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How to Capture Private Wealth in China

Eva Law, a speaker at the marcus evans Private Wealth Management APAC Summit 2014, on what wealthy families in China need from family offices.

Interview with: Eva Law, Chairman, Association of Private Bankers in Greater China Region & Association of Family Offices in Asia


Private wealth managers should always consider what their ultra-affluent customers really want. Wealthy families in China want to preserve assets and grow the business, not just grow financial assets. To gain their trust, family offices need to provide a range of services to support their needs, rather than constantly sell a solution,” advises Eva Law, Chairman, Association of Private Bankers in Greater China Region & Association of Family Offices in Asia.

Law is a speaker at the marcus evans Private Wealth Management APAC Summit 2014, taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 27 - 29 October. Ahead of the Summit, she reveals how family offices can capture wealth in China, the fastest growing market in the region. 

Why is wealth capturing a key challenge for family offices? Why is private wealth “hidden” in China?

In our market, many entrepreneurs have the capital but lack the sophistication and knowledge needed to preserve and grow the wealth. It will take time to educate these individuals. At the same time, there is an inadequate supply of professionals who can really address their diversified needs. Relationship Managers and advisers need to work with professionals from varied areas, which is not always easy.

Most wealthy Chinese do not want others to know they are so rich. In our market, people think exposing wealth to the masses can lead to jealousy and bad luck, so many of the wealthy choose to become low-profile. To uncover the hidden wealth, the plugged-in professionals connected with wealth owners have the instrumental role.

Which areas should they focus on?

Family offices need to address two major issues: rejuvenate the family’s business and manage the wealth transfer. They need to find a way to work well with the second generation. Research shows the next-gen does not want to continue the family business and has a different management mentality with their parents.

The family office can help the two generations explore different solutions to carry on with the existing business and identify a good time to set up a new business line or new firm. It can assess opportunities whether it is venturing into a new market, merging, acquiring offshore assets or incorporating a company offshore for organic growth. In all of the solutions, the family office can help minimise the family’s tax exposure, contain risk bearing and ensure the family is deploying capital efficiently.

What are some of the unique characteristics of private wealth owners in China?

Each family has its own decision-making style, but we could say that first generation wealth owners are quite proud of their achievements and very confident in their ability to generate profit. That is why bankers and advisors trying to sell solutions to these people may not be the best approach. Instead, they should inspire them to think in a new approach, to give them the useful information needed to venture into a new direction. That is how a family office can better gain the trust of very wealthy owners in China.

What cultural differences should family offices plan for?

The Western family office model cannot just be replicated in China. Cultural differences, the mentality of the people and business practices should all be taken into account. Some people talk about efficiency, learning from the West and taking advantage of the best models out there, but they should not simply replicate a model that may have worked well elsewhere.

Wealthy Chinese people like flexibility. The big boss always plays a dominant role and has the final say. The Chinese also respect relationships to a greater degree. It is important to be accommodating, to identify influential people in their circle, to leverage them and get them on your side.

Contact: Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits Division

Tel: + 357 22 849 313

About the Private Wealth Management APAC Summit 2014

The fifth annual Private Wealth Management APAC Summit is the premium forum bringing elite buyers and sellers together. The Summit offers regional SFOs, MFOs, wealth advisors, and international fund managers and consultants an intimate environment for a focused discussion of key new drivers shaping wealth preservation and investment strategy. Taking place at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 27 - 29 October 2014, the Summit includes presentations on strategic asset allocation and risk management, co-investment opportunities, family governance, lucrative alternatives to boost returns and more.

For more information please send an email to or visit the event website

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Please note that the Summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

About marcus evans Summits

marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, case studies, roundtables and one-to-one business meetings. For more information, please visit 

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