CNPupdates

The legal pulse of Asia in your hands.

Featured authors

Quek Li Fei

Partner

Relevant practices

Private Clients, Family Offices And Wealth Management >

Charities And Philanthropy >

CNPupdates

Family offices in Singapore: growth and incentives

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

export this article

Authors: Quek Li Fei and Victoria Lynn Chin. 
Family offices are privately owned companies that are formed primarily for the purpose of the investment and wealth management needs of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (“UNHWI”). A family office may be either a single family office (run to serve the needs of one family) or a multi-family office (run to serve the needs of multiple families). With around 700 family offices in Singapore currently as compared to fewer than 100 family offices five years ago, the number of family offices in Singapore has jumped sevenfold since 2017. This significant increase in family offices reflects the growth in global wealth in recent decades.  The family offices in Singapore engage mostly in the fields of asset management, tax advisory and trust services. The family office industry has grown on the foundation of Singapore’s reputation as a leading financial centre, alongside the widespread recognition that the family office structure is well-known and well-used by Asian families and businesses for their private banking and trust needs. Family offices are not a recent development. Amongst the more well-known multi-family offices is the family office of the Rockefeller family established in 1882 and which now functions as a global, multi-family office giant with its headquarters at the Rockefeller Plaza, New York City.

At the Owners’ Symposium of the Global-Asia Family Office Summit 2022 on 29 September 2022 held in Singapore, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong (“DPM Wong”) mentioned that having a significant number of family offices in Singapore adds vibrancy to the financial services landscape in Singapore. In addition, DPM Wong mentioned further that “given the increased interest in philanthropy, the government will do more to help private capital and family offices maximise their philanthropic impact and do good. We aim for Singapore not just to be an economic and financial centre – but also a centre for philanthropy in Asia.”. He went on to say that the Singapore Government will also provide more support to family offices that choose to build their philanthropic base in Singapore. Family offices in Singapore that donate to local charities and non-profit entities can expect to receive more support in the form of tax incentives to build their philanthropic base here. The government is also partnering with private banks to identify suitable regional causes and charities as well as to monitor the impact of such donations. Further, there are additional funding opportunities for family offices supporting innovative companies and mentoring promising entrepreneurs. As such, family offices may wish to consider using funds in philanthropic causes in Singapore and putting funds into sustainable fields such as green research and climate-related technology solutions.

DPM Wong also touched upon Singapore’s strengths as a wealth management centre, mentioning Singapore possessing “a strong pool of talent across a whole range of professional services, including wealth and asset management, legal and tax advisory, trust services, philanthropy and governance to name a few”. Having a strong pool of talent across the range of professional services firmly supports the establishment of family offices in Singapore. There are over 1,200 people who have been trained for the family offices industry since 2020, proving the availability of relevant professionals to support the proliferation of family offices in Singapore. To support the exponential growth in the family offices industry, the Wealth Management Institute (WMI) is strengthening talent pool via education through the WMI Family Office Programme while the Global-Asia Family Office Circle (GFO Circle) has been established to facilitate networking and knowledge sharing of best practices amongst family office principals, professionals, advisors and service partners. The GFO Circle is also supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Lim Ping Ping, the Head of Wealth Planning at LGT Bank mentioned that one of the drivers of the growth of family offices in Singapore may be attributed to the trend of Asian families pivoting towards housing their family office activities in a formal structure. Singapore provides a conducive environment and a transparent regulatory regime for international families, including those who have liquidity events and who have sold their businesses, to set up family offices in Singapore with ease. Furthermore, Singapore’s strong reputation renders it an ideal location for families to establish their family office in and to participate in Asia.

For more legal insights about family offices in Singapore, please read our previous articles:

https://www.cnplaw.com/guide-to-family-offices-a-legal-perspective-cnpupdate

https://www.cnplaw.com/family-offices

Find out more >>

GENERAL DISCLAIMER

This article is provided to you for general information and should not be relied upon as legal advice. The editor and the contributing authors do not guarantee the accuracy of the contents and expressly disclaim any and all liability to any person in respect of the consequences of anything done or permitted to be done or omitted to be done wholly or partly in reliance upon the whole or any part of the contents.

related practices

Services related to this article

Swipe right to scroll

service

Private Clients, Family Offices And Wealth Management

Our private clients practice group provides a range of legal services tailored for individuals, including high net worth individuals and families to assist them

service

Charities And Philanthropy

We believe that philanthropy is an important part of wealth and legacy

Get in touch with the authors.

Our legal team comes decked with deep insights and the necessary legal expertise; all ready to help you with your legal needs.

Get in touch

How can CNP help?

We're ready to assist with your legal needs. Please share more details about the nature of your enquiry for us to better serve you.

Subscribe for CNPupdates!

No spam. Just timely legal insights to help you navigate Asia's ever evolving legal landscape.