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Spread your wings - with a luxe card

WHO says a credit card is just that and nothing else?

In this latest edition of Wealth, we tap into the rarefied world of high-end luxe credit cards, where the entry ticket may be an annual income of S$500,000 or assets under management in the millions of dollars.

For most holders of luxe credit cards, travel is a priority - for business or leisure. Card issuers try to outdo each other through hotel perks and complimentary travel insurance. But the heart of the competition is in the earn rate for air miles, which varies slightly among the issuers.

A higher annual fee - in the thousands of dollars - will typically earn you extra bonus miles, which cardmembers find attractive as they offer value for Business or First Class airfare, compared to paying in cash.

In this edition, we offer you insights into family businesses. First off is our At The Helm profile of Jeremy Lim, chief operating officer of luxury watch retailer Cortina Holdings.

Despite grappling with major crises in the past - the outbreak of SARS and the 2008 financial meltdown, Cortina has maintained an enviable record of profitability. Mr Lim, who was an auditor with KPMG before he joined the family business, keeps a watchful eye on costs, particularly inventory management.

In our Business Family Insights column, we profile Derrick Yap, chief executive of PBA Group which has built a presence in automation and robotics in the region. Mr Yap, who recently turned 40, has made succession planning a priority, with the goal of ensuring PBA's longevity for generations. PBA was set up by his father Tony Yap.

Already he has made strides in terms of legacy. He has formed a board of directors and developed a ''creed'' to define PBA's ethos and to serve as a guide for hiring. He has also instilled a culture of giving through RACE (Robotics Automation Centre of Excellence Academy), a not-for-profit initiative to train people who desire to work in the manufacturing industry of the future.

Elsewhere in this edition, we also examine impact investments through a fund. UOB Venture Management and Credit Suisse are planning a second Asia Impact Investment Fund, following the success of their first fund. Seah Kian Wee, UOBVM chief executive, shares insights into the criteria for selecting impact investments and the discipline behind the measurement of impact.

In our Roundtable, experts discuss the outlook for fixed income given today's uncertain macro environment. Fixed income asset prices continue to hold firm, and yields are relatively low. Still, there are opportunities in Asian high yield, even as default rates in high yield are expected to creep up.

And in Lifestyle, the limelight is on neighbouring Desaru, which at the moment is not linked to luxury. But as our writer Rahita Elias discovers, this is about to change. Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas is accepting bookings for December, and One&Only Desaru is slated to open in early 2020.

We hope you enjoy this edition and wish you a rewarding investment journey.

Genevieve Cua

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