Asian Legal Business — A Question of Trust
he Asia-Pacific region is home to the highest number of millionaires in the world, with an estimated 2.6 million high networth individuals holding assets worth $10.6 trillion. But assets under management by bank wealth services in the region flattened in 2011, according to a Private Banker survey released in October 2012, dropping to $1.099 trillion from $1.105 trillion. This shrank a pool of funds being fought over by discreet Swiss advisers and heavyweight U.S. and European banks as well as regional banks such as Singapore’s DBS and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Bank.
A key reason for the drop was that the wealthiest wanted more than just asset allocation and a tick box of plans, offshore law firms say. There are legacy considerations, including charitable foundations, and a personal view of families and business that takes time to get coaxed out of clients considering how inter-generational wealth should be transferred.
Private trusts are a key way to get those results, offshore firms interviewed by Asian Legal Business said, describing a variety of available tools that are being tapped by the growing number of wealthy in Asia, from cash-rich market investors, family-owned businesses that want to redeploy tied up capital to inherited and real estate derived fortunes that need to be adjusted with the changing times…
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Considerable pressure has been applied to offshore jurisdictions by onshore governments to be more transparent about any relevant assets that may be held by onshore residents in offshore jurisdictions.
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