Family Offices Lightening Costs via Outsourcing


Transformation Amidst Disruption What’s Next for Family Offices

While family offices may wish to retain as much control as possible, balancing costs remains critical and outsourcing has become commonplace in the industry. 

Rapid wealth creation in Asia continues to drive demand for the ultra-rich to establish single family offices (SFO). In Singapore, for example, the local regulator said that the number of SFOs that were rewarded tax incentives reached 1,100 at the end of 2022, up from 700 in 2021. According to data analytics firm Handshakes, another 182 family offices were formed in the city-state from January to April 24 this year.

Despite the allure of operational control over the management of family wealth, the costs of doing so can be quite significant. According to Kevin Teng, WRISE Wealth Management Singapore CEO, SFOs should expect annual expenses equivalent to 1-2 percent of the total assets under management (AUM).

«[This] excludes the cost of third-party professional services such as legal, accounting, tax and investment management fees,» Teng said in a conversation with

Cost Control

Certain costs will have to be shouldered in full, such as CEO salaries which are higher in Asia ($117,000 to $378,000) compared to other regions like the Americas ($198,000 to $264,000) and Europe ($146,000 to $200,000), according to a KPMG report. But in other areas, outsourcing to providers like tech platforms is a viable option.

«A balanced mix of in-house hiring and outsourcing can help an SFO to better manage its expenses, given its business objectives,» Teng added.

MFO Option

While wealthy families can begin considering setting up a SFO with AUM of $100 million or above, those concerned about costs can also opt to combine forces with others via a multi-family office. Nonetheless, there are also non-economic factors that families are increasingly prioritizing such as investment approach, asset class, philanthropy, legacy planning or legal and compliance.

«Currently, we are seeing more interest in single family offices over multi-family offices,» Julius Baer head wealth planning and family office services Singapore Kelvin Tay told earlier this year.

Image by: Pixabay



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Edmund Shing, PhD

Global Chief Investment Officer
BNP Paribas Wealth Management

Edmund has over 29 years of experience in financial markets in a wide variety of positions, ranging from proprietary trading to portfolio manager in a number of financial institutions in London and Paris.  He previously held the role of Global Head of Equity and Derivative Strategy at BNP Paribas in London from 2015 to 2020, and has been Chief Investment Officer at BNP Paribas Wealth Management since November 2020.

Edmund is responsible for piloting our investment strategy and will continues to rollout out recommendations and themes with actionable advice that brings our expertise to our clients and support to our client-facing teams.  In this time of change, his expertise in following and anticipating markets is a true value added for both our customers and those at Wealth Management who serve them.

Edmund has a PhD in Cognitive and Computing Science from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and has done advanced studies in Knowledge-Based Systems and in Experimental Psychology.  He is an EFFAS-certified financial analyst. He has also authored the book “The Idle Investor” published by Harriman House in 2015, proposing 3 simple investment strategies that take only a few minutes to execute per month.

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