Why Hong Kong is the ideal global hub for family offices
- For decades, Hong Kong has been a popular investment platform for ultra-high net worth individuals
- The city is now making a concerted effort to attract even more family offices, with Asia – and mainland China in particular – experiencing rapid growth in the number of very wealthy residents
The Chinese saying fu bu guo san dai suggests that family wealth rarely lasts beyond three generations. As wealthy families around the world look to ensure succession, this is an exciting opportunity for Hong Kong, and family offices have a vital role to play.
Around the world, there are around 520,000 such individuals – each with a net worth of over US$30 million – and the number has increased by 2.4 per cent from a year ago, according to a Knight Frank report. Asia is expected to see the fastest growth in this group over the next five years, at 39 per cent against the global average of 27 per cent. By 2025, Asia is set to host 24 per cent of all ultra-high net worth individuals, up from 17 per cent a decade earlier.
Asia is also home to 36 per cent of the world’s billionaires, more than anywhere else. Critically, mainland China’s population of very wealthy residents is forecast to grow by 246 per cent over the 10 years to 2025.
As a dynamic metropolitan city with a vibrant lifestyle, beautiful scenery, beaches and hiking trails, great food, arts and cultural experiences, Hong Kong also attracts the talent that family offices need to thrive.
Crucially, Hong Kong is well placed for access to investment opportunities. Family offices are increasingly sophisticated and require the talent and infrastructure to invest in complex financial products and alternative asset classes, such as private equity, venture capital and private credit, beyond philanthropic and legacy considerations.
Hong Kong’s special economic connection with the mainland is also a big draw. As its unique and dominant gateway to the world, Hong Kong captures the largest share of the mainland’s investment flows.
Carried interest refers to payments, often in shares or other equity-linked benefits, to reward the general partners and managers of private equity funds and venture capital funds for managing their portfolio. The tax exemption will attract more private equity funds to Hong Kong, thus increasing investment opportunities for family offices.
This team will work alongside InvestHK’s network of more than 30 global offices, the wider government, financial regulators and industry stakeholders.
Stephen Christopher Phillips is the director-general of investment promotion at InvestHK