Asia-Pacific offshore centres offer unprecedented opportunities to wealth management firms
For Singapore and Hong-Kong, already praised for their maturity as financial centres, a golden age may be on the way. New research indicates that Asia Pacific now counts the largest population of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) in the world, surpassing North America for the first time. This, the RBC/Capgemini report suggests, could help both city-states become world-leading offshore wealth centres.
Singapore and Hong-Kong are indeed becoming increasingly attractive investment destinations. They offer the region’s HNWIs geographical proximity, cultural and linguistic affiliation and engaging, transparent regulators. They can also provide access to fast-growing but highly regulated markets, such as India and China, and help diversify away from domestic country risk.
For firms seeking to capitalise on their growth, of course, challenges remain. The scarcity of skilled wealth managers could hamper their ability to serve large number of clients, and they are bound to face an increasingly strict regulatory environment. But provided firms invest in key areas – advisory and legal expertise, product offerings, and IT infrastructure – the report finds no reason why the rise of regional offshore centres shouldn’t present golden opportunities for wealth managers, too.