The Monetary Authority of Singapore has set up a high-level working group across the "entire asset management value chain" to boost its funds hub status in the world.
The Singapore Funds Industry Group (SFIG) will bring together all the key players across the entire asset management value chain, including not just fund managers but also service providers, such as lawyers, tax advisers, fund administrators and directors, MAS said in a statement on 27 April.
These service providers work closely with fund managers to support a fund's operations throughout its life cycle in areas such as fund structuring and set-up, fund administration, regulatory reporting, tax advisory, and fiduciary oversight.
As Singapore continues to solidify its position as a premier funds centre, SFIG will play a critical role in coordinating efforts of MAS and private sector stakeholders to continue to drive sustainable development and growth of the Singapore funds industry."
The overall executive committee is co-chaired by Kai-Niklas Schneider, managing partner, head of funds and investment group, Clifford Chance Singapore, and Gillian Tan, assistant managing director (development & international), MAS.
Schneider said, "As the leading onshore asset management hub in Asia with a business-friendly environment, robust regulatory framework, extensive double taxation treaty network and an ecosystem of experienced service providers, Singapore is uniquely positioned to benefit from the current trend for funds to be domiciled alongside their managers in onshore jurisdictions with substance.
"As Singapore continues to solidify its position as a premier funds centre, SFIG will play a critical role in coordinating efforts of MAS and private sector stakeholders to continue to drive sustainable development and growth of the Singapore funds industry. I look forward to working with the MAS team on this important initiative."
Tan said, "Singapore is a leading pan-Asian asset management hub with a diverse base of more than 1,000 fund managers. Assets under management have grown at a compound annual growth rate of 11% over the last five years to S$4 trillion at the end of 2019. More than 260 Variable Capital Companies (VCCs) have been set up in Singapore since the launch of the VCC framework in January last year.
"Looking ahead, there is much scope for the funds industry in emerging growth areas such as green finance and sustainability, technology and innovation. The SFIG will maximise synergies across players from various industries to deepen Singapore's value proposition as a leading international funds hub."
The SFIG will identify emerging industry trends and formulate strategies to develop the asset management ecosystem, comprising four working groups (WGs).
(i) The Infrastructure and Innovation WG will monitor market developments and spur innovation to transform the funds servicing value chain. The WG will develop industry-wide utility solutions to achieve greater economies of scale and efficiencies, such as fund data and settlement platforms which will collect and harness insights through data analytics, streamline manual processes and automate reporting.
(ii) The Policy WG will provide advice and recommend improvements to regulatory, legal and tax frameworks, to better serve the needs of fund managers and investors. The WG will review and recommend enhancements to the current suite of fund structures and consider broadening the range of fund structuring options in Singapore.
(iii) The Capabilities and Training WG will focus on building a deep pool of fund specialists and directors in areas such as product development, administration, distribution and fund oversight and governance. The WG will collaborate with tertiary institutions, professional bodies and training providers to upskill professional standards and build deep capabilities for these professionals, including in new and emerging areas such as green finance and ESG solutions.
(iv) The Promotion and Advocacy WG will raise the global profile of Singapore as a leading asset management and fund domiciliation hub, through outreach and engagements with Singapore-based and global asset managers, asset owners and service providers.