Published On: Tue, Sep 9th, 2014

Oxford Group: A Source of Pride For Boca Raton

photoBy: Tainara Maciel

For many years, Oxford Group has been known for bringing dozens of companies to Florida and generating millions of jobs.

Its CEO lives in Boca Raton for 18 years, and his offices are located at the Sanctuary Centre here in Boca Raton.

We sat down with CEO, Carlo Barbieri to ask him a few questions in regards to not only living, but working in Boca Raton:

Boca Raton Tribune: Why did you decide to live in Boca Raton?

Carlo Barbieri: I was looking for a city that had security, good schools and good medical assistance. Not only that, but a city which was modern but a paradise at the same time.

I travel a lot, and in my travels I’ve visited over 70 countries, and hundreds of cities. But Boca was a city that just exceeded all my expectations. It’s a chic, warm, informal, yet conservative city.

BRT: In regards to your business, did you decide to come to Boca because of the business opportunities?

CB: To be honest, no. I chose Boca because I wanted to live here. Seeing the qualities of the city in its business aspects, I started noticing that with time, and it didn’t disappoint me!

Boca is far away from the frenzy that is Miami, but close enough to three international airports, which is extremely important for someone who travels more than 10 times a year.

Not only that, but Boca is very friendly for businesses. Mayor, Susan Haynie, and former Mayor Susan Welchel, both make everyone feel very comfortable in living here and also developing their businesses in the city.

The Chamber of Commerce is very active and a joy for the city.

I’m very happy that the citizens of Boca voted for Susan Haynie this past election. It was a victory for the city against corporatism.

BRT: What does Oxford do? Why is it becoming so important to not only Boca Raton, but Florida?

CD: Oxford is a group of 10 companies, which have around 43 executives whom assist foreign companies, executives, and investors who want to move or establish business in the United States, in particular, Florida.

BRT: Where do most of your clients come from?

CB: About 70% of our clients are from Brazil. Today we are proud to say that we are the largest company of Brazilian consultancy in the US.

BRT: When you talk about 360º service you confused me. What does that mean, how much this is broad?

CB: Well this is a little bit difficult to explain, but let’s give it a try.

Our activities are split like this:

  1. Oxford Services & Legal Support
  2. Oxford Realty Group
  3. Oxford VISTOS USA Solutions
  4. Oxford  Business & Franchise
  5. Oxford Marketing Development and Tools
  6. Oxford FDA Experts
  7. Oxford  Consulting – Capital & Finance
  8. Oxford Trading, Sales  & Logistics
  9. Oxford Consulting for Food and Retail
  10.  Oxford Travel and Conventions H2O

BRT: How does the clients come to you, what is your “charm” to attract them?

Carlo Barbieri by F.Braun @ Shrimp HouseCB: We do not do advertising; most of the clients come from another satisfied clients.

Many come from our website when they look for services or solutions and then they find us.

BRT: How many clients Oxford had served and is serving currently?

CB: Certainly several hundreds, only in the area of Real Estate and food services.

BRT: Oxford received a lot of exposure with the opening of the Shrimp House at Town Center in Boca Raton. What is the relationship of Oxford with this restaurant? What is this section of Consulting for Food and Retail?

CB: Oxford has developed over time expertise and partners to support the installation of restaurants here in the US, kiosks and networks of fast and casual food.

It’s 10 divisions that coordenate itself for this service, many of them already are part of the regular services of Oxford:

  1.     Opening and registration of the company;
  2.     Study of the economic viability of the project;
  3.     Test and adaptation of the restaurant to the American public;
  4.     Architectural project;
  5.     Contracting of works and its follow up, including the part of the permits;
  6.     Marketing project including the menu parts, PR, apps, and social media;
  7.     Trainning of its workers and organization of its manuals;
  8.     Restaurant opening;
  9.     Obtaining resources, as needed;
  10.  Planning for medium and long-term of the company

The Shrimp House has become a paradigm case to us, they’ve already opened 5 restaurants in 7 months and one more will open in November at Sawgrass Mall

BRT: You talked about obtaining resources, how does this happen?

CB: Generally in three ways:

  1. We do the EB-5 project
  2. We transfer credit lines that the company already have outside of the country, to take advantage of the low cost of the money in the US;
  3. We invest in the project or we look for investors

BRT: What is an EB-5, and how important is this to the US?

CB: EB-5 is an American law that allows foreign that invests a value of $1 million in general or $500.00 on special cases, creating 10 jobs, can obtain the residence visa in the US. The origin of both the resources as the history of the investor are investigated very well by the American authorities.

EB-5 has generated jobs in the US and has brought billions of dollars of investments to the country

Oxford in partnership with W&J has participated in 93 projects of EB-5, and about 400 were approved.

BRT: Does Oxford only works with big companies?

CB: Not really.

Although we’ve been having big companies that use our services the basic segment of work is formed by average companies and people from the medium and high classes.

BRT: How can Oxford assist so many companies in such diverse sectors? Isn’t there a risk of loss of quality?

CB: We only start a sector of activities if we have one person that knows more than I do and that can get more than I can in this service. I believe that this is the secret. Share the gains with ethical and competent people.

BRT: I read that you are the President of The Rotary Club Boca West. What does this club do different?

CB: The difference of The Rotary Club Boca Raton West is that we do our meetings in Portuguese. But aside from this the Boca West club is something beautiful just like all the other Rotary clubs. Since last year all the presidents elected to this current term were getting together to act together with all the other 5 clubs in Boca Raton.

DSC_1977BRT: How many hours do you work a day? Do you still have time to your family?

CB: I start early, normally at 5am and in critical times at 3am.

With this I can put a good part of the e-mails and projects on time, make breakfast (fruits) for my kids so they can go with something healthy to school, and I try to always have dinner at home.

At 10pm I “pass out”! The battery runs out. However, I try not to miss one of my son’s Luigi soccer games (he plays for Team Boca), or one presentation of my daughter Gabby, who does a lot with the Arts.

My wife, Luciana, is wonderful. Aside from managing the Real Estate company, she manages the home, the bills, the kids, and much more!

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