FOAHK, which formed one year ago, has gathered 40 single family offices and multi-family offices. The majority of its members are from Hong Kong and greater China, Chi Man Kwan, chairman of FOAHK told a media briefing this week.
As of mid-November 2021, the combined AUM of FOAHK’s members has reached $57bn.
“We believe in the family office industry in Hong Kong, because the capital market in the city continues to be the most liquid and largest in Asia. Hong Kong has one of the best availabilities for any company or investor. Its stock market continues to be one of the best stock markets in the world,” FOAHK’s vice-chairman Kenneth Ho said.
Last year FOAHK had represented the industry in closed door events, consultative conversations with various departments of government bodies and taken part in some of the white papers about the industry by government bodies as well, Kwan said.
“We are constantly helping to contribute to key stakeholders and policy makers about what the industry wants and what the industry is thinking in terms of government support,” Kwan explained.
He admitted that with the pandemic and the strict boarder control imposed on the territory, it was challenging for the association to travel and talk to people overseas face-to-face. But it has forced the industry to adapt to a new mode of communications and getting things done, which is “going virtual”.
For next year, FOAHK will work with different associations in Europe and in Southeast Asia to bring Hong Kong as a family office hub to their doorsteps, the chairman said.
“Hopefully, in the later part of next year when the border is open, we aim to travel in person to other government bodies and stakeholders. Meanwhile, even without traveling, we will be aiming to promote the name of Hong Kong overseas,” Kwan said.
Grant Ko, vice chairman of FOAHK, pointed out that the family office industry in Hong Kong is facing a talent gap. Family offices need specialist talents, those who are passionate and have a thorough understanding on the wider spectrum of the function performed by family offices, he said.
“We’ve seen a few of our members already start their internship programmes, do part time work, and participate in young talent competition programmes. These can offer holistic exposure to multiple disciplines and functions integral to family office operations, including governance, wealth management, tax, asset planning, and legal affairs.”
Ko stressed that the industry has great potential in Hong Kong, as the wealth creation in the city is probably one of the fastest if not the fastest in the world.
“Hong Kong has a very high density of billionaires and ultra high net worth people. More than 10,000 ultra-high-net-worth people are living in such a small place of Hong Kong,” Ko said.
According to the Securities and Futures Commission’s Asset and Wealth Management Activities Survey 2020, Hong Kong’s asset and wealth management business continued to grow in 2020, with a 21% year-on-year increase in AUM to HK$34.9bn ($4.5bn).
The AUM of the private banking and private wealth management business recorded a year-on-year increase of 25% to HK$11.32bn, according to the FOAHK.