In recent years, Singapore has emerged as a global hotspot for family offices, drawing in a significant number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals seeking to manage their wealth effectively and contribute to the local economy. With its stable political and economic environment, strategic Asian gateway location, and a robust financial infrastructure, Singapore has attracted notable names like US investor Ray Dalio and Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The surge in registered family offices continues to grow, with a staggering 192 established in just the first four months of 2023. This follows a pattern of substantial growth, with 690 new family offices in 2022 and 672 in 2021.

As the number of family offices grows, so do the economic benefits for Singapore. The expansion of this sector has led to the creation of jobs, with the family office industry generating approximately 1,400 new positions for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents. The broader impact, however, raises questions about the societal and community value that family offices bring beyond economic growth.

Singapore’s rise as a family office hub

Singapore’s rapid ascent as a family office hub can be attributed to a confluence of factors that have made it an irresistible destination for wealthy individuals and families seeking a stable and conducive environment to manage their wealth.

  1. Economic and political stability. Singapore boasts a remarkable track record of political stability and economic growth. Its prudent fiscal policies and transparent legal framework provide a secure foundation for wealth preservation and growth. Investors are drawn to the assurance that their wealth will be safeguarded in a predictable and reliable environment.
  2. Strategic geographical location. Singapore’s strategic location in the heart of Asia positions it as a gateway to the burgeoning markets of the region. Investors recognize the advantage of having a base in Singapore for easier access to opportunities across Asia, from China to India, and the entire ASEAN bloc.
  3. Financial infrastructure. The city-state’s well-developed financial infrastructure, including a robust banking system, a thriving asset management industry, and world-class financial services, provides comprehensive solutions for wealth management. Access to a wide array of financial instruments, investment opportunities, and expert advisors is readily available.
  4. Regulatory framework. Singapore’s regulatory framework is both stringent and flexible, providing an ideal balance for family offices. Stringent enough to ensure compliance and financial security, yet flexible enough to accommodate the unique needs and preferences of individual families.
  5. Talent pool. The availability of a highly skilled and multilingual workforce in Singapore further enhances its appeal. Talented professionals in finance, legal, and advisory services are readily accessible to assist family offices in achieving their financial objectives.
  6. Quality of life. The exceptional quality of life in Singapore, including world-class healthcare, education, and a safe environment, makes it an attractive destination for families seeking a comfortable and prosperous life.

The significance of philanthropy for family offices

Beyond the pursuit of financial prosperity, family offices are increasingly recognizing the importance of philanthropy. For many, wealth is not just a means to accumulate assets but a tool to create a positive impact on society. A case in point: Mr. Chen Yong Xiong, an entrepreneur from Shenzhen, China, has become a notable figure in both business and philanthropy in Singapore. His relocation to Singapore in 2020 is driven by a commitment to give back to the community, particularly focusing on supporting dementia and underprivileged education, while his family office, Yongjing Family Office, serves as an example of responsible wealth management integrated with social responsibility in Singapore’s financial landscape.

Here’s why philanthropy holds a crucial place in the world of family offices:

  1. Legacy and values. Family offices often serve as stewards of a family’s legacy and values. By engaging in philanthropy, families can leave a lasting impact aligned with their principles and beliefs. It allows them to contribute positively to the world and pass down a legacy of giving to future generations.
  2. Social responsibility. Wealth comes with social responsibility. Many family offices understand the ethical and moral obligation to give back to the community and help those less fortunate. Philanthropy is a way to address societal challenges and contribute to the common good.
  3. Reputation and networking. Philanthropy can enhance a family office’s reputation and foster valuable relationships. Engaging in meaningful philanthropic activities can create a positive image in both the local and global communities, potentially opening doors to new opportunities and partnerships.
  4. Personal fulfillment. For many family office owners and their families, philanthropy provides a sense of personal fulfillment and purpose. The act of giving and witnessing the positive outcomes can be deeply satisfying and meaningful.

Contributing to Singapore’s society

As new family offices set up in Singapore, they have the opportunity to become integral parts of the vibrant Singaporean society. Beyond wealth management, they can play a significant role in contributing to the local community. Here’s how:

  1. Collaborate with local charities and NGOs. One of the most direct ways for family offices to contribute is by collaborating with local charities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These organizations are often at the forefront of addressing critical societal issues, such as poverty alleviation, education, healthcare, and environmental conservation. Family offices can provide financial support, expertise, and resources to amplify the impact of these organizations.
  2. Establish philanthropic foundations. Setting up a philanthropic foundation is a structured way for family offices to channel their charitable efforts. These foundations can focus on specific causes that resonate with the family’s values and priorities. By establishing a foundation in Singapore, family offices can leverage the city’s favorable regulatory environment and infrastructure for charitable giving.
  3. Support education and skill development. Education is a cornerstone of societal progress. Family offices can contribute to Singapore’s education system by funding scholarships, educational programs, or vocational training initiatives. By investing in education, family offices help equip the future workforce with the skills and knowledge needed for a dynamic and competitive global economy.
  4. Foster entrepreneurship and innovation. Singapore is a thriving hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. Family offices can support the growth of startups and innovative ventures by providing funding, mentorship, and networking opportunities. This not only drives economic growth but also fosters a culture of innovation within the country.
  5. Engage in environmental conservation. Environmental sustainability is a global imperative. Family offices can support environmental conservation efforts in Singapore by funding projects related to clean energy, conservation of natural habitats, and sustainability initiatives. This contributes to a greener and more sustainable future for Singapore.


In conclusion, the emergence of new family offices in Singapore signifies not only a wealth management opportunity but also a chance to make a positive impact on society. Singapore’s appeal as a family office hub, combined with the growing recognition of the importance of philanthropy, provides a unique platform for these offices to contribute meaningfully to the local community. As these family offices navigate the complexities of wealth management, they have the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy of compassion, generosity, and positive change in the vibrant tapestry of Singaporean society.

Irfan Zack is the General Manager of Yongjing Family Office.

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