FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong's asset and wealth management business hit $24.27t in 2017

The private banking unit and fund advisory business performed strongly.

Hong Kong’s asset and wealth management business was worth $24.27t in 2017, according to a report by the Securities and Futures Commission.

The city’s asset management and fund advisory business surged 23% YoY to $17,511b in 2017 whilst the city’s private banking business hit $7,812b over the same period.

Also read: Hong Kong is the world's fourth most secretive financial center

“Hong Kong benefits from the growth in Chinese private wealth and the changing behaviour of Chinese HNWIs,” accounting firm Deloitte noted in an earlier report. 

The city is the ninth richest in the world and third richest in Asia, according to Knight Frank 2018 City Wealth Index. To cater to this growing wealth, Hong Kong is hosting a total of  70 independent asset managers (IAMs) that manage an estimated US$38.1b in private wealth in 2017, according to a report from Asian Private Banker and Julius Baer.

Together with Singapore which hosts around 90 IAMs, the two financial hubs account for 5% of regional high net-worth wealth.

"The robust financial performance of IAMs in Hong Kong and Singapore, along with their burgeoning market share, allows us to say with confidence that the IAM market in Asia is ready for take off,” Stratos Pourzitakis, head of research at Asian Private Banker said in an earlier report.

With booming demand for tailored financial services, the SFC report also noted that the number of staff in the business also rose in tandem from 35,286 in 2016 to 37,062 in 2017.

Sales and marketing remain the major functions of staff engaged in asset and wealth management activities, comprising 68% of the total industry population as of end-December.

Overseas investors remained dominant in Hong Kong’s wealth mix after accounting for 66% of the asset source in 2017 despite a fall from 72% in 2013. Their total assets also rose from $11,996b to $15,928b last year.

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