Asian Wealth Solutions Forum 2019 - Exclusive Insights - Anuj Kagalwala

Anuj Kagalwala of PwC

Nov 13, 2019

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1. Is Singapore becoming the ‘go-to’ centre in Asia for HNWIs and ultra-HNW families?

Video transcript

1. Is Singapore becoming the ‘go-to’ centre in Asia for HNWIs and ultra-HNW families?

So the short answer to that is yes. Let's explain why that is happening. So before we even compare Sin-gapore with our competitor, Hong Kong, let's just look at what's happening globally around onshorisa-tion of funds. So traditionally we used to set up funds, or even families used to set up their PIC's, in Cayman Islands, BVI. But over the last decade or so, we have seen that move towards onshorisation. So families are preferring simpler structures. They want to have their investment holding companies in locations where their private bankers are there, service providers are there, fund managers, invest-ment team, etc. The second reason is they see costs lower to be if they are located in an onshore juris-diction. So, if you look at setting up offshore, you need a separate set of board of directors, you have some travel costs, an additional layer of advisers and so on and so forth. So, what has happened is, as a result of that, we are seeing a lot of funds, private companies, PICs, locating themselves in the loca-tions where the investment teams are, where the private bankers are. And in that sphere, if you look at Asia, there's only two real jurisdictions where you can have that, which is Singapore and Hong Kong. So really, between the two, maybe we get 50/50, but I would say we get 80/20, primarily because the tax and legal framework here (in Singapore) is perhaps more suitable for private clients.

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