ASIAN PERSPECTIVES ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Since Lombard Odier was born as a family business in Geneva in 1796, it has operated along entrepreneurial lines, reinventing its business model several times to survive dramatic political and economic change. From our early days engaging in long-distance financing for business interests in Europe, we experienced several metamorphoses before developing into what we are today. Entrepreneurship is in our DNA, positioning us as a natural partner for current and next generation entrepreneurs as much in Europe as in other regions including Asia, where this segment is showing strong demand for sustainable wealth management solutions.
Entrepreneurship has driven the development of Lombard Odier over seven generations and it is entrepreneurs and family businesses that are driving growth in some of our most important business regions, especially in Asia. The growing ranks of successful entrepreneurs and family businesses in Asia in recent decades hardly needs introduction. They form the backbone of economies from north to south Asia, prompting us to convene a gathering of top Asia-based entrepreneurs and family businesses in regional business hub Singapore.
Chou Cheng Ngok, the second-generation owner and Chief Executive Officer of Southeast Asia’s leading publishing house and bookstore chain Popular Holdings, described his company’s international expansion as a necessity at the time. “Going out of Singapore then, was a natural progression arising from the circumstances of the time. We had to find and develop alternative sources of book supplies,” said Chou, whose company was founded by his father in 1924 and who also set up the Chou Sing Chu Foundation, which donates large collections of books to libraries and schools.
Entrepreneurship continued to fuel the growth of many companies in Singapore during subsequent decades, despite the image of the island nation as non-entrepreneurial given its paternalistic government model. Fast forward to 2016, and entrepreneurship was very much alive and well in Singapore while being actively nurtured by government bodies and funding support.
Leading online retail entrepreneur Roger Egan chose to launch his business RedMart in Singapore rather than other locations in Asia given its suitability as an international business hub. “We didn’t know which market to start in, but Singapore seemed an easy place to do business,” he said. “Incorporation is straightforward, there is plenty of talent and you’ve got an excellent infrastructure. Many of the large companies base their Asia headquarters in Singapore so it ticked all the boxes.” With the help of investment from SPRING, a government-linked entity providing funding to promising entrepreneurial ventures, Egan set up an e-commerce and logistics platform that has raised 70 million Singapore dollars, with a view to expanding to Hong Kong and beyond.
A plethora of government schemes are making life easier for Singapore’s budding entrepreneurs. Infocomm Investments, EnterpriseOne and SPRING Singapore are state-backed initiatives designed to foster the island’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The EntrePass for foreign entrepreneurs, cash grants, and equity financing schemes, accelerator programs and incubation programmes like the i.Jam Micro Funding Scheme provide help for new businesses to build scale locally and abroad. Low tax has also helped in cultivating the country’s new business-friendliness. These savvy steps have borne fruit for Singapore.
According to Stephen Fang, CEO of Capital Syndication and Deployment Platform Capbridge, the story of entrepreneurship in Singapore is stronger than outsiders give it credit for. Nevertheless, funding remains a key challenge for start-ups in the city state, prompting him to launch an innovative funding platform that will also be active in Hong Kong, to bring additional support to the sector. “For me, the crucial issue is how startups can be nurtured over the coming years and the biggest challenge that I see is in the area of funding, especially in the latest round of economic volatility,” said Fang.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION – GENERAL MARKETING
This is a marketing communication issued by Bank Lombard Odier & Co Ltd or an entity of the Group (hereinafter “Lombard Odier”). It is not intended for distribution, publication, or use in any jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, or use would be unlawful, nor is it aimed at any person or entity to whom it would be unlawful to address such a document. This marketing communication is provided for information purposes only. It does not constitute an offer or a recommendation to subscribe, to purchase, sell or hold any security or financial instrument. It contains the opinions of Lombard Odier, as at the date of issue. These opinions and the information herein contained do not take into account an individual’s specific circumstances, objectives, or needs. No representation is made that any investment or strategy is suitable or appropriate to individual circumstances or that any investment or strategy constitutes a personal recommendation to any investor. Tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each client and may be subject to change in the future. Lombard Odier does not provide tax advice. Therefore you must verify the above and all other information provided in the marketing communication or otherwise review it with your external tax advisors.
Investment are subject to a variety of risks. Before entering into any transaction, an investor should consult his/her investment advisor and, where necessary, obtain independent professional advice in respect of risks, as well as any legal, regulatory, credit, tax, and accounting consequences. The information and analysis contained herein are based on sources considered to be reliable. However, Lombard Odier does not guarantee the timeliness, accuracy, or completeness of the information contained in this document, nor does it accept any liability for any loss or damage resulting from its use. All information and opinions as well as the prices, market valuations and calculations indicated herein may change without notice.
Past performance is no guarantee of current or future returns, and the investor may receive back less than he invested. The value of any investment in a currency other than the base currency of a portfolio is subject to foreign exchange rate risk. These rates may fluctuate and adversely affect the value of the investment when it is realized and converted back into the investor’s base currency. The liquidity of an investment is subject to supply and demand. Some products may not have a well-established secondary market or in extreme market conditions may be difficult to value, resulting in price volatility and making it difficult to obtain a price to dispose of the asset.
European Union Members: This marketing communication has been approved for issue by Lombard Odier (Europe) S.A., a credit institution authorised and regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) in Luxembourg and by each of its branches operating in the following territories: Belgium: Lombard Odier (Europe) S.A. Luxembourg · Belgium branch, a credit institution regulated in Belgium by the Banque nationale de Belgique (BNB) and the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA); France: Lombard Odier (Europe) S.A. · Succursale en France, a credit institution and regulated in France by the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (ACPR) and by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) in respect of its investment services activities; Netherlands: Lombard Odier (Europe) S.A. · Netherlands Branch, a credit institution regulated in the Netherlands by De Nederlansche Bank (DNB); Spain: Lombard Odier (Europe) S.A. · Sucursal en España, a credit institution regulated in Spain by the Banco de España and the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV); and United Kingdom: Lombard Odier (Europe) S.A. · UK Branch, a credit institution regulated in the UK by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (“PRA”). Details of the extent of our authorisation and regulation by the PRA and regulation by the FCA are available from us on request. UK regulation for the protection of retail clients in the UK and the compensation available under the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme does not apply in respect of any investment or services provided by an overseas person.
In addition, this marketing communication has also been approved for issue by the following entities domiciled within the European Union: Gibraltar: Lombard Odier & Cie (Gibraltar) Limited, a firm which is regulated and authorised by the Financial Services Commission, Gibraltar (FSC) to conduct banking and investment services business; Spain: Lombard Odier Gestión (España) SGIIC, S.A., an investment management Company authorised and regulated by the CNMV.
Switzerland: This marketing communication has been approved for issue by Bank Lombard Odier & Co Ltd, a bank and securities dealer authorised and regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).
United States: Neither this document nor any copy thereof may be sent, taken into, or distributed in the United States of America, any of its territories or possessions or areas subject to its jurisdiction, or to or for the benefit of a United States Person. For this purpose, the term “United States Person” shall mean any citizen, national or resident of the United States of America, partnership organized or existing in any state, territory or possession of the United States of America, a corporation organized under the laws of the United States or of any state, territory or possession thereof, or any estate or trust that is subject to United States Federal income tax regardless of the source of its income.
This marketing communication may not be reproduced (in whole or in part), transmitted, modified, or used for any public or commercial purpose without the prior written permission of Lombard Odier.
© 2016 Bank Lombard Odier & Co Ltd – all rights reserved