Jason Lavender was born and spent part of his adolescence in Acapulco, Guerrero. Later, he went to high school and college in the United States, but after earning his bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Texas, he returned to Mexico to begin his working life.
About 30 years ago, Lavender and a group of friends undertook the project of forming a casa de cambio (foreign currency exchange business) in Mexico City. Following an expansion plan, he became director of the first branch outside the capital, in his native Acapulco, which would be associated with INTERCAM 22 years later.
“We were a small casa de cambio, and we have expanded. Now, we are a complete financial group with brokerage services, insurance, investment funds and bank derivatives, which are financial instruments for protection against risks or future changes. We handle all financial products with INTERCAM,” he explains.
Lavender’s move to Puerto Vallarta was preceded by numerous visits to the city during the summers. In love with the destination and the kindness of its people, he decided to settle here permanently 25 years ago to open the first of four branches.
“Currently, our branches here in Vallarta · Nayarit include offices in El Centro, Marina Vallarta, Flamingos and Sayulita.”
In addition to being in charge of INTERCAM’s Vallarta · Nayarit branches, Lavender also manages those located in the Pacific zone comprising destinations such as Acapulco, Ixtapa, Manzanillo, Colima and Melaque.
Initially, the principal objectives were to provide high quality attention and services in the currency exchange and tourism markets, as well as imports and exports. Continuing today, these services have earned them national and international recognition.
“Today, we are one of the best casas de cambio nationwide, and we are very proud of that. In addition, we are now a financial group that also handles insurance, investments, bank accounts and other financial products.”
Currently, INTERCAM has a new mortgage service, which is mainly aimed at the high-end market to help people acquire the property of their dreams.
“Real estate is an industry in which we want to be very strong. We are bringing together all real estate services, as before we only offered fideicomisos (bank trusts) for foreigners. Now, we also include service for the 10 percent earnest money deposit for a purchase-sale. We offer home insurance. And with the mortgages, we want to help brokers in their sales to make the process easier for their clients.”
Two years after implementing this new service, Lavender confirms that they have had a very good response from the foreign market and that they do a lot of work with real estate providers. “The real estate industry is very important to us, which is why we continually seek to create alliances and synergies.”
The national market also represents a strong presence for INTERCAM because, according to their records, half of their clients are Mexicans or residents of the destination.
What he enjoys most about his job is the opportunity to meet more people, assimilate into the community and help improve the city’s economy. Likewise, he shared that, thanks to these good public relations, he has been able to connect with great business partners. With them, he has participated in various projects to make improvements in different parts of both Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit.
Regarding the region’s financial and real estate future, Lavender was very enthusiastic and optimistic, as this destination has experienced some of the greatest growth nationwide, both demographically and economically, and he expects that this trend will continue in the future.
“I think that the market for foreigners who come here to retire will continue to grow, as well as the market for visitors who continually come here. Our gorgeous bay, its beautiful climate and its friendly people are the main attractions that charm and captivate all those who choose Vallarta · Nayarit to invest.”
To conclude our conversation at the Marina Vallarta branch, Lavender mentioned that, as he was born in Acapulco and has lived in beach destinations, he considers himself a beach person and enjoys watersports such as sailing, surfing and kitesurfing.