Letter from America – 03.12.18

Letter from America – 03.12.18

It’s a curious thing, that in a global, connected economy I can arrive in the USA feeling like I’ve been disconnected. I am a 51-year-old taxpayer, father of two, with 30 years’ work experience, a UK homeowner of 30 years, own 2 cars outright and pay fortunes in utility bills and council tax every month! However, my ‘personal track record’; my personal IP, if you will, has not transferred to America as easily as my family!

When I arrived and settled into our new chapter in the US, I naively thought I could quickly get ‘my house in order’ and go about the business of growing Metis Partners in this IP-savvy community. I would, open a bank account, apply for a credit card, rent a property, get a US mobile on a contract and lease a car. STOP! (there are many of these signs that drivers must adhere to) I was unable to complete any of these, seemingly, basic tasks.

In contrast, I am currently assisting US tech and med-tech companies raise capital (from banks, private equity and family offices) by successfully explaining both the market value and recovery value of their IP assets, the often-unsecured assets that they have invested in over many years and that crucially drive their businesses. Together, we have increased the transparency of the value of their IP assets and with lenders acknowledging the value in intangibles, we are enabling them to leverage their IP assets to secure finance. Ironic then, that I find my personal IP assets cannot be leveraged.  Despite the 30-year investment in my personal intangibles, my track record is literally worthless here!

I may be engaging the Metis team to secure me some IP-backed finance as the cash is flying out of pockets like never before:

  • Nobody will acknowledge my existence until I have a social security number (SSN);
  • To get an SSN I must have a utility bill in my name;
  • I have no credit record, so SD Gas & Electric required I paid a 3-month deposit so they can then bill me for usage ($$$);
  • Despite my SSN and my pre-paid utility bill, T Mobile insisted on payment upfront for four iPhones ($$$$);
  • I had to pay cash for a used car, as I don’t qualify for credit ($$$$$)
  • And, finally when I had an application for a credit card, I had to pay money to “load” it – clearly redefining credit!!

If we do indeed live a connected world and global economy, and this world can share (and sometimes lose) critical information about your identity and security, why are there so many obstacles to your “home” credit rating, with global banks and finance providers, travelling with you?   As always, comments on postcard…. Until my next Metis Letter from America, I hope you have a great week!