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Average assets in Singapore family offices nearly double those in Asia-Pacific

ULTRA wealthy families in Singapore have entrusted more of their assets to family offices (FOs), compared to the rest of the Asia-Pacific.

The latest Global Family Office Report 2017, jointly produced by UBS and Campden Wealth, has found that the average assets under management (AUM) of Singapore FOs came to US$857 million, nearly double the amount in Asia-Pacific FOs of US$445 million.

The study surveyed 262 FOs globally. Of these 42 were from Asia-Pacific, and 11 offices in Singapore took part. Globally the average AUM in FOs was around US$921 million.

Investment performance overall rebounded in 2016 to an average return of 7 per cent, compared to just 0.3 per cent in 2015, thanks to a strong showing by equities. Singapore FOs registered a return of 6.6 per cent.

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Among Asian FOs, there is keen interest in private investments, which include private equity and co-investment opportunities. There is also growing interest in impact investing or investments with an ESG (environment, social and governance) theme.

Anurag Mahesh, UBS head of global family office (APAC), said: "In 2016 Asian FOs dialled up risk allocations which resulted in higher equity allocations (and)... markedly improved performance over the prior year. In 2017, given current valuations, Asian FOs are currently focused on risk management and evaluating private equity and credit opportunities as against just public market opportunities while diversifying away from their home region."

Almost half of respondents in the region cite succession planning as a priority. Singapore FOs appear to be ahead in this, with 67 per cent in the process of developing a succession plan.