Financial Services

Governance and succession: Family offices and the Chinese diaspora in Asia

September 22, 2021

Asia

Governance and succession: Family offices and the Chinese diaspora in Asia

September 22, 2021

Asia
Jason Wincuinas
Editor, The Economist Intelligence Unit

Based in Hong Kong, Jason is a senior editor of thought leadership research for Asia. He covers the region from Australia to India but has a background of business in China and Hong Kong. 

A Boston native, Jason has worked and travelled in Asia since the 1990s, settling permanently in Hong Kong since 2009. Before joining the Economist Group he was managing editor for Campaign Asia, covering all aspects of the marketing industry—from the implementation of technology to ad creative, to consumer research.

Prior to that, Jason's professional focus was in finance and technology, working in both investment and engineering firms. He also spent a decade of his career heading a manufacturing and import company, bringing goods from China’s factories to the US retail market. Some of his most formative work has been as a freelance writer and stay-at-home dad.   

Jason received a BA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with study at the University of Sheffield in Yorkshire, UK. 

Governance and succession: Family offices and the Chinese diaspora in Asia is a report from The Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by DBS Private Bank to explore the history, dynamics and governance implications as they relate to families of the Chinese diaspora in Asia and their businesses and family offices. The report’s analysis is based on a literature review and direct interviews with practitioners and academics in the related fields under study.
In the early 19th century, a confluence of outward and inward forces pushed China’s Qing Dynasty into a downward trajectory that ultimately tipped the country from its perch as the world’s largest economy. That event sparked a mass migration that has shaped history since. A Chinese diaspora—the migration and dispersion of Chinese from their homeland—has permeated the globe; sizable Chinese communities can be found from Vancouver to London to Singapore. Their influence has built foundational infrastructure and founded global companies, with some of Asia’s wealthiest families emerging from the same migration trend. That heritage and storyline is still unfolding today. To better understand the complicated and interrelated implications, The Economist Intelligence Unit has examined the factors influencing wealth planning decisions and related family-office and family governance structures taking
shape today, particularly among the Chinese diaspora in Asia.
 
The report was written by Georgia McCafferty and edited by Jason Wincuinas. We would like to thank all interviewees consulted for this study for their time and insight (listed alphabetically by surname):
 
  • Cheong Wing Kiat, managing director, Business Concept; director of Amber Collections, Glucoscare International; managing director, MarinEx Pharmaceuticals Singapore, and business family strategist 
  • Roger King, founding director and senior advisor, Tanoto Center for Asian Family Business and Entrepreneurship Studies, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)
  • Winnie Peng, director, Tanoto Center for Asian Family Business and Entrepreneurship Studies, HKUST
  • Patricia Susanto, CEO, The Jakarta Consulting Group
  • Wang Gungwu AO CBE, emeritus professor, Australian National University; and professor, National University of Singapore
Supplemental to this report, a range of academics and practitioners were invited to share their points of view in order to provide a deeper understanding of governance structures and offer a variety of perspectives on the topic. Bundled with this Economist Intelligence Unit report are three additional essays and a Q&A interview.
 
Each contributor was selected for their unique experiences and years of industry involvement. We are also grateful for their time and insights. Listed alphabetically by surname:
 
  • Stacy Choong, partner, private client and tax, Withers KhattarWong, Singapore
  • Joseph P H Fan, professor, Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School; founder, Family Glory Institute
  • Hao Gao, director, Global Family Business Research Center; deputy director, Research Center for Green Finance Development, Tsinghua University PBC School of Finance
  • Patricia Susanto, CEO, The Jakarta Consulting Group
  • Lei Xu, research fellow, Global Family Business Research Center, Tsinghua University PBC School of Finance

Receive forward-looking perspectives from our editors - Subscribe now for our Weekly Digest