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Mason Group aims to expand Asia WM unit

As wealth management consolidation continues in Asia, Hong Kong-based Mason Group said it aims to acquire asset management firms in Asia-Pacific.

Acquisition plans include targeting asset management firms based in Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, the group said in its 2018 interim results statement.

FSA sought more information from Mason Group, but officials were not able to provide more more details.

The group, which has a wealth management unit and is listed on the Hong Kong bourse, provides advisory and discretionary investment management services to ultra high net worth and institutional clients globally, according to its website.

The announcement comes after it completed the acquisition of Hong Kong-based wealth management firm Harris Fraser and Liechtenstein-based private banking services provider Raiffesen Privatbank in May, according to the statement.

At the time of the acquisition, Harris Fraser had 14,000 high net worth clients across Asia-Pacific.

The acquisition of Harris Fraser has added investment advisory services to the group, while Raiffesen Privatbank has added deposit-taking services, custody services and trust function capabilities, the statement said.

“These capabilities will enable the sale and distribution of a diverse range of products to clients in Asia and Europe, thus strengthening the competitiveness of the group’s financial platform,” the firm said.

As of the end of June, Mason Group managed HK$9.06bn ($1.15bn) in assets, according to the statement.

The firm, which is backed by Hui Wing Mau, the billionaire founder of Chinese real estate developer Shimao, last year announced plans to grow the offshore wealth management business by at least $3bn in assets through a series of acquisitions.

Officials said the target is affluent Chinese nationals with a rising appetite for offshore investments.

Wealth management and private banking in Asia has been undergoing consolidation, with a number of firms merging or acquiring other entities.

For example, Indosuez Wealth Management completed the acquisition of the private banking divisions of Credit Industriel et Commercial in Singapore and Hong Kong in December last year. Earlier, NAB announced the sale of its private wealth business to OCBC, while LGT Group bought ABN Amro’s private banking business in the region.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.