FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Asia's ultra wealthy stoke Hong Kong and Singapore's family office boom

The number of newly built offices may have grown 15% in first three quarters of 2018.

Reuters reports that family offices or private investment vehicles are increasingly mushrooming around Singapore and Hong Kong as they scramble to cater to the wealth management needs of Asia’s ultra-rich.

Also read: Hong Kong dislodges New York as home to the world's largest ultra-rich population

A relatively new concept in the region, there are an estimated less than 500 family offices in Asia compared to thousands in the West that offer a one-stop and personalised management solution for high-net worth individuals including investments, charitable giving, taxation and wealth transfers.

“This year the activity for setting up family offices is definitely more,” Lee Wong, Swiss private bank Lombard Odier Asia’s head of family services told Reuters. “The growth of family offices in Asia should continue on its current trajectory.”

Also read: Hong Kong is the second largest offshore wealth centre

With Asia Pacific continuing to drive the surge in global high-net worth wealth, family offices are only expected to proliferate with private bankers interviewed by Reuters estimating that the number of new family offices in Asia rising 15% in the first three quarters of 2018.  

In fact, the number of family offices in Singapore quadrupled between 2015 and 2017, a spokesperson from the Monetary Authority of Singapore told Reuters. On its end, Hong Kong plans to introduce a new structure that will offer more flexibility and choices in setting up funds.

Private bank units of global firms are also cashing in on this development with Citi, Credit Suisse, HSBC and UBS reportedly beefing up teams who will focus on family office clients.

Here’s more from Reuters:

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