By Lulu Yilun Chen
(Bloomberg) -- Hywin Wealth Management Co. is weighing an expansion into Singapore to follow its Chinese clients and tap the surge of wealthy individuals in Southeast Asia.
The Shanghai-based company is seeking licenses to provide wealth management, asset management, succession advisory, insurance and brokerage services in the city-state, Wang Dian, chief executive of Hywin Wealth, said in an interview. The firm hopes to attract US$500 million of assets in Singapore within the first year after hiring a team of about 10 to 15 people.
Hywin will have its work cut out; a bevy of local and Chinese wealth managers are vying for a slice of the asset management market in Southeast Asia, which is expected to grow to US$4 trillion by 2025. By setting up a base in Singapore, Hywin can also hedge its offshore operations in Asia. Hong Kong is becoming increasingly susceptible to U.S.-China political tensions.
“Our Singapore plan is an answer to our clients’ demand, many of them are already in Southeast Asia,” said Wang. “We can connect Southeast Asia clients with the Chinese investment opportunities through public markets and direct investment into private deals.”
A slew of Chinese wealth management firms have already expanded in Singapore, including Noah Holdings Ltd., Lufax and CreditEase. Hywin Wealth serves around 100,000 high-net-worth clients with investible assets of US$1 million or above, mostly from China. It also operates in London and New York.
Hywin will retain its operations in Hong Kong and leverage them to build its business in the Greater Bay Area, which includes neighbouring Guangdong province.
“Hong Kong is becoming more integrated with China, turning into what we call a ‘cross-shore’ financial centre,” said Wang.
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