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Setting up Trust and Family Office in Singapore

Singapore has always been widely acknowledged as a livable country and city in the world. However, as we all know, the immigration threshold in Singapore has always been relatively high, and there are certain requirements for the applicant’s assets, age, education, business background, language, etc. It is not easy to obtain Singapore Permanent Resident status. Many people mistakenly think that it is difficult to move to Singapore and obtain Singapore Permanent Resident. In fact, there is a simpler way – the “Singapore Family Office” programme! More and more people have obtained Singapore Permanent Resident this way, especially high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs.

On March 10, 2022, GO GLOBAL GEM held the ‘Trust and Family Office’ online webinar, to share insights and knowledge to our valued partners. At the same time, we would like to thank Alicloud for their strong support for the venue and technology! It is such a great honor to have two guests from Bank of Singapore (BOS), Jackson (OCBC subsidiary, Wealth Planner at BOS) and Sherrie (Product Specialist at BOS).

Starting from the two major themes of ‘How to Land in Singapore’ and ‘Singapore Bank Investment Strategy’, they focus on ‘How to achieve asset inheritance and tax avoidance through the trust structure’, ‘How to obtain Singapore Permanent Resident within one month through the family-office channel’, ‘How to manage your wealth well’, and ‘What risks are the markets currently facing?’

Introduction of our speakers

Sherrie Chong
Product Specialist at Bank of Singapore (BOS)

Sherrie is a product specialist at BOS specialising in managed investments. She works closely in the Philippine, ASEAN, Indonesia and Thailand markets, providing tailor-made fund solutions.
Sherrie joined BOS (Hong Kong) in 2019, covering alternative investment and management solutions in the Greater China North Asia region. She just relocated to the Singapore headquarters in 2021.

Before joining Bank of Singapore, she was a Senior Investment Advisor at iFast Financial Limited, where she worked on investment research and portfolio strategy. She has researched over 1000 funds and has been invited to over 100 external workshops to share her investment ideas. Sherrie graduated from City University of Hong Kong with a degree in Business Administration Economics and Finance.

 

Jackson
Wealth Planner at BOS

Jackson is a Wealth Planner at BOS, a subsidiary of OCBC Bank, providing consultation to ultra-high or high net worth clients and families on wealth planning and succession. Before he joined BOS in 2021, he spent the past 4 years at CA Indosuez (Switzerland) SA providing private banking clients with holistic wealth planning to address the different needs of each family, including succession planning and wealth inheritance for families across different jurisdictions.

He also spent four and a half years with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) Singapore and KPMG Malaysia, handling financial audits and corporate tax matters for multinational corporations and listed banks. He is a Qualified Trust and Estate Planner (TEP) of the International Society of Trust and Asset Planning (STEP) and a Fellow Member Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). He is fluent in English, Mandarin, Cantonese (dialect) and Southern Fujian Dialect.

 

Stella
COO of Go Global Gem
Stella has over ten years of experience in finance, human resources and global immigration services. She established its headquarters in Singapore and built a dedicated team of professionals to provide full operational support for clients’ global expansion needs. She has served more than 2,000 Chinese companies and helped their management teams obtain Employment Pass and successfully assisted more than 200 permanent residency and citizenship cases.

 

Wealth Management

Wealth management is the skill of building wealth by creating, securing and passing it on to the next generation. Clients invest a lot of time and energy to create wealth but are often too busy to think about how to protect their wealth and ultimately pass it on to the next generation, which is exactly the purpose of wealth planning.

What Is A Trust

A trust is an equitable duty whereby the person under the fiduciary duty (the trustee) shall administer the property under his control (the trust property) for the benefit of the beneficiaries (who may also be one of the beneficiaries) and any beneficiary has the right to enforce obligations. Any act or omission of a beneficiary that is not authorized or permitted by the trust deed or the law is called a breach of fiduciary duty.
Depending on the terms of the trust, the trustee’s control may be subject to the fiduciary or personal powers of someone else (sometimes expressly designated as a “protector”).

Employment Pass & Family Office

If you want to settle in Singapore, the first goal is to achieve an “Employment Pass” (EP). For many Chinese planning to move to Singapore, the EP is easier said than done. If you plan to open a company in Singapore to obtain an employment pass, a “family office” may be a good choice for you.

What is a Family Office?

Family office is the highest form of family wealth management. In Singapore, this scheme is also known as MAS 13U (formerly known as 13X) and MAS 13O (formerly known as 13R).

How to obtain an Employment Pass through setting up a Family Office?

The family office is a linear structure, the client will directly hold the fund company (customers who choose the 13U plan can also choose an offshore or Singapore company), while the family office is directly held by the fund company and will serve as a Fund companies provide investment management services. Moreover, to provide investment management services, family offices must employ investment professionals, which is where the employment pass comes from.

If you choose the 13U plan, you can hire 3 professional investment personnel, while you can only hire 1 when you apply for the 13O plan. Employers can be family members or employees of your company.

 

What are the advantages of a Family Office?
The popularity of 13U/13O family offices is inseparable from the advantages of discretionary funds (such as stocks, bonds, and portfolio investment of funds), tax residency status, and children’s admission to local schools:

  • Funds that meet the 13U/13O conditions will be exempted from tax on specific gains from their designated investments
  • Ability to obtain an Employment Pass (EP) (13U – 3 EPs / 13O – 1 EP)
  • Parents can apply for Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP)
  • Spouse and children (under 21 years old and single) can apply for Dependent’s Pass
  • You can apply for permanent resident status (Singapore Permanent Resident (PR)) in the future (if conditions apply)
  • You can apply to become a Singapore Citizen in the future (if conditions apply)
  • Family Wealth Inheritance – Establish long-lasting family traditions through family offices, achieve cross-generation inheritance and preserve & increase family wealth


Q & A

Q: What are the advantages of the EP obtained through the family office compared to the ordinary EP application, and how long is the application cycle?
A: In our experience, applying EP via family offices is almost all successful. In the past, many high-end customers would open general companies or shell companies to apply for EP. But now that the immigration policy has been tightened, if the company has no actual business in Singapore and is simply a shell company to apply for an EP, the possibility of being rejected is very high. As for the application cycle, if the information is complete, it can be completed within 4-5 weeks.

The review of the opening session of [Trust and Family Office] ends here. Do you have a better understanding of trust? If you want to know more about trusts and family offices, you can join our family office sharing group for further information.

For enquiries, feel free to contact us:

Ho Kah Chuan
Email: kahchuanho@goglobalgem.com

Stella Tan
Email: stellatan@goglobalgem.com