publicidad
Alberto Chang-Rajii addressing University of Arkansas

Mystery surrounds missing Chilean venture capitalist

Mystery surrounds missing Chilean venture capitalist

Alberto Chang-Rajii made a big splash in Miami, supporting entrepreneurs and befriending the likes of Richard Branson

Alberto Chang-Rajii addressing University of Arkansas
Alberto Chang-Rajii addressing University of Arkansas

A once high-flying Chilean investor and would-be space traveler who made a name for himself in Miami’s budding tech scene, Alberto Chiang-Rajii, is on the run after allegations about his business record and the soundness of his financial operations, according to media reports and a source close to the firm he founded.

Chang, president of Grupo Arcano, an international private equity and venture capital firm, was reported missing by various Chilean news outlets on Thursday after he penned a mysterious email to his mother and company executives, raising concerns that he was suicidal.

In the email, signed from the Mediterranean island of Malta, Chang-Rajii said he felt “beaten," according to the Chilean media reports. Chang wrote that he was retiring "from this life."

His friend and business associate, British billionaire Sir Richard Branson, responded to uncertainty over Chang's fate telling Univision he was "saddened" by the reports.

Several Grupo Arcano executives announced they had resigned from the company on Thursday after receiving what they described as the "troubling" email. Chang was also being investigated by fiscal authorities in Chile, local media reported.

Grupo Arcano, which has a branch in Miami, closed its doors in Chile on Thursday as worried investors demanded to know what had become of their funds. The company's closure comes as Chile is reeling from political and business corruption scandals that have eroded the government's popularity.

Grupo Arcano website
Grupo Arcano website

Chang founded Grupo Arcano in his native Santiago, Chile in 2001. The company has additional offices in Miami, London and Sydney and says it has 700 emplopyees. Arcano grew fast in recent years and was thought to be worth several hundred million dollars. One of its funds, Onix Capital, attracted investors by offering 20% annual returns, far above market rates.

A spokeswoman for Grupo Arcano in Chile declined to comment earlier this week when contacted by Univision. She stopped answering her phone and emails on Thursday.

Chang's Miami attorney, Juan Pablo Cappello, did not respond to a request from Univision to comment for this story.

Since opening offices in Miami in 2011 Chang nserted himself in the city’s burgeoning tech startup scene, as well as befriending wealthy international entrepreuers, including Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.

publicidad

Chang signed up as a “Future Astronaut” with Branson’s Virgin Galatic project to launch the world’s first commercial space travel venture. He also bought land in the British Virgin Islands near Branson's vacation home on Necker Island, according to one source close to the company.

Chang supported a Virgin charitable bursary at Oxford University to promote a $3 billion higher education fund, according to he website of Virgin Unite, the company’s entrepreneurial foundation.

In a statement on Friday emailed to Univision, Branson said; "I am saddened to read the reports about Alberto Chang. Clearly, this is a developing situation and it would not be appropriate to comment until the facts become clear."

The website of Virgin Unite includes a full page dedicated to Chang including photos with Branson.

“Through this success he has been able to focus his passion for innovation and positive impact in the world – in a number of areas, from education to space travel,” it says.

Chang was named last year to the United Nations Global Entrepreneurs Council.

Grupo Arcano CEO Jorge Hurtado sought to downplay concerns about the fund in an interview with El Mercurio last month, highlighting the firm’s recent investments in Uber, Snapchat and NextU, a Miami-based digital technology university. Hurtado denied that Arcano was a pyramid scheme, though he told Mercurio that its sustainabilioty depended on securing new investors.

Another of his recent investments was Cambridge Quantum Computing Ltd., a company in the U.K. seeking to develop the next generation of super computers.

Sources familiar with efforts to locate Chang-Rajii told Univision he had summoned executives to a meeting in Switzerland last week to answer allegations that he was running a Ponzi scheme, only to stand them up. He later turned up in Malta, according to one source close to company executives.

Chang has been under fire since it was revealed late last month that he misrepresented parts of his biography including a claim that he earned a degree from Stanford University and was an early investor in Google.

He abruptly resigned his post last week as a board member of Endeavor Miami, an entrepreneurship non-profit. On Monday, the eMerge Americas technology and innovation conference, also based in Miami, announced it had dropped Grupo Arcano as a presenting sponsor for its startup showcase.

Xavier Gonzalez, CEO of eMerge Americas, declined to comment. Conference organizers had previously highlighted Grupo Arcano’s “global reputation and proven ability for identifying and supporting the best and brightest tech talent.”

Chang reputation began to unravel when administrators at Stanford University told the Miami New Times that he never attended the school. Sources familiar with Google also challenged Chang's story about owning a 1% stake in the company.

Chang updated his bio on the Grupo Arcano website last week removing any mention of having obtained a degree from Stanford. In other company literature he claimed to have a post-graduate degree in Behavioral Sciences from Stanford, as well as becoming “one of Google’s first investors.”

publicidad

The non-profit Endeavor Miami also sought to play down Chang’s resignation.

