When wealthy Russians went shopping for assets in the West during the past decade, they usually looked for one thing: status.
Whether it was a Picasso, Feadship yacht or penthouse overlooking Central Park, the Russians wanted the biggest and the best, no matter the price.
Now, they're looking for something else from their purchases: income.
With the Russian economy headed into a severe slowdown or recession, and with the ruble and asset prices crumbling amid the crisis in Ukraine, Russians are looking for safe places to store their wealth overseas that will also give them cash income. Oligarchs, who could once count on big returns in Russia, are now seeing those assets and businesses collapse.
And many are now turning to the U.S. for growth and returns, despite the threat of sanctions and asset freezes.