Interview of Mr. Ally Jaulim, the Head of Sales of MITCO Group
Overview of presentation at Campden Wealth Asia Pacific Family Conference:
Ally Jaulim: It was the fifteenth annual private forum for family principals and family office executives and we showcased Mauritius as a jurisdictional choice for setting up a Family Office. Mr. Patrice Legris, CEO of Alteo Properties, also made a presentation on Mauritius as a destination for real estate investments and lifestyle.
We believe that the choice of jurisdiction is an important piece of the puzzle which merits significant consideration in the thought process and our objective is to position Mauritius as a financial hub which attractiveness lies far beyond its tax regime.
The concept of Family Office in Hong Kong or China is a new notion as most of the wealth had been created since the 1980’s and it is actually in the hand of first generation. However, it is essential today for family businesses to plan for their future.
Are the entrepreneurs in Hong Kong and China conscious of the benefits of a Family office?
Ally Jaulim: In Asia, a large portion of the wealth is in the hands of family businesses which have prospered since the end of World War 2. Family Office is still a new concept to many wealth owners in that region. However, the topic of wealth preservation and succession is moving on top of the agenda for many rich families in Asia, hence helping to propel the growth of family offices.
We know that the rising generations are more business savvy than their predecessors through their educational background and professional exposure. They tend to be more receptive to institutionalised concepts like the Family Office in managing family wealth.
The trends on Family Business worldwide and the change in the culture of how to manage wealth.
Ally Jaulim: Statistics reveal that the wealth controlled by the world’s high net worth individuals and families continue to increase every year. It is worth noting that Asia’s millionaires are now richer than North America’s and millionaire growth is expected to continue skewing toward Asia.
When it comes to managing wealth, USA and European clients are more accustomed to the techniques in relation to wealth preservation and succession planning. Nevertheless, Asia is catching up fast in this regard.
Furthermore, what we shall witness in the years to come is the intergenerational wealth shift to Millennials. When new decision-makers take control of the family wealth, they tend to turn to advisors / professionals they know and trust and Millennials have a different mindset. Millennials are engaged with their wealth and are actively preparing themselves to manage it wisely.
The Government of Mauritius is currently proposing innovative licences to promote and improve the Financial Services sector. Two new licences pertaining to the Overseas Family Office Licences have been introduced in order to provide a wide range of possibilities to global family office services.
The advantages of Mauritius Jurisdiction for Family Office Services:
Ally Jaulim: Albeit the concept of Family Office is new to Mauritius, for the past 25 years, we have been advising the ultra-wealthy families on succession and estate planning and their operational structures. Overtime, Mauritius has developed a robust financial ecosystem which could sustain the Family Office sphere.
Many family offices prefer to be in a jurisdiction known for having a reputable financial centre offering high quality, specialised legal institutions, high level of regulatory compliance, well developed legal and professional services sectors. It is a fact now that Mauritius has consolidated its position as the leading business and financial services hub in Africa.
In my view, legal and flexible structures alone are not enough on their own to attract Family Offices. A Family Office is meticulous in appointing individuals who are not only qualified and experienced but also trustworthy. They must be a good fit with the culture, investment and lifestyle of the wealth owners.
We have a highly educated bilingual talent pool which has the capacity and zeal to deliver top notch services Mauritius has experienced and knowledgeable professionals that can run a quality family office.
Lastly, it’s good to remember that Africa, for some years, has been attracting the attention of many Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) and Family Offices. It is important to create our visibility as the gateway of Africa connecting the world, including Asia, to Africa and offering a wider range of investment potentials.