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Why billionaires are setting up family offices in Singapore
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Why billionaires are setting up family offices in Singapore

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Asia’s billionaires are getting ready to hand over to the next generation, and Singapore is benefiting from the rush to set up new or satellite family offices with an increased focus on philanthropy and impact investing.

In recent months, Horizon Ventures, a private investment firm associated with Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing opened an outpost in Singapore.* Oppenheimer Generations, the family office of former De Beers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer, is also in Singapore while Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio and Google co-founder Sergey Brin both set up shop in late 2020.

Singapore’s Economic Development Board is doing everything in its power to reel them in. It has enlisted the private banking sector to help family offices’ interest in philanthropy and impact investing, which seeks to generate a social or environmental impact as well as a financial return.

Two years ago, the Singapore government introduced variable capital companies (VCC), fund management vehicles with tax incentives and other benefits. These are appealing for family offices, particularly those with an interest in changing the world.

“Philanthropy is the new black in Asia,” said one private banker who advises the wealthy. “Singapore prides itself on being a financial hub and to keep that reputation, it needs to set the pace on new trends like green investing and impact investing.”

Asia is behind Europe and the United States, where philanthropy has long been a business that’s expected to generate measurable returns and the likes of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have pioneered impact investing.

This is likely to shift with the looming generational change in wealth, said Peter Golovsky, managing director and head of family office services, Asia Pacific, at Alvarium, a global multi-family office.

“Some 85 per cent of Asia’s billionaires are first-generation wealth creators, founders of family businesses.

“Their average age is 65, so they are looking at succession strategies. Family office allocations in impact investments sit at around 12 per cent, but we expect that to double in the next few years, and it will be driven by the next generation.

“Singapore has attracted a lot of wealth through structures like VCCs and other tax incentives, including residency options and paths to citizenship.

“As global families and entrepreneurs, including philanthropists, think about where they want to set up and run their businesses, and where they want to live, I think there will be another step up,” he said.

One measure of interest in social investing is a sold-out conference on the topic, organised by industry group AVPN, that kicks off next Tuesday in Bali.

Despite this increased interest, impact investing structures have a long way to go, according to Mette Ekeroth, managing director and group head of philanthropy at the North-East Family Office, who will be at the conference.

NEFO was established by the founders of the Pandora jewellery brand, Winnie Liljeborg and Per Algot Enevoldsen, in Denmark in 2013. They opened a Singapore office three years later.

“Regulatory systems all over the world treat philanthropy and investment as very, very separate. Now everyone is realising there is an area between these two categories where a lot of the solutions lie to the problems the world faces,” Ms Ekeroth said.

“I have faith that Singapore is going to be the place that comes up with the structures we need. The authorities are engaging and consulting as they work multiple angles to try and address the gaps. We’ve seen in the past that when Singapore really wants to develop an ecosystem, it does, and it does it at high speed.”

*Clarification: After this story was published, CK Asset Holdings has advised Horizons Ventures is owned by Ms Solina Chau. Mr Li has collaborated with the firm on technology projects.

This article was originally published in The Australian Financial Review here.

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The Community Foundation of Singapore: Philanthropy, legacy giving; doing good and how to get involved

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Through legacy giving, making a profound lasting change to people’s lives might be easier than you think

Dr Lim Boon Tiong had a long and distinguished career as a doctor, and it shaped his interest in helping the elderly and those suffering from urological conditions. So devoted was he to his causes that he set aside S$24m along with a list of charities he wanted to help. And when Dr Lim passed on, his daughters Sylvia and Ivy Lim had to execute his will.

“Initially, we had many questions when we saw our father’s will. The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) has put everything into a nutshell for us, so we are well-informed to make the right decisions,” said Ivy.

In 2018, the sisters set up the Dr Lim Boon Tiong Foundation, a donor-advised fund with CFS. It supports projects such as the Dr Joseph Lim Boon Tiong Urology Cancer Research Initiative at the National University of Singapore (NUH), which funds experimental research to help improve patient healthcare standards and treatment in urological cancer. Other beneficiaries of the initiative include Catholic Welfare Services (CWS), which runs three nursing homes, and Assisi Hospice, which provides inpatient and palliative care.

The gift to set up the donor advised fund is an example of legacy giving, a concept that is slowly gaining traction around the world. In 2018, charities in the United States received almost US$40 billion (S$54.7 billion) in legacy gifts. Likewise, in Singapore, CFS has managed S$67 million worth of legacy gifts to date. Planned giving is not limited to a simple donation of cash. It is a process where donors can make a more informed choice with their contributions, which can take many shapes or forms, including insurance payouts, CPF monies, marketable securities or real estate. One does not have to be a billionaire to make a lasting difference to the causes you hold dear to your heart.

