More Super Affluent Clans Open Family Offices In Singapore

SINGAPORE – More extremely wealthy families are establishing family offices in the city-state, with the number of such entities almost doubling from 2 years ago, according to a report by Channel NewsAsia (CNA) that was updated on Thursday evening (12 January, SGT).

At present, Singapore is home to around 700 family offices. This is up from about 400 at the end of 2020 and 7 times the figure seen in 2017, based on official estimates.

These uber rich families are not just originating from Asia, but some hail from America and Europe. Demand from affluent clans in Asia is especially robust, as the growth of private wealth in the region has outpaced the world’s other regions, noted market watchers.

“The pandemic has prompted numerous affluent families to reconsider their wealth management and succession plans to better prepare against future uncertainty,” stated Carrie Ng, the Head of family office advisory at Bank of Singapore.

“Besides Asian family offices, an increasing number of non-Asian families are coming to Singapore to either set up family offices or satellite offices to capture and support their investments in the region.”

The significant increase of family offices has been driven by the coronavirus pandemic, which compelled super rich individuals and their families to reassess how to protect and grow their wealth for future generations, shared Richard Loi, Leader for Southeast Asia at Deloitte.

They were also attracted to the city-state thanks to its excellent track record as a financial and wealth management hub, noted other industry observers.

There are also other factors that give Singapore an advantage over other financial hubs such as the UK, Switzerland, and Hong Kong. These include having a trained labour force, and developed financial services sector, as well as stable political and regulatory environment, in addition to superb living standards with established education and healthcare infrastructure.

Another factor is geography, said Loi. Singapore is considered as a key gateway to Asia, and this is enticing to those who want to be nearer to their investments in the region.

“Singapore is a jurisdiction where the ultra-rich will often choose to live in, and establishing a local family office can be part of a migration strategy,” added Stephen Banfield, KPMG’s partner of family office & private clients here.

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