How Single-Family Offices can utilise and benefit from Variable Capital Companies

      The concept of a ‘family office’ does not have a fixed definition. Typically, it is conceptualised as an entity that provides a variety of services that a family may need. It is the employer of administrative and professional staff who exclusively assist family members in the management of their affairs.

      There is a wide range of services that each family office can be tasked to provide, and it is ultimately for each family to decide what it would like its family office and its team of family officers to do and what it would prefer to outsource to third-party service providers instead.

      The VCC empowers families in Singapore to establish their own family fund, tailored to each family member’s individual needs. These include a customisable personal fund, unique to each member’s ideals and passions, combined with professional investment management and tax-efficiency. In addition, the VCC is also an enticing option for international families seeking to establish their assets in a secure financial centre such as Singapore and, in addition, gain long-term residency.

      Family Fund Overview – Key players in the VCC:

      • Single-family office – a wealthy family interested in dividing their assets amongst individual members may consider utilising the segregated cell structure of the VCC. While small families may not find it immediately necessary, the potential for conflict arises if assets are not appropriately segregated when managing multiple sub-units within a family lineage spanning 2-3 generations.
      • Singapore licensed fund manager – a Single-Family Office can apply for exemption to manage the VCC itself but will be subject to stricter conditions for the 13O/U tax exemptions. Alternatively, it can outsource this role to a Licensed Fund Manager in Singapore for convenience and lower barriers to the 13O/U tax exemption.
      • Fund service providers – the service providers offering operational services for the fund. These include accounting, auditing, legal, and administrative services.
      • VCC umbrella fund – Each family member in the family can have its own fund where each fund can have its own investment adviser and strategy. This allows each member to pursue its own investing passions and ideas. The flexibility in the VCC also allows family members to manage other people’s money (PE/VC fund) if it wishes but would need a licensed fund management entity to do so.

      Benefits of using the VCC for single-family offices

      The benefits of the VCC for family offices can be summarised as follows:

      • tailored funds – each family member is able to manage their own assets, exploring their own investment strategy and passions
      • umbrella efficiency – families can jointly contribute to the costs of a VCC while sharing its tax and other benefits
      • succession planning – having well-defined assets segregated to each member early on can prevent potential conflicts
      • access to Singapore – international families can use the VCC as a secure vehicle and gain long-term residency in Singapore.

      How can Waystone help?

      As an experienced regulatory consulting firm, we regularly assist financial institutions with their compliance requirements in Singapore. We can provide a comprehensive solution to VCCs in the following ways:

      • incorporate VCCs by assisting with structuring and advising from the perspective of tax, legal, regulatory and operational requirements
      • assist with VCC drafting policies and procedures and VCC manager compliance.
      • assist with fund manager licence application and providing outsourced compliance support.

      If you would like to discuss these services in more detail, please reach out to our APAC Compliance Solutions team or contact us below.

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