Magazine issues » December 2017

ASSOCIATION COLUMN: A perfect tenth

Singapore_cityThis year has been an important one for the industry in Singapore, with technological innovation, regulatory developments, robust merger and acquisition activity, business growth and wider engagement across the board in terms of outsourcing and the ecosystem of service providers. The Singapore Fund Administrators Association (SFAA) also celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2017, an important milestone. Chairman Martin O’Regan said: “As our base of members widens, now over 50 and growing, and the challenges of operating in the industry increase, the SFAA strives to be the representative body at the forefront of regulatory and advocacy initiatives, promoting Singapore as an ideal jurisdiction for fund managers and funds, and providing our members with the platform and tools to thrive in an increasingly competitive global environment.” Over the past decade, Singapore has established itself as a leading asset management centre. That, to a degree, has been driven by the efforts of service providers, including banks, law firms, accountancy and audit firms, tax advisers, compliance consultants, fund and corporate administrators, trustees and related software and application providers. The main driver, however, have been the Singapore government, Ministry of Finance, tax authorities and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which continue to focus on strengthening the frameworks under which the industry operates. An example of this is the MAS-led public consultation in March 2017 on a proposed corporate structure for investment funds, the Singapore variable capital company (S-Vacc). The industry responded positively and S-Vacc is expected to play a critical role in the growth of Singapore’s funds industry. The corporate structure will also come with a dedicated tax regime. The MAS is in the process of responding to the public consultation and aims to implement the framework in 2018. In addition, following a consultation, the MAS announced in October that a simplified regulatory regime for venture capital fund managers would come into effect. This was welcomed by the industry, with a number of managers submitting applications for a capital markets services licence in preparation for launching their VC funds in 2018. SFAA vice chairman Imran Khan said: “Both the SFAA’s members and partners have consulted on the S-Vacc and the simplified regulatory regime for venture capital fund managers, providing the MAS with recommendations to further strengthen the industry and enhance the attractiveness of Singapore as a regional hub for investors to access global markets and private market opportunities in Asia. Singapore has also reinvigorated its interest in the larger fund passporting scheme, the Asian Region Funds Passport, which is another game-changer for the industry in the region.” The SFAA believes that with a conducive pro-business environment, skilled workforce, high regulatory standards, robust corporate governance framework, growing tax treaty network, membership of global task forces and an exceptional ecosystem of service providers, the coming years will see continued growth, a widening of the sectors and areas of focus, and increased job and value creation across the funds industry. By the Singapore Fund Administrators Association ©2017 funds global asia

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