“Alberto Chang resigned … to focus on his affairs,” Endeavor Miami managing director Laura I. Maydón stated in an e-mail. “We are thankful for his support to Endeavor Miami these past years,” she added.

publicidad
publicidad
On November 15, days before the allegations of sexual harassment against Charlie Rose came to light, the CNN International host issued a public call to editors and executives to end the abuse and sexual harassment in the media. That evening, Rose, who is being replaced by Amanpour on an interim basis, was sitting only a few feet away as she spoke.
The Colombian soldier Mauricio Calvo shares his experience as part of a burgeoning industry of men who travel the world to fight in other people's wars.
Angela King went from being a Neonazi skinhead to working to lure people out of hate groups. Today, King says she’s worried about what she sees as an increase of hate and a U.S. president who refuses to publicly denounce it. She has a unique insight into the most effective ways to respond to incidences of hate and extremism, and why people are in the life in the first place.
Through tears, Joaquín Ramírez recalls the minutes after a gunman entered a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and fired at everyone in his path.
When Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as Philippines’ president in June 2016, he declared a war on drug traffickers and users. Since then, Human Rights groups estimate more than 12,000 people have been killed in this offensive they call "a war on the poor." Univision News traveled to Manila and witnessed this conflict first hand.
They grew up in Chicago and their husbands, the Flores twins (aka ‘Los Mellizos’), worked for the Sinaloa cartel. The twins later became DEA informants in Mexico who helped bring down El Chapo Guzman. They have written a book, Cartel Wives, telling their story as a lesson to others not to fall for the narco life, and they regret what they put their families through. "Our fathers put on their suit of armor and their badge, and they are going out there on the streets of Chicago,” Mia confesses. “It’s the very same streets that our husbands were flooding with drugs.”
Patients with chronic diseases are getting limited treatment in health centers and are still waiting for restoration of power and water supply. Univision News visited several hospitals.
The 1998 hurricane killed 11,000 people in Honduras and Nicaragua and left more than a million homeless. As a result, the United States granted temporary visas to citizens from those countries who were living illegally in the U.S.
The weather station in Key West, Florida, is sending weather balloons into the atmosphere to measure the powerful category 5 hurricane, which currently has winds of 175 miles per hour.
The Trump administration on Tuesday rescinded the DACA program that President Barack Obama introduced to protect the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers. Sessions said the program would be phased out over six months to allow Congress time to have another go at passing legislation.
Two brothers graduated from Harvard and Middlebury. They grew up in Houston and are practicing Christians. "Like "good Americans," they like Taco Bell. They have lived most of their lives in the United States and have a simple request for the president: "Do not get rid of DACA."
During a meeting in the Oval office Friday, the president was asked by reporters about the future of DACA, to which he responded that a decision was coming soon. "We love the dreamers, we love everyone," he added.
Nilsa Huete is an undocumented Honduran immigrant living in Key West, Florida. In the last five months, five of her family members have been arrested by agents from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. Now she’s fighting against the deportation of her daughter and brother.
The Univision News anchor sat down with Chris Barker, leader of the "Loyal White Knights," a branch of the Ku Klux Klan. The interview was part of the special that aired Sunday on Aqui y Ahora.
A crowd surrounds a young man in a Trump hat and t-shirt, and draped in an Israeli flag, on Boston Common.
Jorge Ramos spoke with the musician's lawyer after he was detained by the Nicolas Maduro regime. The attorney said Arteaga had been "tortured". The Univision reporter asks: #FreedomforWuilly
La nueva Maricarmen, mira el impactante antes y después
Alfonso Waithsman, Alvaro Montaño y Bernardo Moreno transformaron totalmente a Maricarmen Herrera, su nueva imagen le devolvió la sonrisa y se convirtió en su mejor regalo de Navidad.
Polo Morín y Rafael Serdán en esta dinámica se pasaron con los toques
Rafa se llevó a este actor a recorrer la ciudad y tienes que ver que juego tan divertido hicieron, que incluía toques de corriente para el que perdiera.
La nueva era de Univision Noticias: los rostros de los periodistas que te informarán día con día
Ellos son la cara del periodismo, del compromiso de informar verazmente, de difundir la información de manera rápida y oportuna. Estos hombres y mujeres conforman la nueva era de Univision Noticias.
La Dra. Nancy aplaudió la manera en la que Salma Hayek denunció su caso de acoso
Tras dar a conocer de su propia voz lo que sufrió con el productor Harvey Weinstein, Salma Hayek recibió miles de mensajes de apoyo, incluidas unas alentadoras palabras de la Dra. Nancy Álvarez.
publicidad
Amenaza de muerte y sexo oral: Salma Hayek asegura que también fue víctima de Harvey Weinstein
La actriz mexicana rompió su silencio respecto a su relación con el desprestigiado productor de Hollywood quien, según sus palabras, trató durante la producción de la película 'Frida' de mantener relaciones sexuales con ella.
Organización al norte de Texas ofrece consultas médicas virtuales
Escuelas de medicina en conjunto con Children’s Health buscan ayudar a familias con consultas virtuales para niños.
El gobierno desmantela la neutralidad en internet amenazando su acceso igualitario
La Comisión Federal de Comunicaciones votó este jueves a favor de permitir que los proveedores de internet tengan la libertad de mejorar la velocidad de navegación para algunas aplicaciones y sitios web y bloquear las que les parezca conveniente según sus intereses.
Vigilantes del tiempo del 14 de diciembre
Reyna Cavazos comparte las imágenes de nuestros seguidores en redes sociales con detalles sobre las condiciones del tiempo.
Buenas noticias para el Tri, Marco Fabián volvió a los entrenamientos del Eintracht
El mexicano sufría de una lesión en la espalda y debió recurrir a una cirugía que lo alejó por meses de las canchas.
Roban en la casa de Unai Emery y se llevan dos camisetas de Neymar
Los ladrones se hicieron con un botín valorado de forma provisional en unos 20,000 euros, incluido un reloj Rolex de unos 7,000 euros.
Los espectaculares números de Tom Brady en sus duelos contra los Pittsburgh Steelers
La figura de New England Patriots ha jugado 12 partidos ante los de Pensilvania en lo que lleva de su carrera, anotando 29 touchdowns y recorriendo 3.532 yardas. Aquí, más datos del mariscal de campo.
A pesar de las críticas Juan Carlos Osorio fue elegido entre los mejores técnicos del 2017
El técnico colombiano figura entre los mejores estrategas del año según la Federación Internacional de Historia y Estadística del Fútbol.