Asia’s wealthy families are increasingly spreading their wings to take advantage of international opportunities. But these opportunities also bring new challenges and complexities when it comes to managing their wealth and transferring it to the next generation. Cross-border investments, multiple jurisdictions and cultural differences between generations can make wealth transfer a daunting prospect. Are these families prepared to tackle the complex task of transferring a global portfolio of assets?
RBC Wealth Management, together with Scorpio Partnership, surveyed 425 individuals across Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, mainland China, Indonesia and Malaysia with an average investable wealth of US$5.15 million. We discovered Asia’s families educate their children about money through a combination of practical and theoretical methods, and they put a premium on instilling the same motivation and values that contributed to the wealth’s creation. But many have yet to put plans in place to ensure a smooth and efficient wealth transfer, which can leave them – and their heirs -- at significant risk.
- Asian wealth owners are enthusiastic self-educators — they are likely to manage their own investments, conduct independent research and read the financial press.
- Concerned that their beneficiaries will lose motivation after receiving an inheritance, many Asian families put conditions on wealth transfer
Different cultural influences and regulatory jurisdictions make wealth transfer for Asia’s global families potentially much more complex.
Although they are proactive about teaching their children about money and finance, fewer than one third have a wealth transfer plan in place.
51% intend to gradually gift assets during their lifetime to teach inheritors to manage wealth responsibly
26% are concerned that beneficiaries will lose motivation after receiving an inheritance
63% manage their own investments to improve their understanding of wealth
“Here we are, investing all this time into the preservation of this wealth, but have we actually spent enough time talking to our children about what they should be doing with it?”.
- Michelle, a British citizen who has been living in Asia for more than 20 years
Conflicting cultural values and multi-jurisdictional challenges can arise when passing wealth to beneficiaries in other countries.
New figures show only 31 percent of people in Asia have a full wealth transfer plan in place.
Since every country is different, it helps to plan as far ahead as possible. Most issues have solutions and here are some things to consider.
Having a comprehensive plan in place that can provide for the needs of both the student and their family is key.