Keep­ing it in the Fam­ily

Fam­ily of­fices can be a strate­gic tool to cre­ate a suc­cess­ful le­gacy, writes Ryan Andrews

Hong Kong Tatler - - Tatler Focus -

n eco­nomic slow­down in Asia con­tin­ues to af­fect wealth cre­ation, but it has not stopped the growth of fam­ily of­fices, as un­sat­is­fied de­mands and un­re­solved fam­ily suc­ces­sion is­sues re­main. The term “fam­ily of­fice” is gen­er­ally used in in­dus­try cir­cles to mean an ar­range­ment in which the of­fice han­dles ba­si­cally any­thing for a wealthy fam­ily, from fi­nan­cial and ad­min­is­tra­tive af­fairs to phil­an­thropic ef­forts and gov­er­nance. At their core, they are con­fi­den­tial pri­vate of­fices for fam­i­lies that have sig­nif­i­cant wealth. Around US$200 mil­lion is usu­ally con­sid­ered the min­i­mum sum to open a fam­ily of­fice be­cause of the scale needed to main­tain an ef­fec­tive strate­gic as­set al­lo­ca­tion.

“Util­is­ing fam­ily of­fices, or en­trust­ing one’s fam­ily wealth and af­fairs to pro­fes­sion­als, is in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar in Asia Pa­cific,” says An­ton Wong, head of the Key Clients Group for Asia Pa­cific at BNP Paribas Wealth Man­age­ment. “This is a nat­u­ral trend, as more of the re­gion’s first-gen­er­a­tion en­trepreneurs are age­ing and pass­ing on the ba­ton to the young, thus re­quir­ing more pro­fes­sional help to main­tain, pre­serve and gov­ern.”

En­rico Mat­toli, head of the Global Fam­ily Of­fice for Greater China at UBS Wealth Man­age­ment, echoes Wong’s sen­ti­ments. “A fam­ily of­fice is a strate­gic tool to cre­ate a suc­cess­ful fam­ily le­gacy,” says Mat­toli. “It fa­cil­i­tates the trans­fer of in­ter­gen­er­a­tional wealth man­age­ment.” He ex­plains that Asia is start­ing to see these first- and sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion transfers of wealth in Hong Kong and Sin­ga­pore. “It’s very ex­cit­ing—it’s the place to be.”

Fam­ily of­fices have a long his­tory in Europe, where they first emerged af­ter the Mid­dle Ages be­fore spread­ing to Amer­ica fol­low­ing the In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion. “Now, in Asia, as sec­ond- and third-gen­er­a­tion in­di­vid­u­als have re­turned

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