In part one of our series, ‘Spotlight on Asia – Four Reasons to Set up a Family Office in Hong Kong & Singapore’, Novia Lu, APAC Business Development Director, and Sharon Yam, Regional Head of Asia Pacific, outlined the increase in interest in doing business in APAC. Specifically in Hong Kong, a jurisdiction that has attracted more and more family offices.
Part two casts a light on Singapore and what the jurisdiction has to offer the wealthy and family offices, and how Ocorian can help family offices by applying intellectual solutions to problems.
Family Offices in Singapore
Singapore has, in recent years, emerged as a notable global hub for family offices, attracting wealthy individuals and families from around the world. The city state’s appeal for family offices is grounded in a variety of factors that make it an attractive destination for wealth management and asset preservation. Let’s explore four reasons Singapore has attracted the set up of family offices.
What are the key benefits of setting up a family office in Singapore?
1. Leading the pack with compliance
Singapore stands out as a global leader in compliance and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations, playing a pivotal role in preventing illicit funds from entering the country and ensuring strict adherence to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and KYC guidelines. These regulations are particularly attractive because they represent safety and reliability for those who do business and have investments in Singapore. The commitment to compliance in Singapore has made it a defender of both traditional and digital finance with political stability, strong economic growth and a highly educated and globally connected population.
2. A stable political & economic environment
The stable political environment in Singapore has been instrumental in its socio-economic success and reputation. Visible through its well-established governance framework with effective policies, adherence to rule of law and a commitment to public order.
The stable political and economic environment in Singapore has made it an attractive destination for family offices. Having established itself as a leading International Financial Centre (IFC), it is also considered a gateway to global investment based on its strategic location. Singapore has also ranked third in the 2022 Global Financial Centre Index. It’s pro-business, cost-effective nature makes it attractive for family offices.
3. Strong rule of law
Singapore offers a strong rule of law with clarity on tax and regulatory requirements. What is particularity attractive for family offices in Singapore, are the range of tax incentives grated to family offices in an effort to boost the hiring of locals and investment in the country’s equity markets. According to The Business Times, these incentives drove a surge in the number of family offices in Singapore from 400 at the end of 2020 to 1100 in 2022. The tax and regulatory regime in Singapore is known for its favourability and transparency, making it an attractive destination for businesses and investors. The city state follows a single-tier corporate tax system, where tax paid by a company on its profits is not distributed among shareholders and dividends are tax-free.
4. Influential finance hub
Singapore has consistently been ranked as one of the most business-friendly and competitive economies in the world. According to the World Bank's Doing Business Report, Singapore retained its second place for ease of doing business. The introduction of digital banks has triggered a significant evolution in Singapore's banking sector, opening it up to digital banking and fostering competition. Its global location and access make it attractive for favourable global investments for family offices providing access, competitiveness and agility.
How can Ocorian help?
Ocorian has a wealth of experience and offers a full suite of tailored family office services for single and multi-family office structures. The Ocorian Singapore Trust Company Pte Ltd is the first trust company to be licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and has been in Singapore for almost 20 years.
Our dedicated family office team can provide a seamless and holistic approach to the challenges and opportunities families face. We can support your wealth by acting as an outsourced family office or multi-family office. We work with established family offices or advisors to fill gaps in their in-house provision.
Our ‘Family Offices and the role of third-party service providers’ report, which was published last year, asked more than 130 family offices whether they predict an increase in outsourcing in the next three years, with 91% of respondents predicting an increase in the outsourcing of key services.
Ocorian takes care of the details so that you can enjoy the big picture.
 Business Times, (2023) “Asia’s richest families fuel race for lucrative finance jobs” [Online]
 The Word Bank (2019) “World Bank, Doing Business project”https://www.doingbusiness.org/content/dam/doingBusiness/country/s/singapore/SGP.pdf [Online]