Morgan Stanley eyes rich Chinese entrepreneurs in Singapore

Pedro Gonçalves
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Morgan Stanley eyes rich Chinese entrepreneurs in Singapore

Morgan Stanley, the world's second-largest wealth manager, is keen on getting a slice of wealth in Singapore by adding services that focus on Chinese entrepreneurs setting up family offices in the Lion City.

The wealth manager is aiming to hire 50 relationship managers in Hong Kong and Singapore over the next three years to bring the total headcount to 150 in a move to capitalise on growing high-net worth wealth. 

"The city is a key business hub for China entrepreneurs, as well as a family office nexus," Vincent Chui, head of Morgan Stanley's Asia wealth operations told Bloomberg, noting that clients prefer Singapore "a little bit more" than Hong Kong as a base for family offices as the latter is where the wealthy operate more on an individual basis.

"The city is a key business hub for China entrepreneurs, as well as a family office nexus”

Chui added that Morgan Stanley can provide services to business owners who are made wealthier following initial public offerings (IPOs) managed by the bank. 

"We would like to position ourselves as a firm-wide partner to our customers," Chui explained. When an entrepreneur looks to do an IPO, the company will bring in bankers from both the investment banking and wealth sides to help the client figure out how the listing would affect their finances and family needs, he said.

The New York-based firm expects rising demand from the emerging rich in China's second-tier cities such as Xiamen, Fuzhou and Dongguan, according to Chui.

The move comes as China's wealthy brace for tax raid, as reported by International Investment, and are keen on shifting money.