Banking News

Vying for Asia’ Super Affluent: Family Offices and Celebrity Brand Ambassador

Vying for Asia’ Super Affluent: Family Offices and Celebrity Brand Ambassador

(26 November 2020 – Asia) Family offices are raising in popularity in Asia as the region excluding Japan is set to overtake western Europe as the second-wealthiest region in the world by 2022, according to projections by Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

There are about 200 single-family offices in Singapore, managing an estimate of US$20 billion in total. From 2017 to 2019, the number of family offices in Singapore grew by five times, while Hong Kong has recently launched Family Office Association Hong Kong to represent the industry's interests.

Family offices are attracted to Singapore because of the region’s growth potential, and they see the city state as a gateway to Asia, said DBS Private Bank regional head of wealth planning, family office and insurance solutions Lee Woon Shiu.

"Family offices putting their money to work in Singapore are looking for investment opportunities across ASEAN — not just in regional financial markets and real estate, but also in opportunities with local business owners from business lines that are similar to theirs," Lee said.

By contrast, “Hong Kong’s viability as a centre of family office activity in the years ahead is in the hands of Beijing,” according to a commentary by Family Capital. “Questions over Hong Kong’s independence from a much more interventionist mainland China have grown in the last year as Beijing has taken a more strident approach to the city’s freedoms.”

"Asia is an exciting place for people to look at investment opportunities, and it's recovering probably earlier than other markets from the pandemic,” said HSBC wealth and personal banking Hong Kong head of customer wealth Sami Abouzahr.

Meanwhile, HSBC has appointed Aaron Kwok Fu-shing, one of Canto-pop’s “Four Heavenly Kings”, as ambassador for its Jade prestige banking services as part of the bank’s latest efforts in tapping growing wealth in China.

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