Veterans launch East India Capital Management in Singapore – an old name for one of the new generation of wealth managers.

It is difficult to fathom the full extent of the reorganisation that is currently going on in the wealth management world in Singapore. One of few areas of the financial services world and the economy in general that is growing, assets have continued to flood into the country’s banks this year.

Singapore’s appeal is due to its FATF white jurisdiction, strong regulatory framework, and neutral, safe harbour reputation in an increasingly complicated world. It is also a hard currency jurisdiction and a zero tax regime with respect to capital gains and inheritance tax, which makes it an attractive safe haven in a region which has witnessed significant currency depreciation in all the neighbouring countries over the past 18 months.

Whilst assets have continued to pour in from these traditional markets, tighter regulations emanating from the West have made private banking increasingly costly for the international players. Many of the bigger institutions who have staked out a global footprint are now unwilling to deal with investors from many jurisdictions, especially those that have been earmarked by the US as undesirable, irrespective of whether the clients are respectable or not.

The concept of the universal private bank is simply too costly a compliance burden to deliver in today’s world, and hence a significant reorganisation of turf is underway.

The cost burden of running a fully fledged private bank, including the provision of wealth management services in multiple jurisdictions, means that many institutional players are narrowing their area of focus, and abandoning many of their traditional clients. Consequently, private bankers who have spent their professional lives building relationships with their clients find that, more often than not, the banks no longer wish to service these accounts.

This has presented an opportunity for a new kind of wealth manager to emerge – the External Asset Manager. Although a phenomenon that has been around for decades in Switzerland, EAMs are relatively new in Singapore, and dedicated platform have popped up to house these relationship managers.

At East India Capital Management, the wealth management subsidiary of award-winning Milltrust International Group, we go further than these simple platform solutions. We are a fully fledged, experienced asset manager. Our team has decades of experience running family and client assets. We leverage the platforms of the multiple banks that our clients have chosen as the custodians of their assets. However, we are also approved as an EAM to provide discretionary advice, and furthermore to structure investments through our Irish regulated investment platform.

This unique proposition permits us to deliver customised solutions, bringing together investors to own bespoke co-mingled or single asset vehicles, targeting a wide range of assets classes. Banking is integral to the fund structure and does not have to be set up each time, as in the case of the typical offshore SPV. Income and capital can be remitted anywhere in the world, depending where our investors choose to reside.

With decades of experience managing the assets of some of the wealthiest and most sophisticated families in the world, we look forward to continuing the tradition. For more information, please contact Simon Hopkins, Pradeepto Biswas or Dennis See