Singapore Has Edge Over HK In Attracting Family Offices
SINGAPORE – A research by UK-based recruitment consultancy Agreus Group shows that the city-state has the advantage over Hong Kong as a leading family office hub, reported the AsianInvestor on Thursday evening (3 March, SGT).
“Singapore and Hong Kong are both extraordinary landscapes that have an incredible amount to offer family offices. Hong Kong has a deep-rooted talent pool, it boasts the richest family office ecosystem in the entire Asia Pacific — boasting over 5,000 ultra-high net worth families — and it is ultimately the gateway to China,” said Tayyab Mohamed, Co-founder of Agreus
“But as we have discovered through the creation of our report, Singapore holds the key. It is well-regulated, transparent, and a magnet for prosperity,” he said, highlighting the responses of family offices, advisers, and official sources in both Singapore and Hong Kong.
In fact, Singapore was ranked first globally by INSEAD in terms of breadth of investment opportunities, and political and operational stability, as well as ease of access to professional services.
While authorities in Hong Kong are welcoming family offices with attractive taxation and legislative policies to rival that offered by Singapore, Mohamed thinks that the former cannot the global investment and attention being bestowed to Singapore.
“In a time of uncertainty, political instability, and impending regulation, Singapore offers the perfect blend of protection and opportunity,” he added.
However, both Singapore and Hong Kong are facing challenges in training staff to cater to the family office sector.
“For the family office industry, talent is one of the most fundamental building blocks, crucial to the long-term development of the industry. But the truth is, we are facing a talent gap. Family offices need specialised talent,” explained Chi Man Kwan, chairman of the Hong Kong Family Office Association (HKFOA).
According to research company Wealth-X, US$1.9 trillion worth of wealth in Asia is expected to be passed on to the next generation in the coming decade. It estimates that over one third of family offices in the region already have US$1 billion in assets under management (AUM) and almost 25 percent have over US$5 billion.