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Hong Kong As A Family Office Location

2021 08 12 HK as Family Office Header

Hong Kong is frequently being touted as a location for family offices to set up and operate. Key drivers for this are:

  • The formation of the Greater Bay Area (GBA) — comprising nine cities in Guangdong province along with Hong Kong and Macau. It is considered one of the world’s fastest-growing economic regions with a combined population of 70 million people and an economy estimated at US$1.65 trillion.
  • The Hurun Research Institute estimate there to be 196 US$ billionaires in Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. These three GBA cities together have the highest concentration of wealthy people in the world.
  • The proposed launch of Wealth Management Connect the first cross border investment scheme in the GBA which is expected to open up China’s financial market and promote economic integration in the GBA.

There has also been an increased focus on promoting Hong Kong as a family office hub by various bodies including the Hong Kong Financial Services Development Council, InvestHK (and their recently formed FamilyOfficeHK division) and the Family Office Association Hong Kong. They highlight Hong Kong’s stable and flexible capital market, free flow of capital, sound legal system and wealth of talent, as making Hong Kong an ideal location for the establishment of family offices.

Singapore provides strong competition in the Asian family office market. The Singapore government has also been targeting the sector. They have introduced specific tax incentives for the sector and also have a well-developed financial services market. Singapore has also had some high profile successes with Sergey Brin, Ray Dalio, Sir James Dyson and Paul Allen understood to have set up family offices in Singapore.

Will the GBA initiative drive Hong Kong’s family office sector to greater heights, or will Singapore’s high profile wins influence others to set up in the Lion City?

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