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The MAS have announced a new partnership with the private sector to strengthen Singapore’s proposition as a world leading hub for asset management. The move follows a number of grants and schemes set up by the government in recent years to support fund managers, and demonstrates the regulator’s commitment to building a global profile.
The Singapore Funds Industry Group (SFIG)
Arguably, Singapore’s political and economic stability, ease of doing business, sound infrastructure and quality workforce make it an ideal place to set up a fund management operation. The new Singapore Funds Industry Group (SFIG) has been set up to enhance the republic’s value proposition as an asset management and funds domiciliation hub. The SFIG will bring together key players across the entire asset management value chain, including fund managers and service providers. With a goal of identifying emerging industry trends and formulating strategies to develop the asset management ecosystem, the SFIG is made up of four working groups. According to their announcement the groups will focus on the following areas:
- Infrastructure and innovation – which will monitor market developments and spur innovation to transform the funds servicing value chain.
- Policy – which will provide advice and recommend improvements to regulatory, legal and tax frameworks to better serve the needs of fund managers and investors.
- Capabilities and training – which will focus on building a pool of fund specialists and directors in areas such as product development, administration, distribution and fund oversight and governance.
- Promotion and advocacy – which will raise the global profile of Singapore as a leading asset management and fund domiciliation hub, through outreach and engagement with Singapore-based and global asset managers, asset owners and service providers.
Grants and schemes to support asset management
To support the setting up of asset management offices in Singapore, the Singapore Government and MAS already offer grants and schemes to help new and smaller financial institutions meet some of the set-up and day-to-day operational cost. These grants and schemes cover a range of areas, from staff remuneration and training subsidies to digital solutions grants and grants that help cover the set-up cost of fund structures.
There has been particularly strong take up for the recently launched Digital Acceleration Grant, Regulatory Technology (RegTech) Grant and the Variable Capital Companies (VCC) Grant Scheme.
Digital Acceleration Grant
This grant supports Singapore-based smaller FIs and FinTech firms with up to 80% co-funding to adopt digital solutions to improve productivity, increase efficiency, enhance operational resilience, manage risks better, and/or serve customers better. Qualifying solutions include services from household names such as Google Cloud, Dow Jones Risk Database Search, Bloomberg, Salesforce, Tableau and many more.
Regulatory Technology (RegTech) Grant
This grant is available to Singapore-based FIs and it aims to promote in-house development or commercial partnerships with RegTech firms based in Singapore with the adoption and integration of technology solutions in the risk management and compliance functions of FIs. The grant scheme will cover two stages of solutions implementation from potential to full-scale solutions.
Variable Capital Companies (VCC) Grant Scheme
The Variable Capital Company (VCC) is a new corporate structure tailored for investment funds. To encourage the setting up and re-domicile of these investment funds in Singapore, the MAS launched the VCC Grant Scheme to co-fund 70% (capped at S$150k) of qualifying expenses paid to Singapore-based service providers for work done in Singapore in relation to the incorporation or registration of a VCC. Qualifying expenses include legal services, tax services, administration and regulatory compliance services.
Other areas where the Singapore Government offer support include the Enterprise Development Grant, Finance Associate Management Scheme, International Postings Programme and the IBF Standards Training Scheme and IBF Financial Training Scheme.
If you’re a fund manager setting up or looking to grow in the region, it’s worth exploring each of these and following the progress of the new SFIG to see how they can benefit your organisation.
We can help
We are specialists in helping new fund managers get licensed and providing regulatory advice and compliance support to MAS regulated institutions. If you’re interested in any of these schemes, or looking at changing your business model, get in touch.