More and more wealth in Singapore

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 The number of family offices - companies that manage the lives and assets of the wealthiest clans - rose to 1,100 at the end of last year, from just 400 in 2020

Article by Tommaso Magrini

Singapore is getting richer. The assets managed by the city-state asset management industry have doubled in just six years, reaching about 4,000 billion dollars and about 80% of these assets are foreign. Blackrock Inc. is expanding into Singapore, as is the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. Swiss banks are also expanding: UBS Group AG’s offices dominate an entire block in a prominent shopping district, with a staff of 3,000, a private gym and a cappuccino bar. The rapid rise of money management is the result of a very specific project. In 2020 the government introduced a new type of legal structure, called a variable capital company, which provides tax and legal incentives to hedge fund, venture capital and private equity companies that settle in Singapore, similar to offshore hub programs. Since last October, more than 600 companies have benefited from the new program. Some of the world’s largest money managers have settled in Singapore, including Marshall Wace, Citadel Enterprise Americas of Griffin and D.E. Shaw. Billionaire Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management has expanded its Singapore team by over 50%, reaching 100 people. Overall, hedge fund assets grew by 30% in 2021, reaching $191 billion. The number of family offices - companies that manage the lives and assets of the richest clans - rose to 1,100 at the end of last year, from just 400 in 2020. Among the incentives to have contributed are the 2019 tax changes and a program that provides a fast track to residence for the ultra wealthy. Singapore is also benefiting from the willingness of several companies seeking diversification in the region or a basis for wider Asian operations beyond mainland China and Hong Kong.

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