 to step up—and he provides the mechanisms to do so in the form of innovative, practical solutions for the deployment of U.S. capital to frontier markets. “We have massive amounts of capital in the U.S., but it’s not being deployed on a meaningful level, and traditional models are not working,” he says. “I wrote the Prosperity Bonds to serve as a playbook for the G7 to create more connectivity between the U.S./G7 and frontier markets.”
Burak points to the convergence of a vibrant U.S. manufacturing sector and meaningful involvement of its capital to foreign markets as a triumph for the betterment of all. “Bringing manufacturing, yields, and prosperity back home while uplifting the economies of frontier markets will create new middle-income classes geared for our U.S. brands, products and services,” he explains. “That’s why I’m focusing on a growing number of domestic manufacturing projects and writing the book, with the hope of contributing to this effort.”
Burak met with us to talk about his views on China and how his companies are helping to revive U.S. manufacturing and the global economy, and he also shares a preview of Prosperity Bonds.
What do you see as the most significant challenges that China poses to the U.S.?
In the last 15 years, China has set a pace to challenge U.S. leadership on multiple fronts with carefully planned moves such as political capital deployment to emerging markets and assertive political interferences to foreign governments. This is leading to a new world order emerging whereby the U.S. represents the camp of liberties, democracy, and free world and governance, and China represents autocracy and suppressive regimes.
China has been utilizing all forms of soft power instruments to advance on all fronts in this new millennial colonialism policy it is aggressively implementing. China has demonstrated its dominance and military ambitions with the debt/equity swap mechanisms it has deployed to convert civilian assets into critical military infrastructure globally. As a result, the U.S. is facing a severe challenge from China concerning its leadership status globally; a leadership that brought decades of prosperity, technological advances, and improvements in human quality of life. All these positive developments under U.S. leadership resulted from innovation and creativity fueled by liberties, democracy, and global connectivity. The challenges China poses are not exclusive to the USA, as a shift in the balance of power will lead to a new way of life currently promised and implemented in China itself.
Tell us a little bit about your background and how your international experience culminated into a mission to address this.
I have been operating in global capital markets for over 27 years since my early ages and have been involved in structured finance, investment banking, fund management, and strategic advisory. I have developed myself, especially in structuring, risk mitigation, and risk syndication, to create institutional-grade asset classes from standard transactions. I am an authorized and licensed fund manager both in Luxembourg and Malta. I consider myself a financial architect as I have been involved in C-suite management roles in various companies. This has allowed me to see both sides of the table, creating an understanding of the needs and requirements of both ends.
Additionally, throughout my career, I’ve been involved with various governments, which has allowed me and my teams to explain the rationale of why allying with the U.S. and U.S. capital markets are more advantageous for any foreign government. Interactions and involvements with various governments enabled me to see why U.S. leadership is so critical for the well-being of humanity. I’ve been able to observe and compare the conduct of both systems.
The momentum is growing as U.S. companies are continuing to move their manufacturing back to domestic shores. Why is this key to bringing prosperity “back home,” and can you share your efforts in this regard with your upcoming manufacturing projects?
As we observed during the pandemic, the U.S. lacked manufacturing capacity for essential items that, unfortunately, cost us many valuable lives. In this new era, like any other country, the U.S. needs to have a national manufacturing capacity bandwidth as a matter of national security. Bringing manufacturing back home will lead to economic stimulus, job creation, and help hardworking American families.
As a principal and/or strategic advisor, I’m currently involved in three manufacturing projects that involve risk syndication, third-party risk transfer, and credit substitute while applying major cost-optimization solutions resulting in very high debt service coverage ratio and EBITDA levels. My mission is to reintroduce old and established mechanisms and benchmark from other fields of finance to create models that will allow SMEs and entrepreneurs to get into manufacturing in a significant way, and make a meaningful impact.
You’re also working on the economic and financial front to strengthen not only the U.S. economy but, in turn, uplift frontier markets. How are your companies working together toward this goal?
We have associated, affiliated, and partnered with companies in various jurisdictions globally. We conduct negotiations and consultations with various emerging market governments, F.I., and local sponsors. We place a significant emphasis on how to get more connectivity with the U.S. capital markets. Our E.U. platforms enable us to structure funds for sponsors as well as being able to structure and list bonds in major exchanges. Our strategic alliances with major investment banks, insurance brokerage houses, and financial engineering firms allow us to provide a holistic solution for our strategic advisory role for all these companies, F.I., and governments. I’m a firm believer of good business brings good diplomacy. As the U.S. and its allies achieve to uplift more emerging economies, those countries will better understand and appreciate the values the U.S. stands for.
Your upcoming book, Prosperity Bonds, presents novel, practical solutions for deployment of U.S. capital to frontier markets. Can you give us a brief primer of the topics or ideas discussed?
The book is a call to action for G7 to establish a new financial agency, operating on a non-concessionary basis, that will issue bonds based on risk syndication among G7 member countries. The financial architecture of the bonds involves the commonly used practices of structured finance and insurance markets such as 1st/2nd loss concepts, syndication of risk, and fixed income with equity kickers with yield arbitrages achieved. The capital deployment will be structured as listed securities mirroring the same concepts utilized in the raise strategy. The objective is to create more connectivity between U.S./G7 and frontier markets concerning corporate governance, institutionalism, and transparency while emphasizing ESG and impact investing concepts, encouraging these emerging economies to place more emphasis on these subjects. I sincerely believe that this will be a significant response to Chinese political capital deployment, allowing the U.S. to save those emerging economies from the debt trap caused by the BRI.
H. Burak Erten
Principal, The Center for Transatlantic Economic Partnership
President, US Institutional Capital Investments, LLC
Executive Director, Q Group
Senior Policy Advisor, COH Foundation
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