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Vanguard to shut down Singapore office

The firm said it has decided to consolidate Singapore operational and client activities in Hong Kong.

The firm, which manages around $5trn globally, expects that that consolidation will be completed by the end of this year.

“Following a global strategic review, Vanguard has decided to strengthen its focus on its existing global hubs,” according to a statement. “As part of broader efforts to streamline on-going client service and operational activities across Asia, Vanguard will consolidate its Singapore operations and distribution activities under Vanguard Investments (Hong Kong).”

The firm said it would work with clients in Singapore and Southeast Asia in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition.

“We remain committed to our clients and markets in the region, and will ensure the transition occurs as smoothly as possible.”

Most of Vanguard’s clients in Singapore are institutional investors. It also has distribution partners, which distribute funds to accredited investors.

In Singapore, the firm’s MAS-authorised funds that are distributed for accredited investors include eight offshore index funds and seven offshore ETFs, according to FE data. It first established its office in the Lion City in 2003, according to the firm’s website.

Vanguard did not say whether there will be layoffs as it is “premature to speculate about this issue”, the statement said.

However, it noted that some roles in Singapore may match those available in other offices. “People from the Singapore office could be considered.”

Senior executives that are based in Singapore include Richard Wane, head of Singapore, Heston Goh, head of institutional sales for Southeast Asia and Steven Chua, head of intermediary sales for Singapore, according to the firm’s website.

In Hong Kong, Vanguard received its first Securities and Futures Commission licences in 2012, according to records from the regulator. It has six ETFs listed on the local bourse, which collectively have $150.6m in assets, according to data from the Hong Kong Exchange.

The firm also has an investment management wholly foreign-owned enterprise (IM WFOE), which opened in Shanghai in May last year. Elsewhere in the region, the firm has offices in Tokyo and in Sydney.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.