Reply to Parliamentary Question on registration or licensing of family offices setting up operations in Singapore
Answer by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Minister in charge of MAS:
1. Family offices can be either multi-family offices (MFOs) that manage third party assets of two or more families, or single family offices (SFOs) that manage assets belonging to only one family. MFOs are subject to licensing and regulation under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA), which provides safeguards to protect the interests of the different families served by the MFO. As SFOs manage the monies of a single family, they are not subject to licensing and regulation under the SFA. There are no plans to review the current licensing and regulatory approach for SFOs, which is also similar to that in other major jurisdictions.
2. MAS does not have comprehensive data on the areas that family offices in Singapore invest in. Investments typically span a globally diversified portfolio of assets including commodities, equities, fixed income, foreign exchange, insurance, structured products, private equity and venture capital.
3. There is also increasing interest from SFOs in ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance)-related investments, private equity and venture capital investments which supports local and regional start-ups, and philanthropic and impact investments in Singapore and the region. Local investments by SFOs in Singapore could also increase as more SFOs set up here.