Around the World of Single Family Offices: An Family Office Association Podcast with Joe Field
Around the World of Single Family Offices with Angelo J. Robles
In Part 21 of the Family Office Association Podcast Audio Series, Angelo J. Robles is joined by Joe Field as they discuss single family offices around the world. You can either read the transcription or listen to the podcast and learn more.
Angelo Robles: Good afternoon, everyone. This is Angelo Robles at Family Office Association. I am joined today in our audio podcast by Joe Field, of Counsel, at Withers Worldwide. Withers is one of the most significant legal firms in the world for families of great wealth and SFOs. Joe is an attorney, as noted, has unbelievable experience around the world, having lived in varies foreign countries for multiple decades, and is one of the most renowned thought leaders and attorneys in the international community of single family offices. Joe, it’s a pleasure to have you in our audio podcast today.
Field: Thank you, Angelo. It’s a pleasure to participate.
Angelo: We have several items we’d like to cover in the relatively limited amount of time that we’re fortunate to have with Joe Field today. Let’s get right down to it taking the approach and looking very much international. So, certainly there has been an explosion of wealth around the world and the opportunity for families of wealth to see the tremendous value in creating an entity that gives them the utmost in customization and privacy and control, a single family office, yet the concept it still newer comparative to America and even parts of Europe. Let’s maybe take a little bit of a look around the world in certain geographic areas and maybe give your comments in terms of what you’re seeing within the single family office community and the nuances in those regions, understanding of course that each country is going to have different regulation and it could vary greatly. Why don’t we start, obviously it’s been a hot region lately, walk us through giving your deep experiences in Asia, what is going on with single family offices?
Field: Well, I think it’s very interesting because we think of Asia as one continent, which of course it is, but it’s a continent of vast diversity and enormous concentration in the sense that almost all of the wealth in Asia is in the hands of the Chinese, ethnic Chinese, be it that in countries like Indonesia or Malaysia, they may be a very small minority of the population, they still control the wealth. Similarly, the legal systems are very, very different, and in places like Hong Kong and Singapore and, to some degree, Malaysia, the predominant legal system is the English Common Law whereas in a place like Indonesia or, indeed, Japan, or Korea, or Taiwan, the predominant legal systems is a Civil Law system based on the French Napoleonic Code with all that entails. So, the legal system often will impact how families think about things.