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News Briefs: Singapore lures more family offices; Family office behind SPAC; Woodford’s advisory role at family-backed venture group

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Singapore looks to lure family offices with VVCs

Family offices can expect to see more assets managed in Singapore to be administered by Variable Capital Companies. 

Nearly twenty of Singapore’s top boutiques and multi-family offices use the structure, built to house traditional and alternative strategies plus open-ended and closed-end funds. Each client’s assets are held in a separate sub-account. VCCs also offer cost savings, tax efficiency and flexibility for the payment of dividends. Family offices may choose to claw back some of the financial benefits. 

Users mainly comprise firms who participated in a pilot scheme. They include advisory firm Raffles Family Office, Gordian Capital, Envysion Wealth, Tembusu Partners, Heliconia Capital and DCG Capital. 

The Monetary Authority of Singapore only allows managers regulated in Singapore to use VCC – “potentially a game-changer” according to PwC.  

Earlier this year, in a discussion with Withers, the legal firm, MAS said it would consider allowing single-family offices to use VCCs. They are excluded for now because they are not all regulated in Singapore.

Partner at family office to back SPAC

British born, US-based investor Martin E. Franklin is looking to launch a SPAC, according to Bloomberg, and his son, a partner in the family’s investment office, Mariposa Capital, is expected to be a partner in the new SPAC. The SPAC will target consumer companies and looking to list in the UK, according to the report. 

Woodford advisory role at family-backed venture group

Former asset manager Neil Woodford has taken an advisory role at Juno Capital, a UK venture capital adviser backed by the Rudd family.  Woodford will be advising Juno on developing a biotech portfolio with his business partner Craig Newman.  

Their former boutique Woodford Investment Management, an extensive investor in biotech, was wound up nine months ago, due to the poor performance of its value stocks, which triggered a client exodus. Woodford was unavailable to comment on his new role. 

Juno was founded in 2011 by Edward Rudd and Julian Hickman to find VC opportunities for its wealthy investors including family offices. 

Its partners also include Edward Rudd’s father, the UK industrialist Sir Nigel Rudd and investment banker Malcolm Le May.  Juno aims to put forward 8 to 10 opportunities a year for clients, backed up by thorough research. 

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