New and existing investment in Switzerland will migrate to Singapore as Asia begins to outperform the West economically, a poll conducted by international business law firm Lawrence Graham LLP (LG) has concluded.
More than 50 senior figures from London’s banking, advisory and investment communities took part in the poll, held as part of a panel debate about Asia, which showed 76 per cent of respondents believed traditional Swiss investment would ultimately switch to Singapore as the fast-growing Asian economy starts to dominate against the West.
Taking part in the panel debate, with LG Private Capital partner Nick Jacob, were Keith Corbin of Nerine, Catherine Grum of Barclays Wealth, Paul James of Citi Trust, Willem Sels of HSBC Private Bank and Frederik van Tuyll of TMF Group.
More than half (51 per cent) of those who attended the event identified the key issue unique to private wealth clients in East Asia, in respect of future planning, as being a greater tendency than Western counterparts to be first generation wealthy – this must always be taken into consideration when developing a succession strategy. Nearly two thirds (65 per cent) of the guests agreed the best way to persuade Chinese wealth owners to carry out wealth planning is to educate them as to the options available.
Political structure (28 per cent), perceived levels of security (26 per cent) and tax (19 per cent) were deemed more important factors in influencing wealth owners’ decisions as to where to locate their assets than the culture of the people of the country (14 per cent) or knowledge of the country (12 per cent). At the same time, the panel emphasised that ‘brand awareness’, or the need for familiarity with a jurisdiction, has been an important factor in the strong representation of the British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands in SIngapore and Hong Kong, compared with other Western jurisdictions.
Finally, findings also revealed that more than a third (37 per cent) of respondents were of the opinion that Chinese wealth owners prefer to locate their assets in Hong Kong, rather than Singapore (29 per cent), the Caribbean (21 per cent), Switzerland (13 per cent) or the Channel Islands (0 per cent).