As we grow more astute financially, we become more attuned to the importance of estate planning. The Wills Registry in Singapore registered 3,911 wills last year compared to 3,535 five years ago. Or perhaps, the prospect of an uncertain future and its consequences heightens our collective awareness of this need: earlier in the year before COVID-19 forced the country into shutdown, there was a marked increase in wills registered.

As part of a drive to raise awareness for legacy giving, CFS actively reaches out to professional advisors in the hope that they can appreciate the value of planned gifts and relay this passion to their clients. Advisors will also be better equipped to help clients who are already looking to give – options can be in the form of a donor-advised fund or a direct donation to support the needs of the community. Your advisors’ services will be critical, especially for pledges of complex assets.

To make the process more meaningful, it is good practice to speak directly with charities about the ways legacy gifts can support their work. Likewise, CFS is not the only option you have when considering which approach to take, and you should do your due diligence to find out what works best for you.

But if you decide to work with CFS, you are good hands indeed: founded in 2008 to encourage and enable philanthropy in Singapore and has to date, CFS has raised over S$185 million in donations. It currently manages over 150 charitable funds and works with more than 400 charity partners. CFS does not lean towards a particular cause, so they enable grantmaking across a wide range of organisations from those helping children, seniors or marginalised individuals to education, arts and even animal welfare.

As they are always working to identify gaps and opportunities within the community, the organisation is well-placed to help donors find suitable matches for their interests and maximise the use of their donations. CFS looks to do more with your giving; fostering a culture of effective giving and raising effectiveness through rigorous evaluation of the programmes. Planning your legacy gift now also ensures that your causes can receive donations in whatever manner you see fit, be it in the form of a perpetual endowment, or expendable gifts (i.e. a donated sum that can be spent down). Both are equally valuable.

If this is something that resonates strongly with you, perhaps now is the time to take the first step. Make a legacy gift for the greater good, and see how you can change lives with an act of kindness.

Source: Robb Report Singapore

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The competition was organised by City Harvest Community Services Association and received support from FUN! Fund, a Community Impact Fund jointly established by the Community Foundation of Singapore and the Agency for Integrated Care, with the aim of addressing social isolation among the elderly.

Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of National Development Mr Tan Kiat How attended the event. He encouraged the elderly to stay physically and mentally well, as well as urging them to participate in community activities and enjoy their golden years together.

Learn more about FUN! Fund at https://www.cf.org.sg/fun-fund/.

 

The programme provides the children with a non-threatening platform to connect with peers and have positive conversations. In addition, it exposes them to different people who can assist to broaden their perspectives.

L.S., a volunteer with the Reading Odyssey programme @ Spooner Road

中心“常胜将军”胡锦盛:比赛限时反应要快

现年92岁的胡锦盛是最年长的参赛者。自2017年退休后,他几乎每天都到活跃乐龄中心报到,从此爱上了玩拉密,每次可玩上三个小时,在中心是“常胜将军”。

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The Straits Times: Teacher gives students with disabilities hope

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by Rahimah Rashith, 24 October 2016

“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.”

The ending to beloved children’s book Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White gives an apt rendering of the relationship between teacher Jeyaram Kadivan, 34, and his former student, Mr Caleb Tay, now 20.

Over the course of a year in 2009, Mr Jeyaram spent his weekends thumbing over a paperback edition of the novel, scanning each page into his laptop using a machine that converted the scanned images into words. Read more.

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Opinion

Our Annual Report 2023 is now available for download

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CFS Annual Report 2023

We are excited to share the release of the Community Foundation of Singapore’s (CFS) Annual Report for 2023.

With the overarching theme of ‘Creating a Better Tomorrow Together’, the report highlights the work done to inspire and facilitate strategic giving to benefit our local community. We showcase the enhancements we have made to our service offerings, governance standards, and operational efficiencies over the past year. It stands as a testament to CFS’s unwavering commitment to proactively identify and address emerging community needs, and our experience and expertise that enables us to drive tangible impact.

Here are some key highlights from the Annual Report 2023:

A Year of Steady Progress:

Against a backdrop of slower economic growth in 2022, donations remained high and our rolling three-year average continued on an upward trend. Our community of dedicated philanthropists continued to grow. Through strategic partnerships with corporations such as Accenture, Endowus, and other institutions, we harnessed a wealth of expertise to amplify our impact. 

The past year marked a significant milestone, with 47 new donors establishing 27 Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs). Their generous contributions allowed us to allocate $16.8 million in grants to 212 organisations spanning diverse causes, demonstrating the incredible power of collective giving.

In collaboration with the Agency of Integrated Care (AIC), we launched the FUN! Fund, a community impact fund focused on improving the well-being and happiness of our seniors through innovative programmes designed to infuse fun into their lives.

Making a Greater Impact:

In 2022, CFS took significant strides towards ensuring outcome-driven grantmaking. Our grant framework now places a strong emphasis on measurable change, ensuring greater impact for both our donors and charity partners.

