To begin with, looking at the global growth rate and despite a predicted contraction of -3% in April 2020, much worse than the financial crisis of 2008, the global economy has experienced tremendous growth since the initial recovery of the first lockdown in 2020, reports Forbes.
While economists predicted a contraction of 4.9% in June 2020, far worse than the April prediction, by January, the global economy was forecasted to grow by 5.5% which soon increased to 6% in March.
Overall, 2021 experienced a growth rate of 5.9%, an impressive start to the world’s recovery and in-line with later predictions but moving into 2022 and that growth is slowing to an anticipated growth of 4.4%.
The January 2022 prediction has been attributed to markdowns in the two largest economies: America and China. While the USA received a 1.2% revision due to their ongoing supply chain shortage, China received a downgrade of 0.8% due to their tight coronavirus restrictions and the protracted financial stress it continues to create. Global growth is predicted to slow much into 2023 with a forecasted growth rate of 3.8% .
Despite receiving a forecast markdown for 2022, the USA experienced the most growth in 2021 with a growth rate of 5.2% followed by the UK which boasted a growth rate of 4.8% but while the US and UK put the U in U-turn last year, 2022 has a different winning team and this time it includes Singapore and Switzerland.
What does this tell us about the Family Office hubs in each economy?
From the Morgan’s to the Rockefeller’s, New York has always played home to some of the world’s most renown, wealthy and influential families. In fact, New York is where it all began when the term Family Office was first coined by the family of J.P Morgan in 1838 and popularised by the Rockefellers some four decades on.
In July, we revealed that New York was voted as the number one Family Office jurisdiction by 28% of Family Office Leaders. While that was perhaps unquestionable and contradictory to the point we will go onto raise, what was phenomenal was that it was followed incredibly closely by 24% of leaders who voted for Singapore.
The Garden City where 400 Family Offices have been established in 2020 alone alongside the Global Asia Family Office Circle which aims to entice many more. When asked where the Leaders of Global Family Offices might also open a second Family Office, just 17% opted for New York, beaten this time by 20% who voted for Singapore and 23% who opted for London.
Looking now to external data and in 2021 it was also revealed in the Forbes Billionaire Index that Beijing had more billionaires than any other city, cementing Asia as a new hub for Family Offices and overtaking New York as the former front runner.
Being home to a number of financial hubs, Asia has always boasted an incredible array of professional services, trade links and a deep rooted talent pool but 2020 and 2021 have been hugely formative years for Asia’s Family Office ecosystem.
In 2020, 400 Family Offices were established in Singapore alone and 2021 only built on this success. In Q1, China announced that its economy grew a record 18.3%, the highest jump in GDP since China started recording quarterly in 1992. In Q2 Forbes announced that Beijing overtook New York by hosting more billionaires than any other city and in Q3, Hong Kong rolled out a red carpet for Family Offices by legislating Limited Partnerships – a popular format for Family Offices.
Within weeks, the Hong Kong Family Office Association was launched followed swiftly by the Global Asia Family Office Circle in Singapore, both of which were launched to attract more Family Offices to their respective marketplaces and both of which seem to be working extraordinarily well.
With the IMD ranking Singapore the most competitive economy in the world, INSEAD rating it first in the world for political and operational stability and the EU stating it is the fourth largest recipient of foreign domestic investment, Singapore is certainly leading the APAC Family Office initiative and its economy set to grow at a rate of 3.2% for another year could just prove our point.
The OECD this month suggested that the UK is one of the slowest-growing economies in the G7, ahead only of the US and Japan where growth fell.
The OECD also mentioned in its 2022 forecast that business investment will improve but continue to be held back by uncertainty as while the economy is expected to reach pre-crisis levels at the beginning of 2022, it is still plagued by increased border costs following the exit from the EU Single Market which is weighing heavily on imports and exports.
That said, many Family Offices look to establish a Family Office in the UK not just because of its local economy but its access to the global market. This has only been elevated with the UK’s high vaccination rate which has meant business is very much back to normal across the UK.
The UK Family Office marketplace also offers a deep-rooted talent pool that much of Europe fail to compete with and being arguably the second most-mature Family Office marketplace, after America, means that not only does the UK boast an array of professional and technical talent but also talent with a rich Family Office experience. Its people could just be its saving grace.
Europe is home to a long list of financial epicentres, technology hubs and Family Office marketplaces. France, Switzerland and Germany are all thought to play a part in making Europe a playground for Family Offices but more European names are cropping up, trying to cement their place.
Greece is the latest European Country after a slice of the Family Office pie and after spending two years passing a string of legislative policy to try and attract wealthy individuals, they have firmly and very publicly set their sights on Family Offices.
In 2019 the government introduced a non-domicile law that offered tax incentives for wealthy foreign nationals moving to Greece. In early 2020, retirees moving to Greece were granted a flat 7% tax on pension incomes and later on in the same year Greece passed a new law allowing digital nomads to halve their income tax if they moved to the country, furthering the local talent pool and offering to affluent and institutional families.
In 2021, following a year and a half of reform, a framework was voted through parliament which granted low taxes for Family Offices in the hope of attracting more families to the region and now, the Finance Ministry are considering opening up their Family Office regulation to allow non-doms to set up Family Offices in the region.
Did you subscribe to our daily Newsletter?
It’s Free! Click here to Subscribe