Q&A with Marie Buffiere - Bricksave CFO

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Q&A with Marie Buffiere - Bricksave CFO

This week, Marie Buffiere - CFO of Bricksave is talking us through her fascination with the Argentinian economy and its potential. As a world-class CFO, Marie has held financial management positions in countries across the globe. She started her career in Paris as an auditor but later traveled to Sydney, Australia, where she became a finance manager for The Photon Group (Enero since 2012) and later Finance Director at Publicis, the world’s third largest communications group. Attracted by Argentina’s way of life and approach to business, Marie now resides in San Rafael, where she serves as CFO for Bricksave and Finance Consultant for Kinled Holding Ltd.

As an experienced CFO who has lived and worked in many different markets, what was it that drew you to Argentina?

Argentina had fascinated me for years; its landscapes, its literature, and its mix of European and Latino culture were very appealing to me. I traveled to Argentina in 2008 and fell in love with the colors of the country, the infinity of its land, its music, its food, its people. After nearly 10 years of working in international corporate environment, I felt it was time for me to start a new path in my career as an independent financial consultant.

I decided to settle down in Argentina for 2 main reasons: the country appeared to be a challenging place to do business for an entrepreneur, for its unlimited opportunities in terms of market and economic environment. The other reason is that the value of time is different here; this may be due to the less individualist South American culture, to the traditions, the importance of human contact.

Given that emerging economies like Argentina (and other Latin American nations) have recently outperformed “advanced” economies in terms of growth, I could also see that there were plenty of opportunities to become part of the country’s financial rise to prominence. According to the Financial Times, developed economies have been losing purchasing power for more than a decade, so it seemed an appropriate time to expand my career horizons and move to a country that is becoming more important on the world stage.

What was it about Bricksave that interested you?

As a financial professional, I appreciated the way Bricksave’s model challenges existing investment practices, and once I assessed how the platform works, I knew immediately that it was something I could be a part of. I was also attracted to the reach that Bricksave provides to Argentinians – as someone who has lived in multiple different countries, I am always excited by services that facilitate global connection.

What opportunities can platforms like Bricksave provide for Argentinians?

Bricksave is a great investment opportunity for all Argentinians. The investment range starts at 2,500USD and goes up to the total of the property. With the banking history of the country, Argentinians tend to save money, but the way to save is not simple. With the high inflation rate, it is not worth keeping pesos in cash, or at the bank. In the last years, many bought dollars in order to guarantee a certain level for their savings. However you never know how the dollar will fluctuate here, as it can be influenced by a political decision, elections, or economic reforms. So the best way to save money is to buy products: cars, real estate, land are the most common investment forms.

Bricksave offers an hassle-free option of investment. Once the investment is done, the crowdfunder only has to wait for his returns, as the property is rented as soon as the purchase contract is signed. The team at Bricksave deals with all matters regarding tenants, rent payments and property tax. So one can be an owner of a property, or part of it, in different cities of the world without needing to have the knowledge of all legal, tax and administrative matters. The applications of this are wide-ranging: they could use it to save for retirement, put money away as savings in a time when banks are unreliable, or simply invest in property as part of a larger diversified investment portfolio (diversification, in particular, is made easier than ever due to Bricksave’s low minimum investment amount).

The financial investment always has a part of risk - the crash of real estate, money devaluation, - but Bricksave is choosing its properties in top-end and exclusive areas where the real-estate market is relatively steady.  The current locations of the properties are Miami, New York, Monaco, Hong Kong, Barcelona, Vienna. And our team is constantly analysing new market opportunities with our specialists in real estate. 

Argentina has become an important nation in the global economy. What steps do you think the nation needs to take to further cement that position?

I believe Argentina needs to embrace FinTech and allow themselves to be pioneers of the new economic world order. With regards to equity crowdfunding, in particular, some nations have been slow to adapt to new FinTech in terms of regulation, so Argentina needs to be at the forefront of legislative change to allow technologies such as Real Estate Crowdfunding to flourish (within feasible guidelines). Argentinians themselves can help with this: attitudes towards new financial tech need to be more open, allowing public opinion to put pressure on governments to properly accommodate the changes. Finally, it wouldn’t hurt to have more funds available for research and development of these new technologies – R&D is the spearhead of progress, after all.


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