What it takes to serve families in Asia
While the family office model remains in its infancy in Asia, the region's wealthiest are increasingly turning their backs on private banks and embracing the concept of working with independent advisers that can meet the specific needs of their families, said panel members at Hubbis' Wealth Planning Forum 2013 in Singapore in early November.
What global tax transparency means for wealth managers
As more and more countries sign up to FATCA and inter-governmental agreements, clients need to realise that their data will not be kept secret, said panel members at Hubbis' Wealth Planning Forum 2013 in Singapore in early November. While most wealth management firms are not qualified to give tax advice, they should encourage clients to speak to specialists.
Consequences of the rapid pace of regulatory change
As the international regulatory playing field levels out, firms will have no choice but to comply, and the industry will become a fairer place. But the changes are raising a number of concerns among clients relating to the privacy and security of their personal data.
Things to consider when choosing a trustee
According to practitioners, some independent trust companies are better positioned than banks to deliver the right levels of service and advice on succession planning. However, price, brand, reputation, and size continue to be important considerations for clients in Asia.
Knowing the cost of everything but the value of nothing
A major challenge for wealth planning practitioners is getting clients to pay for their services. For this reason, most private banks don't charge for wealth planning advice. But there is only so much they can throw in for free, and often, sending the client to see an external specialist would be in everyone's best interests.
Many countries are promoting themselves as centres for financial, corporate and fiduciary services. When deciding where to set up a particular structure, it is imperative to determine what the client wants to achieve, as well as what their main priorities and concerns are.
Catering to the needs of China's wealthy
China's high net worth individuals are young and mobile. Their investments are also very international. Wealth planners are therefore seeing increased interest among mainland Chinese clients in cross-border structuring for asset holding purposes.
The broader needs of wealthy clients
As the region's wealthy grow even richer, there is a need to provide more holistic advice that addresses the complex needs of the wider family. The question, though, is whether clients are willing to pay.
Indonesia: keeping it in the family
Nisha Singh, senior associate at Berwin Leighton Paisner, explains how Indonesian clients are keen to preserve the family wealth and the family business- and how some are now taking a more proactive approach to achieving these goals.
The need for wealth structuring in Asia
Asia's expanding ranks of high net worth and ultra-high net worth families are increasingly reaching out to specialists for advice on structuring their wealth - for a variety of different reasons.
Why banks must invest in infrastructure
Jean-Luc Anglada of CIC outlines the key challenges private banks face in Asia today - and the importance of investing in infrastructure and technology, despite rising costs.
Bringing wealth planning to less mature Asian markets
Nigel Rivers of TMF Group articulates the opportunity that less mature markets like China and Indonesia present to firms offering wealth planning - particularly with regard to the high numbers of Asian families that have members outside of Asia.
Remaining competitive in 2014
Philipp Piaz of Finaport outlines what 2014 holds for independent firms - and what clients want from advisers today and going forward.
Why Singapore is a top choice for structuring
Woon Hum Tan, partner, trust, asset & wealth management at Shook Lin & Bok in Singapore, explains how Singapore is becoming an attractive and viable centre for wealth structuring - both for Asian and European investors. For clients looking to evade taxes, Singapore is not an option. But setting up an offshore structure in Singapore can still offer a number of other attractive benefits.
Why secrecy and lax regulation are long gone
As the world moves towards automatic exchange of information and new standards in terms of transparency, jurisdictions that previously sold themselves on secrecy or lax regulatory standards will cease to exist, says Andrew Miller, partner and head of the global trusts group at Walkers.
Why mainland Chinese are turning to trusts
Katherine Chiu, deputy managing director, Intertrust, articulates the fairly new trend among mainland Chinese for investing in trusts, and describes the opportunity China presents to wealth planners, along with the related challenges.
Weighty consequences for clients with US connections
There are many wealthy individuals in Asia with US citizenship or green card holder status. When thinking about wealth planning and structuring, US tax and information reporting considerations need to be taken into account - but shouldn't become the tail that wags the dog, says Jay Krause, partner and head of wealth planning, Asia, at Withers.
Winners and losers in the world of wealth structuring
The global push for transparency and for reducing international regulatory arbitrage mean that jurisdictions that refuse to play the game will fade from the offshore structuring picture, says Markus Grossmann, managing director at Trident Trust.
Preparing to cater to China's succession planning needs
China's ageing wealthy clearly represent a huge opportunity for firms providing wealth and succession planning services. But not all of these clients are cash-rich, and the nature of the assets in which their wealth is tied up means that more complex structures are required. But the first step is getting them to understand and appreciate the value of such structures, says Markus Grossmann, managing director at Trident Trust.
The rise of 'intelligent onshore' centres
Having a robust legal system and fair application of the law is crucial if a jurisdiction is to serve as a centre for wealth structuring, says Christiaan de Bruyn, director of trust services at Trident Trust in Hong Kong. On top of this, having a network of double tax agreements can be very attractive for clients looking to minimise their tax burden.
The do's and don'ts of international planning
Keith Corbin, executive chairman, Nerine Trust, and Melanie Rihoy, director, Nerine Trust, explain which options are available to clients around wealth preservation and protection - and what clients should think about before setting up a structure.
Tax evaders: nowhere to go
According to Michael Olesnicky, partner at Baker & McKenzie, as governments around the world continue to stamp out tax cheats, evaders will find they have nowhere left to go - because for institutions, having clients with questionable tax practices is simply too risky.
Rethinking how to protect confidentiality and privacy
The international push for transparency means that the concepts of confidentiality and privacy are fast disappearing. But this raises questions about whether individuals' data is going to be secure, according to Sean Coughlan, managing director, and Karen O'Hanlon, director of client services at Asiaciti Trust Singapore.
Realistic thinking: the future of family wealth
Valerie Wu, partner at Lee & Lee, describes how families in Asia are coming to terms with the fact that they must make proper provision for what will happen to their wealth - and the family business - in the long-term.
Priorities for South-East Asian clients transitioning family wealth
Woon Hum Tan, partner & head, trust, asset & wealth management practice at Shook Lin & Bok LLP in Singapore, outlines what's important to South-East Asian families wanting to preserve the family assets for future generations - and the issues these clients often overlook.
Planning for the succession of BVI-based assets
Many Asian clients have shares in BVI companies - but some are not aware of what will happen to those assets in the event of their death, says Paul Christopher, managing partner, Hong Kong at Mourant Ozannes. Implementing a proper succession plan is highly advisable.
How families with US links can manage the tax burden
Many families in Asia have connections with the US, and therefore face various tax obligations, according to Kurt Rademacher, director, international tax practice, and Brad Westerfield, partner, tax group, at Butler Snow. These families can organise their finances to minimise the tax burden - but this must be done carefully, and in line with the rules.
Why Hong Kong's new trust law will lure new business
William Ahern, principal, Family Capital Conservation, explains how the recently announced changes to Hong Kong's trust law will bring more trust business to the jurisdiction in the months ahead.
Dealing with trust-related disputes
When settlors of trusts pass away, trustees carefully consider settlors' wishes. Ian Mann, partner, Harney Westwood & Riegels, explains why it is common for disputes to arise between beneficiaries and trustees - and how such disputes can be avoided.
Dawning of reality - the need for wealth planning
Tan Li-Lee, local head of private client and trusts for Asia at Appleby, highlights the various reasons why more and more wealthy individuals and families across Asia are looking into setting up structures - and what they hope to achieve in doing so.