Hong Kong-based single family office Tsangs Group is founding a private and non-profit club to host exclusive gatherings for rich families and businesspeople globally, as part of a bid to promote Hong Kong’s strengths as a family office hub.
Supported by the government, the Hong Kong Ambassadors Club will host its founding event on March 22, two days before the government’s Wealth for Good in Hong Kong family office summit on March 24.
As part of the summit itinerary, the event will lay out the red carpet for some of the world’s richest families, many of whom might be visiting the city for the first time post-Covid.
“The mission of the club is to promote Hong Kong. We want to connect Hong Kong to the rest of the world through business, especially for global investors, business magnates and aspiring public figures,” said Patrick Tsang, chairman of Tsangs Group.
CREAM OF THE CROP
Invitees will consist of royal families, Hong Kong Arts Centre members, prestige family offices, global influencers, celebrities, and top chief executive officers from around the world.
Invest Hong Kong, a government department that is responsible for attracting foreign direct investment and supporting overseas businesses to expand in the city, is supporting the club.
After kicking off the launch of the club in Hong Kong, events will be held across the globe, in cities such as London, New York, Davos, and Dubai, to demonstrate that the city is back full steam.
“That's one way for us to help the Hong Kong government, the Hong Kong people, to try to promote this outside. And this is all non-profit. But obviously, with us it's something that we're very passionate to do for Hong Kong and if we make Hong Kong better and great again, then hopefully we can make more money as well,” Tsang told AsianInvestor.
“It's not just a business thing. We want to use a private sector entity and like-minded people to promote Hong Kong,” he said.
One founding member of the club is Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung, a Hong Kong businessman and member of the Legislative Council as well as the Executive Council, which is the top policy advisory body to the chief executive.
Details and the guest list of the March 22 event are yet to be finalised, Tsang said.
Tsangs Group is headquartered in Hong Kong. It opened a new office in Dubai in early 2022 to tap investment opportunities in the Middle East. And in January 2023, it opened its first office in Singapore, to seek co-investment opportunities in the region.
“Obviously, we're still very Hong Kong-focused, and Hong Kong is our home…We still want Dubai and Singapore to do well also, but we want Hong Kong to do even better,” Tsang said.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS
The Hong Kong government, which dropped the city’s last piece of Covid 19 restriction, the mask mandate, on March 1, is eager to tell the world, especially the family office world, that the city is back in business, after losing talents as well as businesses to other cities — especially Singapore.
Promoting the setup and expansion of global family offices in Hong Kong is an important policy objective of the government.
In the latest annual budget released on Feb 22, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the government set aside HK$100 million ($12.7 million) for the global family office campaign that Invest Hong Kong has been planning.
One of the key projects, the Wealth for Good in Hong Kong Summit, will take place on March 24 at the Hong Kong Palace Museum. The event will cover family office investment and business themes, including technological innovation, culture and art, sustainability, as well as philanthropy.
The government’s target is to get at least 200 of the world’s top family offices to set up or expand their operations in the city by 2025.
“Getting someone just to come to eat dim sum but not set up [an office] is not enough. My idea is that we want them to go back to America, the UK, Dubai, and Singapore, to tell people back home that Hong Kong really is back. No more Covid, no more quarantine, no more masks,” Tsang said.
He hopes through these events, foreign businessmen and family offices can learn directly about Hong Kong’s advantages, including tax exemptions on capital gains, wine, and single family offices’ qualified transactions.
Applauding the government’s recent efforts to introduce a series of favourable visa schemes to attract talent from mainland China and overseas, Tsang thought it was a good start — but not enough.
The government could consider offering more tax breaks not just for family offices, but for senior managers in the wealth and asset management business to work in Hong Kong, for example.
“The reason why Dubai is getting better is that they're getting all the best people. We need to do the same, and that's something that I seriously urge the government to do more [on],” he said.
This story has been updated in para 4 and para 6.
AsianInvestor will be hosting its Family Office Briefing on March 28 in Hong Kong, which will bring together a select group of family offices. For more details, click here.