Throughout the year, CFS’ Centre for Applied Philanthropy (CAP) played a pivotal role in fostering collaboration across public, private, and community sectors to address complex social challenges. This collaborative approach will gain even more momentum in 2023.

With sustainability advocacy being one of our key focal areas, we strengthened our ESG framework. This involved aligning our programmes with the United Nations’ Social Development Goals, a move that underscores our commitment to making a lasting positive impact.

The potential of philanthropy lies in its capacity to bring about enduring, positive change. As we look back on the year and observe the significant impact made possible by the support of our donors, we find inspiration to continue our efforts. Our grants have helped to improve the lives of many, including refugees seeking to rebuild their lives, youths in need of mental resilience, disadvantaged students receiving evidence-based after-school tutoring, dementia patients receiving specialised care, marginalised job seekers receiving coaching and training, and nurturing the next generation of climate champions. 

Connect with Us: 

CFS is deeply committed to advancing strategic philanthropy, and positioning Singapore as Asia’s philanthropy hub. To achieve this, we actively serve as an Enabler, Steward, Convener, and Advocate.

We are eager to connect and collaborate with donors, charities, partners, and sector leaders to build a more compassionate, caring, and inclusive Singapore. To learn more about CFS or join us on our mission, we welcome you to get in touch.

For an in-depth exploration of the year’s milestones and the impact of our contributions to the community, click here to download your copy.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit dolor

The competition was organised by City Harvest Community Services Association and received support from FUN! Fund, a Community Impact Fund jointly established by the Community Foundation of Singapore and the Agency for Integrated Care, with the aim of addressing social isolation among the elderly.

Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of National Development Mr Tan Kiat How attended the event. He encouraged the elderly to stay physically and mentally well, as well as urging them to participate in community activities and enjoy their golden years together.

Learn more about FUN! Fund at https://www.cf.org.sg/fun-fund/.

 

The programme provides the children with a non-threatening platform to connect with peers and have positive conversations. In addition, it exposes them to different people who can assist to broaden their perspectives.

L.S., a volunteer with the Reading Odyssey programme @ Spooner Road

中心“常胜将军”胡锦盛:比赛限时反应要快

现年92岁的胡锦盛是最年长的参赛者。自2017年退休后,他几乎每天都到活跃乐龄中心报到,从此爱上了玩拉密,每次可玩上三个小时,在中心是“常胜将军”。

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

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新保集团推出300万元基金 助医疗行政人员职业发展

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新保集团和ACE团队基金会启动一项300万元的基金,促进 新保集团医疗行政人员的职业发 展,除了培养专业技能,也让他 们有机会到海外进行交流和学术研讨。 

这项医疗行政人员发展基金(Healthcare Administrators Fund)是首次针对新保集团医疗行政人员而设的基金,由新保集团和ACE团队基金会(ACE Team Foundation)分别贡献150万元。 

新保集团旗下约有4600名医疗行政人员,占员工总数的15%。他们负责支持医疗保健系 统的日常运作和行政框架,包括研究、运营、财务、人力资源、教育和通讯等多个领域。 

符合条件的医疗行政人员将由上司提名,并接受评估。成功获得提名者可以申请培训基金。医疗行政人员可以通过教育与培训提升自己,也可以到海外跟其他国家的行政人员进行学术交流,然后把所学的带回新加坡。 

2023年新加坡医疗管理大会在星期三(8月16日)举办,社会及家庭发展部长兼卫生部第二部长马善高致辞时指出,在医疗保健管理方面采取更有效、更创新的战略是必须的,为确保医疗保健系统的可持续发展,新加坡必须发展医疗服务和管理模式。他说,医疗保健管理并不局限于机构的四面围墙内,必须跨学科合作,包括医疗行政人员与其他伙伴的广泛合作。 

在新保集团公共联系部门服务的高级执行员曾芳琳(30岁)说,作为一名年轻的医疗行政人员,她对新启动的医疗行政人员发展基金感到兴奋。有了这项基金,她就可以寻找机会学习新技能、增加见识包括加深了解不断发展的医疗保健管理领域。 

44岁的新保集团营运部门副主任林志忠也在受访时说:“医疗保健系统内的业务要求是高度专业的,必须提升医疗行政人员的职业发展,让大家有可持续的就业技能,也为塑造医疗保健领域带来重要的作用。”

另一方面,ACE团队基金会也会额外拨款150万元给新保集团所属的职场乐趣提升措施(Joy at Work initiatives),以支持医疗工作人员维持身心健康。 

ACE团队基金会由本地科技公司Grab的联合创办人兼总裁陈炳耀与太太童维创立,从2021年创立至今捐助不少医疗组织,如 广惠肇留医院、儿童癌症基金会和全国肾脏基金会等。

信用:联合早报©新报业媒体有限公司。复制需要许可

This article was originally published in Zaobao here. Source: Zaobao © SPH Media Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

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