Setting up a Family Office in Singapore

What is a Family Office?

A family office is a private wealth management advisory firm that serves wealthy families and individuals. Its primary objective is to manage the financial and personal affairs of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and their families.

A family office typically provides a range of services, including investment management, tax planning, estate planning, philanthropic planning, risk management, and concierge services. The office acts as a central point of contact for all aspects of a family’s financial affairs. It aims to coordinate the efforts of various professionals, such as accountants, lawyers, and investment managers.

The family office model is designed to provide personalized and comprehensive support to wealthy families. By having a dedicated team of professionals to manage their affairs, families can streamline their financial management and minimize potential conflicts of interest. Family offices can also provide continuity of services across generations, ensuring that a family’s wealth and values are preserved for the long term.

Who are some of the well-known family offices in Singapore?

There are several well-known family offices in Singapore, including:

  • Temasek Holdings – a state-owned investment company that manages a diversified portfolio of assets on behalf of the Singapore government.
  • GIC Private Limited – a sovereign wealth fund that manages Singapore’s foreign reserves.
  • The Kuok Group – founded by Malaysian-born billionaire Robert Kuok, the Kuok Group is a diversified conglomerate with interests in real estate, hospitality, and agriculture.
  • The Kwee family – the Kwee family is known for their real estate holdings, including the iconic Raffles Hotel in Singapore.
  • The Lee family – the Lee family is best known for their involvement in politics, with several members having served as prime minister of Singapore. They also have interests in real estate and banking.
  • The Wee family – the Wee family is the controlling shareholder of United Overseas Bank, one of Singapore’s largest banks.
  • The Lim family – the Lim family is known for their ownership of the Genting Group, a multinational corporation with interests in gaming, hospitality, and entertainment.

How to set up a Family Office?

Setting up a family office in Singapore involves a number of steps and considerations. Here are some general guidelines:

  1. There are two main types of family offices: single-family offices (SFOs) and multi-family offices (MFOs). SFOs serve a single ultra-high-net-worth family, while MFOs serve multiple families. You need to decide which type of family office is suitable for your needs.
  2. If you plan to offer financial services or advice, you will need to be licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). You can approach us to determine the licenses required for your business activities.
  3. You need to hire a team of professionals to run the family office. This team may include investment managers, tax and legal experts, and support staff.
  4. You need to set up a legal entity for your family office. This may be in the form of a company, a trust, or a limited partnership. You can approach us to determine the appropriate legal structure for your needs.
  5. You need to establish investment strategies that align with your family’s goals and risk tolerance.
  6. You need to choose service providers such as custodians, banks, and advisors.
  7. You need to establish governance policies that govern the operations of your family office. These policies should cover areas such as investment decision-making, risk management, and compliance.
  8. You need to establish reporting and communication processes to keep your family members informed about the activities of the family office.
  9. You need to comply with anti-money laundering regulations, data protection regulations, and tax regulations. You can approach us to find out more about these regulations.
  10. You should review and refine your strategy on a regular basis. This is to ensure that it remains aligned with your family’s goals and objectives.

Overall, setting up a family office in Singapore can be a complex process. Talk to us today to find out more.