In exactly five words, how would you describe what you do to someone you’re meeting for the first time?

Safeguarding the future of generations.

Beyond the direct jobs created due to the expansion of the Family Office sector, can you elaborate on the broader economic impacts of family offices on local businesses and secondary job creation?

In Singapore, family offices are often big supporters of local startups and businesses, fueling their growth, research, and job creation. And it’s not a one-way street; they share their knowledge and skills with local teams, helping elevate the workforce. They’re also champions of education, backing programs that carve out new career paths. Their long-term vision acts like a safety net, helping to cushion the blow in tough economic times and offering a sense of stability when it’s needed most.

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Could you share trends or evolutions you’ve observed in the philanthropic efforts of family offices in Singapore?

In Singapore, family offices are getting smarter about giving. They’re not just donating; they’re aligning their philanthropy with what they stand for and their long-term vision. It’s all about making every dollar count, so they’re big on research and measuring the impact. Many are going beyond just donations, diving into impact investing to get both societal good and financial gains. Plus, they’re really plugged into the community, backing everything from education to health and fighting poverty. It’s about making a difference where it counts.

Dementia Singapore and Yongjing Family Office jointly organised a fundraising concert with MLTR. The Family Office also donated $80,000 to the cause.

How are family offices ensuring their philanthropic efforts are effectively aligned with their values and the needs of the communities they serve?

It’s not uncommon for family offices to work with local startups and businesses, giving them a leg up with resources for growth, research, and new jobs. It’s not just about money; there’s a real exchange of knowledge and expertise. Professionals from these offices often mentor local talent, sharpening their skills. They even back educational programs, paving the way for more learning and job opportunities. What’s more, with their long-term vision, family offices bring a sense of stability, especially when the economy gets tough. They’re like a safety net for the community.

Family offices in Singapore are more than just investors.

Chen Yong Xiong, principal of Yongjing Family Office, on building the bridge between philanthropy, local investments, and wealth generation

What challenges do family offices encounter when establishing philanthropic foundations in Singapore, and how do they overcome these to fulfil their charitable goals?

Family offices often find themselves weaving through complex regulations. To stay on track, many consult experts in philanthropic rules, ensuring everything’s above board. To ensure their charitable work remains steady, they often set up dedicated funds, ensuring support even during tough economic times. It’s all about transparency and responsibility for them; that’s why they put in place structures like boards to oversee their foundation’s actions. Plus, they use tools, from surveys to analytics, to measure the real impact of their efforts.

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Could you share how family offices are supporting innovation and reshaping the business landscape in Singapore?

Family offices in Singapore are more than just investors. By backing startups, cutting-edge companies, and green tech, they’re championing innovation and making a real difference. They’re not just throwing money; they’re nurturing these ventures from seed to growth, funding research, and boosting talent in STEM. Some even dive deep into impact investment, supporting ventures that tackle environmental and societal issues. Over at Yongjing Family Office, our interest is in tech. We might not be tech wizards, but we’re always scouting for promising tech startups in Singapore, ready to help turn their ideas into reality.

Photo: Lawrence Teo, Clement Goh

How are family offices incorporating sustainability into their strategies, and what impacts have been observed from these efforts?

Family offices are now putting sustainability front and centre, weaving ESG elements into their game plans. The results are investments that not only make money but also make a difference. ESG isn’t just a buzzword; it’s becoming the core of their investment approach. When managing assets, they’re partnering with firms to step up their ESG game. Even in real estate, there’s a tilt towards greener designs At Yongjing Family Office, sustainability isn’t our mainstay yet — most of our chips are in equities, notes, and bonds. But we’re warming up to the value of sustainable investing. As we look ahead, we’re keen to merge our tried-and-true strategies with ESG insights, shaping smarter investment choices.