While family offices have been well established in the US and Europe, its development is only nascent in Asia. The region experienced a boom in wealth creation largely in the last two generations, and as Asia is minting new ultra-wealthy individuals at a faster rate than any other in the world, there has been a surge in demand to preserve family legacy and wealth.
It is a colossal task navigating complex family needs today. As many of the older generations are looking for a structured way to hand over the reins, the younger generation is inclined to institutionalise the set-up, for example by having investment professionals manage disciplined investment mandates.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) reports that the number of family offices grew by 5 times between 2017 and 2019. This is confirmed by much publicized activity in recent years as a slew of high-profile entrepreneurs have set up family office in Singapore, for example the richest man in Singapore now is Zhang Yong, Chairman of the popular Sichuan hotpot chain Haidilao. Other notable examples include Facebook CoFounder Eduardo Saverin, and Sir James Dyson, the British inventor entrepreneur.
It is heartening to see this development as Singapore remains a choice destination not only for Asians who are attracted by the stability of this city-state, as its surrounding neighbours are engulfed in political upheaval, but also, entrepreneurs from developed nations who see the opportunities Singapore present.