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Hong Kong prospers as China changes

Date: 15 May 2015

Citywealth

Now is a good time to be a wealth management adviser in Hong Kong. The trend of an “expanding middle class and increasing concentration of wealth in Asia is very much alive and continuing,‚Äù Jonathan Larsen, Asia-Pacific head of consumer banking at Citigroup in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg in an interview. Then in March, Forbes published its annual rundown of global billionaires, and recorded no fewer than 213 Chinese individuals making the ranks of the 10-figure wealthy. That marked a mighty jump from 152 last year, and put China second only to the United States as a home for ultra-high-net-worth individuals.

Hong Kong has been the main beneficiary of the boom in work for these wealthy individuals. Pierre Chan, tax partner at Baker & McKenzie in Hong Kong, says: “There are many experienced professionals in the wealth management industry in Hong Kong.The industry is very well established, and that makes Hong Kong the main location for servicing HNWIs in the region.‚Äù

For the industry of wealth advisers based there, Chan says growing areas of work include family governance, philanthropy, family dispute resolution and legal support for younger generations growing their family businesses.

There is also a raft of work helping Chinese families structure their riches, plus a lot of time grappling with the elephant in the room, which is how those families get assets out of China given the restrictions on investing in foreign currency products.

Katie Graves is a partner in the wealth planning team at Withers in Hong Kong. She says: “We are seeing growing interest inwealth planning and succession issues from families based in People’s Republic of China (PRC). Where the family has offshore assets or is looking to do pre-IPO trust planning…To read the full article, please subscribe to our e-magazine.

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