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Family office advisers get a lift with skills map launched by IBF, MAS

A SKILLS map for family office advisers to deepen specialist skill sets was launched on Monday by the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore (IBF) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), as part of efforts to enhance Singapore’s growing family office ecosystem.

The Family Office Advisor Skills Map sets out the skills and competencies that professionals advising family offices should possess, such as wealth planning administration and corporate governance.

The Family Office Advisor role will expand the career pathway for private banking relationship managers under the Skills Framework for Financial Services.

The skills map was co-created over the past year with the financial services industry, and legal and tax advisers, in consultation with SkillsFuture Singapore. It aims to be a valuable resource for training providers and financial institutions to design and calibrate relevant training curriculum, and for family offices to refer to when hiring new recruits.

Benny Chey, assistant managing director (development and international), MAS, noted that the family office community in Singapore has “continued to grow strongly in numbers and sophistication over the past few years due to our strong rule of law, sound financial regulation, as well as ready access to global and regional financial markets”.

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“Our family office professionals must continuously deepen and grow relevant skill sets and competencies to provide valued advice and customised solutions that meet their clients’ needs and aspirations,” he said. “The launch of the Family Office Advisor Skills Map is timely and will further propel efforts to lift our family office capabilities to a new level.”

Training programmes accredited by IBF under the skills map will be able to benefit from the IBF-Standards Training Scheme (IBF-STS) grant which offsets training expenses. IBF and MAS have introduced enhanced course fee subsidies for IBF-STS accredited courses of up to 95 per cent and a Training Allowance Grant for locals who participate in such courses, in light of challenges brought about by Covid-19.

In addition, private banking professionals who have acquired the relevant skills and experience will be able to apply for IBF certification.

On the launch, Desmond Teo, EY Asia-Pacific Family Enterprise Leader said that the skills map is "timely and forward-looking in proactively enhancing our talent pool to meet the changing market demands and the breadth and depth of the needs of family offices".

He pointed out that globally, there are significant capital shifts to private markets – it is estimated that family offices and business-owning families are controlling a combined capital of about US$8 trillion globally. He also observed that single family offices for Singapore and foreign families have increasingly taken root especially over the past six years.

"Unlike family offices in the US and Europe whose families may be into their fourth generation or beyond, many single family offices in Singapore are supporting Asian families that are in their second or third generations." he said. "As Asian families grow beyond the third generation, they typically expand their asks of family offices to become  steward of future generations and cover more complex needs in inheritance management, philanthropy, governance and other support."

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