Inflow of money through family offices does not impact inflation and private property market, says Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan

Singapore family offices that were granted tax incentives managed around S$90 billion of assets as of 2021, according to Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan. This is less than 2% of the total S$5.4 trillion assets under management in Singapore.

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“The bulk of gross inflows into Singapore comprise flows by financial institutions and other non-financial corporates, not high-end individual investors and even less so family offices which are only one category within the latter,” said Tan.

Tan added that the inflow of new money through the family offices did not impact Singapore’s private property or market inflation.

Family offices are private organisations set up to manage the wealth of one or several families. The number of these offices significantly increased in Singapore, from 400 at the end of 2020 to around 700 by the end of 2021.

Single family offices are not required by MAS to be registered or licensed since they do not manage third-party funds. Meanwhile, multi-family offices are registered and licensed fund management companies.

According to Tan, MAS currently does not have comprehensive data on fund inflows into Singapore through these offices since having this information was unnecessary. However, MAS’ annual survey showed that a huge part of the increase in assets managed in the country can be attributed to institutional investors.

When asked about the impact of foreign fund inflow on property prices and inflation, Tan said that “some foreign funds do flow into the private property market,” but it’s “relatively low.” He also stated that family offices do not impact the private housing market since no residential property can be attributed to family offices in the last six years.

Most of the funds managed in Singapore are also foreign currencies.

“We have not seen unusual surges of capital into the Singapore dollar that have required a pronounced response on the part of MAS, and certainly not from family offices which, to reiterate, would not form a significant proportion of the total flow of funds for management out of Singapore,” he stated.

According to the survey, Asia-Pacific was the biggest contributor to the increase in SG assets under management for high-end individual investors between 2017 and 2021, followed by Europe and the Americas.

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