Singapore: Switzerland’s secret admirer

By Tom Robertson, Senior Account Executive, FS 

There’s nowhere more exciting to be for wealth than Singapore right now.

In 2022, the financial centre attracted $448 billion in net AUM inflows, 15.8 per cent higher than previous years. But why has a presence in this country become so essential for fund managers, family offices and intermediaries? Singapore has long been a beneficiary of wealth from the Chinese mainland, and this ramped up significantly following China’s 2020 encroachment on Hong Kong – previously a free-market competitor to Singapore. And with US-China relations particularly strained, Singapore has become the vessel for (U)HNW individuals to manager their wealth. And with a recession that is not expected to hit the Asian markets in the same way as the West, the landscape has been set for Singapore to reap the rewards. It most definitely has taken its opportunity to become a financial superpower.

The country has set up an attractive tax structure and strong fund regime, alongside an internationally respected financial regulator to go alongside its political stability and neutrality that has earned it the nickname of the Switzerland of Asia. For international family offices, the draw has been too big to turn down. China is responsible for one third of the total global net worth growth since 2000, and isn’t slowing down any time soon. And keen not to miss out on the action, western firms are also moving their APAC headquarters to Singapore.

Without a doubt therefore, it’s an exciting time for players in the APAC private wealth space, but how can businesses capitalise on this rapid influx? For multi-family offices, now is the time to highlight your presence in Singapore, whether you’ve been based here for two months or two years, getting in front of your target market with the right message is essential. The Singapore revolution is more than definitely underway, and if Singapore can continue to hold its attractive pull for wealthy families from across China and further afield, it looks like it’s going to be a stronghold for private capital for many years to come.

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