“We have four people in the Taiwan office now and they are all relationship managers. We don’t have a fixed number of relationship managers we are planning to hire, but we have shortlisted some potentials.”
The importance of Taiwan has been stressed earlier. In January this year, Ray Tam, managing partner and co-founder of the firm, said that “Taiwan is a place where we think that offshore assets have been going up, and we see a lot of opportunities for that, especially with the [growing wealth of the second generation].”
Taiwan’s offshore fund assets have grown gradually. Last year, offshore assets were NT$3.18trn ($103bn) compared to 2015, when the figure was NT$3.08trn($99.6bn).
However, offshore assets have been larger than assets invested in the domestic fund market (NT$2.57trn), according to data from Taiwan’s Securities Investment Trust and Consulting Association.
The firm now has three Asia offices. The Hong Kong main office was set up in early 2016 and has 36 employees. In October 2018, a Singapore office was opened.
Tam, the firm’s co-founder, said earlier that Chinese families with capital in Hong Kong have been putting more money in Singapore due to the wider variety of offshore products.
“I think more [Chinese investor] assets will be allocated around the world, and somehow money from Hong Kong will outflow to Singapore. That is why Hong Kong and Singapore will always be two engines that work together well.”
In January this year, Raffles management said the firm hopes to double Asia headcount to 100 by 2020, which would include relationship managers and back office support. Without giving a breakdown, Tam said that the majority of them would be based in Hong Kong.
“We are thinking of having more compliance people this year. As the AUM increases, you will have more issues with compliance,” he noted.
The co-founder also mentioned a plan to open a representative office in Zurich with around four staff to service clients from Hong Kong and Singapore.