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Asian wealth management benefits as Hong Kong regains international status

Asian wealth management benefits as Hong Kong regains international status

18 April, 2024
Africa, Asia & Middle East Private Clients Trust Services Private Foundation Private Fund Formation Private Company Succession Planning Private Client Family Office

Hong Kong is regaining its status as an international financial centre and is boosting the Asian wealth management sector as a whole, Ocorian, the specialist provider of fundcorporate and fiduciary services believes.

European and US firms are increasingly selecting Hong Kong as their preferred jurisdiction for launching in Asia after years of looking to Singapore, family offices are relocating from Singapore to Hong Kong.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and political unrest in Hong Kong had knocked its international reputation but that is now changing with more family offices opening and firms investing in their operations and making acquisitions, Ocorian says.

The switch back to Hong Kong is positive for Asia in general and the wealth management and private client sector with Singapore retaining specialisations in shipping, maritime, private banking and wealth management while Hong Kong is the hub for North Asia and dominant for capital raising.

Ocorian is investing in the region with recent acquisitions including leading corporate services provider A- Pass and is committed to further acquisitions across Asia.

One advantage for Hong Kong in the family office sector is that organisations can operate as family offices as long as they meet legal requirements while in Singapore organisations have to apply for a licence to operate as a family office, which can take between 12 to 18 months before they can open for business.

Robin Harris, Head of APAC at Ocorian, said: “A lot of the scar tissue and muscle memory has faded as international investors increasingly recognise the ongoing strengths of Hong Kong as an international financial centre. It is objectively a very attractive place to position yourself.

“Hong Kong's strategic location at the heart of Asia makes it a gateway to the vast Chinese market and an important hub for connecting global markets. Its extensive networks with the rest of the world and close financial integration with mainland China provide businesses with valuable opportunities for growth and expansion.

“Hong Kong's free flow of capital allows for efficient movement of funds, making it an attractive destination for investors and businesses. Additionally, the city's simple and competitive tax regime, with low tax rates and various tax incentives, further enhances its appeal as a financial hub.

“Since 2017/18 its huge strengths have been somewhat overlooked and while Hong Kong is now more oriented to the mainland it is repositioning itself with Western investors which is a win-win for the Asian wealth management sector in general with more foreign companies coming to the region.”

Ocorian is a leading provider of credit fund administration services and versatile SPV structures and solutions. From straightforward holding structures to multi-domiciled sub-fund SPVs, Ocorian’s teams have the regulatory knowledge and experience in managing complex structures across multiple jurisdictions.

Ocorian’s private client practitioners provide a seamless and holistic approach to the challenges and opportunities families face. It’s regulatory and compliance consultancy is at hand and as it boasts a dedicated team in APAC who can assist with the interpretation and practical application of the regulations and implement frameworks to help firms manage their regulatory risks effectively.

For more information, go to Ocorian’s expert professional services team.