Family Office Masterclass Introductory Remarks by Deputy Director General of Labuan FSA



25 NOVEMBER 2015

Bismillah Hi Rahman Nir Rahim

Assalamua’laikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

Good morning

Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of Labuan FSA, l would like to welcome all of you to the Masterclass on Family Office. We are pleased to see so many of you here, coming from a diverse cross section of participants of the Labuan IBFC industry. Your interest in the business of family office is indeed heartening. I also wish to thank our expert speaker, Ms Carol Seah, who have travelled from Singapore to share her knowledge and experience with us in this two- day training on family office.
Things are certainly moving very fast in the financial and business world. Innovation in investment products and financial services, technological advancements, changing needs of clients, and regulatory enhancements are posing new challenges and at the same time opportunities for service providers in the wealth management sector. Hence, there is a need for more professional education and training programmes to enhance the level of knowledge and competencies in wealth management.

This masterclass is organized as part of Labuan FSA’s corporate action plan to enhance capacity and capability in the financial industry of Labuan IBFC, in particular focusing on growth potential businesses such as wealth management. More training programmes are in the pipeline for the Labuan IBFC industry next year and we hope to see better and continued participation from the industry players.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Family office management is an aspect of wealth management solutions. As you are aware, Labuan IBFC has been putting in efforts to develop wealth management business. We even has declared the year 2013 as wealth management year, with a focus on the Asia Pacific region. Although the majority of the 5,000 plus family offices originated from the US and Europe, the wealthy Asians are fast embracing the concept of family offices. The wealth in the Asia-Pacific region has now surpassed that of Europe. According to reports, the Asian HNWI population stands at 23,000 with a total wealth of US$2.6 trillion as compared to Europe with 22,000 individuals worth a total of US$2.3 trillion.

Last year, Asia Pacific led all regions to record the highest rates worldwide in terms of high-net-worth individual population and wealth growth The Asia-Pacific accounted for about 40% of high net-worth population and wealth created worldwide.
It is expected that the growing wealth in Asia Pacific will correspond with rising demand for more innovative wealth management products and solutions. Indeed, the demands and the sophistication of the Asia Pacific rich are compelling the wealth management industry to change or realign business models, increase the use of technology, and to offer innovative solutions. Wealth owners are pursuing customised solutions.
This requires wealth managers and related service providers to know and understand the needs of their clients, a task made more difficult by the diversity of clients and their needs. The wealthy in Indonesia would have different objectives and needs from those in say Thailand.
But as the growth of wealth in Asia continues its trend, it presents tremendous opportunities in wealth management industry. And this is where the concept of family office can increase its traction in Asia Pacific to cater to needs of the ultra-rich in areas such as tax planning, succession planning, philanthropy, legacy and inheritance purposes.
And while Labuan IBFC’s comprehensive wealth management solutions for investment, asset protection and succession planning continue to entice high net-worth individuals to use the centre as evidenced by the double digit growth in the number of wealth related structures, we would like to see growth in this sector. We would certainly like to see family offices being established in Labuan IBFC.
Indeed, the Labuan solution is well backed up by a comprehensive legislation covering both conventional and Islamic, availability of relevant and good service providers and expertise, cost efficiency, and strings of structures and solutions supported by good regulatory oversight. It is also strategically located in the middle of the Asia Pacific region making the need for substance creation as cost efficient and convenient.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Labuan FSA will continue to facilitate capacity and capability building programmes such as today’s masterclass for the Labuan IBFC players to enable you to compete for businesses regionally or globally. Today’s topic is on Family Office, but for tomorrow do tell what you want to learn. This is important because in all survey or brand audit that we have conducted with customers, talent and competency or the lack of it, has always been cited as a deficiency of Labuan IBFC. I can quote some of unpleasant remarks that have been said in the surveys but I do not want to spoil your day. Therefore, we all need to embark on a steep learning curve particularly in the products and services, the regulatory requirements of doing business in Labuan IBFC and on how we engage with clients and potential investors.
On that note, I will now hand over to the expert share with you her insights and experiences in Family Office. But first allow me do some introduction on our speaker. Ms. Carol Seah, the founder and the Chief Executive Officer of WYNNES Family Group has over 30 years accumulated experiences in various fields including broadcasting, telecommunications and finance. Graduated from National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Engineering, she is now a certified Chartered Family Office Specialist by the Family Office Institute in Florida, U.S.
I wish you all a fruitful session. Seize today this opportunity to ask questions and get better understanding on the concept of Family Office.

Thank you
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