Wealth Management

Wealth Management

Wealth Management: Family Offices in Singapore

Singapore’s wealth management industry is developing due to the various benefits that the country offers to its participants. The tax laws, stable political policies, regulatory environment and many more factors make it an important place from the point of view of wealth management. In spite of this, there are some major challenges that are face by Family Offices to set up business here. The study looks into some of these challenges. The primary research helps understand the development of Family Office concept in Singapore till date. It also throws light upon the huge untapped market in Asia for Family Offices.

The wealth in Asia is increasing because of the various initiatives taken by local governments making it an investment and tax haven. The economies of Asian countries are the fastest growing leaving enormous market for the wealth management service providers to establish themselves. In spite of recession, Asia is recovering at a pace unparalleled by any other economy in the world. Singapore remains an attractive destination for the wealth of the world. With most of the major banks and other financial institutions having their central hubs in Singapore. The country is poise to become a leader in wealth management services in Asia and in the world.

Service Provider

The service providers need to understand the cultural and individual needs of the people in Asia which will give them the foothold they need to become permanent and structured Family Offices in Asia giving them access to a mammoth amount of wealth and a new and different clientele.

Family Office is a professional organization that manages the wealth of very rich families. The main objective is to protect the family’s assets and investments not only for the current generation but also for subsequent ones. It acts as a chief advisor to the family providing personalized services. Creative business leadership, technical expertise and day to day management. UNHW families prefer Family Office over the other wealth management service providers due to customization and privacy. Family Offices can be divide into two types: Single Family Office (SFO) and Multi Family Office (MFO). An SFO is set up for an individual family and is normally head by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or head of the family.


An MFO caters to more than one family. They are similar to SFOs in the sense that they are meant for ultra high net worth families. But unlike SFO’s they serve more than one affluent family. In Asia, the concept of a Family Office is yet in infant stage and is not as developed as it is in US and Europe. Here, instead of one office looking after the wealth of the family. There are many experts from various fields providing the services to these families. The experts include private banks, lawyers, external asset managers, trusted employees, independent advisors and trust & fiduciary companies. These experts have usually had long term relationship with the family or are establish players in the wealth management industry.

Wealth Management Practice at Its Best

They collaborate and work together through a gate keeper for the family who looks after its best interest. This has led to the development of the concept of a hybrid model of Family Office in Asia. On one side, there are Family Offices which represent the ideal wealth management practice and can rightly be termed as ‘Wealth Management Practice at Its Best.’ On the other end of the spectrum, there are financial service players and lifestyle enablers. To who are in a good position to develop towards the ideal wealth management model. In essence, the family office works with the clients to create a tailor-made multi-dimensional strategic plan that addresses all the different aspects of wealth management, which become more complex and time-consuming as your wealth and tax brackets rise.

Paradigm Shift

The family office also coordinates numerous experts in key areas like investment management, insurance, banking, charitable giving, tax and estate planning, removing the nuisance of administration while leaving the reins of control and important decision making in the hands of the family. Using a family office simplifies all the pieces of wealth management puzzle so that the family can focus on the real important things in life such as hobbies, work and philanthropic interests. By making a paradigm shift in wealth management and embracing the family office concept, greater fulfillment and enjoyment is brought to the lives of families and individuals.

The respondents, i.e. the wealth managers also brought to the front various factors that drive Singapore wealth management industry. It can be concluded that though a full-fledged Family Office approach is yet to build in Singapore. The country is ready to support it politically and economically. That is one of the major reasons why Singapore is attracting by the UHNW Individuals and families. This finding is reiterated by the Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore who says that there is a rise in the Family businesses in the country and that Singapore is in a very good position to serve the ever increasing numbers of UHNWIs in Asia.

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Singapore’s wealth management industry is developing, Its helping a lot people.
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