Joel M. Nagel was born in Pittsburgh and is founder and managing partner of the international law firm of Nagel & Associates, LLC founded in 1992. The firm is Pittsburgh’s first law boutique firm focusing exclusively on international asset protection, commercial transactions, emigration and immigration matters.
He began his private law practice in 1989 in the specialised area of international business and asset protection. Sought for his entrepreneurial instincts, Mr. Nagel has served on over a dozen corporate boards for real estate, tourism and financial services as well as a number of non profit boards including the Pittsburgh Rotary Club Foundation, The Violetta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation and the Nicaragua Development Corporation in Nicaragua.
In addition to his work as a lawyer, Mr. Nagel is known as a visionary and deal maker providing international business leverage for leading corporations, entrepreneurs and individuals. In 2005, the Pittsburgh Business Times named him as a “Fast Tracker” for his accomplishments as a lawyer, investor and humanitarian.
Among Mr. Nagel’s successes is structuring the 2,500-acre, Gran Pacifica hotel resort complex in Nicaragua for an investor group. He also has structured a three-acre boutique mixed use resort in Ambergris Caye, Belize; helped create the first African and Central American motorbus distribution facility for a major US bus line; and established worldwide financial institutions for banks, insurance companies, hedge funds and mutual funds.
Much of Mr. Nagel’s focus is on helping clients select the right jurisdiction for a transaction and the best vehicle to reduce taxation and protect assets, such as joint ventures and other international legal structures. In Belize, he has pioneered the licensing of international structures for foreign banks, mutual funds, hedge funds and insurance companies. He created the firm’s Personal Asset Protection ProgramSM and has developed sophisticated international estate plans encompassing trusts, corporations, foundations, partnerships, family offices and international insurance products.
In addition to his private sector and philanthropic work, Mr. Nagel has served the Belize public sector as it's Ambassador to Austria, Slovenia and Croatia from 2015-2017 and continues representing Belize at the United Nations Offices in Vienna.
Mr. Nagel has been quoted in U.S. News & World Report on the benefits of retiring abroad, and has been featured on asset protection in Forbes Magazine (Billionaire's edition), the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Pittsburgh Business Times. He has authored articles for International Living Magazine, Live and Invest Overseas, The Simon Letter, The Oxford Club, Island Properties, Hemispheres' Publishing, Escape Artist, and Premier Offshore, and he has lectured as a featured speaker at conferences and seminars of the Central American International Investment Symposium, Live and Invest Overseas, Simon Black, Stansberry Research, Overseas Radio Network, Real Estate Rado Guys, Overseas Radio Network (ORN), International Living and Assetstrategies.com, The Oxford Club, The Sovereign Society, The Hermitage Forum and The Money Expo.
In 2001-2002, Mr. Nagel was President of the Rotary Club of Pittsburgh, and during his tenure, the club launched the widely publicized, first annual “Ducky Derby” to raise funds for charity. He also helped solicit donations and land for three Roberto Clemente Health Clinics in rural Nicaragua (beginning in 1993, with the latest clinic opening in 2017), to serve thousands of underprivileged citizens. In 2005-2006, Mr. Nagel served as Governor of Rotary District 7300, comprising 1,500 members in 51 clubs. During his term as Governor his district had the highest per capita giving of any Rotary District in the United States and Mr. Nagel received numerous awards for leadership and outstanding service.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Nagel was an attorney with Buchanan Ingersoll, one of the nation’s largest law firms. Previously, he served in the Office of the Chief Counsel for International Commerce of the U.S. Department of Commerce. He also completed a clerkship at the Commission of the European Communities in Brussels, Directorate-General’s Office for Competition. Mr. Nagel is a former Fulbright Scholar and studied law in Europe. He speaks fluent German.
He began his education at Allegheny College, a small prestigious private university located in northeast Pennsylvania where he graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
He studied abroad at Rheinische-Friedrich Wilhelms University in Bonn, Germany and The Hague Academy of International Law as a Fulbright Scholar from 1987 to 1988.
He received his Juris Doctorate in 1989 from West Virginia University and his Masters of Law (LL.M. with high distinction) in 1990 from Georgetown University Law Centre.
He married his college sweetheart Susan Entress Nagel in 1986 and they have seven children, four girls and three boys.
Mr. Nagel currently divides his time between Belize, Austria and Pittsburgh.