Single Family Offices

Why Singapore’s Single-Family Offices (SFOs) are now becoming so Hugely Popular?

Singapore’s origin as a financial hub can be traced back to the British colonial time and the sea city in recent years has attracted many tourists and wealthy individuals to its shore for anchoring their businesses and establishing their families.

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The country has demonstrated significant resilience in financial sectors amidst the covid 19 pandemics and performed better than many of its Asian peers by registering new company formation in Singapore.

Individual wealth and private capital have grown significantly over the past decade and Singapore has witnessed a surge in Single-Family Offices (SFOs) growing fivefold over the past couple of years. As confirmed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) the SFOs are neither registered nor licensed entities and as of December 2020, there were some 400 SFOs in Singapore with an estimated asset of USD 20 billion.

What are Single Family Offices?

SFOs are privately managed wealth management entities designed and developed to fulfill the needs of Ultra-High-Net-Worth-Individuals (UHNWIs) by providing unique solutions for wealth, finances and many other affairs of a UHNWI’s family.

Business form:

An SFO structure normally involves a holding company or a trust directly owning both the SFO and the fund entity as assets. Single-family offices are normally formed by wealthy families desirous to manage and control their finances, businesses and various aspects of their lives and each beneficiary is a connected person to the settlers of that trust or a charity.

SFO Incorporation:

Setting up an SFO in Singapore is mostly simple and straightforward however corporate service providers with adequate fund management and administration expertise often become the necessity for effective SFO operations who can help evaluate ongoing NAVs and performance about other asset classes, identify annual audit and exemption requirements, choose annual and semi-annual financial reporting, register with ACRA, engage a company secretary and appoint a nominee shareholder for signing company’s constitution.

Activities carried out by SFOs:

Technologies usually outsourced except for the handling of social media.
Bookkeeping, accounting, budgeting and cash flow planning are often outsourced to accounting services in Singapore.
Tax and wealth planning, only regulatory compliance is done in-house while tax planning is outsourced.
Operations except hiring and employment are usually managed by external services.
Legal services are outsourced.
Family governance, education and succession planning are mostly outsourced.
Charitable services are managed by external sources.
Risk management about fraud and data theft, insurance, managed both in-house and by external agencies.

More About Single-Family Offices

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