Family-in-Business Award Coming – South China Morning Post

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The CUHK Centre for Family Business (CFB) has recently received a generous donation of $1.25 million from the NxGen Visionaries and the Family Office Association Hong Kong (FOAHK), to support the development of best practice frameworks for Asian family businesses and office, and to action research more diversified and thriving family office ecosystem in Hong Kong, especially with an outlook towards multi-family offices.

This donation will be used as an early stage development of the upcoming rigorous and prestigious Family-in-Business Award and research around the development of Multi-Family Offices in Hong Kong. 

Executive Director of CFB ,Marshall Jen (leftmost), Director of CFB Professor Kevin Au (second from the left), Executive Director of HKAWL Angel Chia (second from the right), and Vice President of CUHK Professor Anthony Chan (rightmost) and the members of NxGen Visionaries gather in the memorable donation ceremony.

Establishing Family-in-Business Award 
“One of the key initiatives for us will be the establishment of The Family-in-Business Award, which aims to inspire and showcase exemplary practices within the family business community,”  explained Marshall Jen, the Executive Director of CUHK CFB emphasized. “This rigorous process will bridge between academia and practitioners, fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing”

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The award received the full support of The Hong Kong Academy for Wealth Legacy (HKAWL) as well. “By lending our support to the esteem institutes like CUHK Centre for Family Business, in its pursuit to elevate thought leadership and encourage best practices for families, family businesses, and family offices, we can collectively advance the knowledge and expertise to our field, benefiting families and industry professionals alike.” Said Angel Chia, the Executive Director of HKAWL. 

Leveraging Hong Kong’s strategic position 
It does not make sense to not talk about Multi-Family Office in Hong Kong as it may provide a much greater economic impact. The Centre will also develop a Multi-family Office White Paper as their priority research work, which acts as a comprehensive guidebook to provide a clear taxonomy of this fast-evolving industry and inspire the roadmap of further transformation to the related business.

FOAHK also recognizes the growing trend of more new families, particularly those with the Chinese interest, coming to Hong Kong, creating the need for multi-family offices to leverage the resources of other families and outsource certain support functions.

“CUHK has demonstrated a commitment to this sector, so they are naturally a good partner for this project. “Jessica Cutrera, Chairperson of HKFOA, noted CUHK CFB’s passion and its pioneering work in local and Chinese family business. “Centre for Family Business was established in 2012, with its inaugural research project dating back to 2006.” CUHK Pro-Vice-Chancellor Prof. Anthony Chan said.

Executive Director of the CUHK CFB and one of the founders of NxGen Visionaries, Marshall Jen said the Family in Business Award aims to recognize the remarkable achievements of Asian Chinese families in areas such as intergenerational succession, family governance, family office practices, philanthropy and next-generation entrepreneurship.

Sustainable deployment for business families 
Members of NxGen Visionaries are anticipating the research effort via the collaboration with CFB. 

“Family office can be more than just an investment” said Jaime Chou, chief investment officer of GLy Capital Management and third generation member of the Tan Siu Lin, “it is also how to serve the family members, in terms of healthcare, education, and philanthropy.” Entertainment, he added, is another function for some family offices to maintain the relationship and enhance the cohesion of the families, especially for those extended families with dozens or hundreds of members.

“My family experienced several transformations in light of challenges and crises, and is proven and established amid the historical changes in Hong Kong over the centuries.” Li Man-on, co-founder and director of Alfo Capital and the fifth generation of the Li family which co-founded Bank of East Asia, regards the family office as a sustainable deployment eyeing long-term instead of ad-hoc benefits. “We also see the resilience of Hong Kong. Never bet against Hong Kong.” 

Paul Ko, director of the property firm Tak Shing (Group) and the founder of Open Legacy Limited, recognised the importance of the research on modern family offices and family businesses. “In the context of family offices, particularly among the long-standing and established families, there has been a shift in perception regarding Hong Kong’s stability as a society and economy. Over the past few years, significant changes have occurred, both positive and negative.”

 “It is a new way for us to work together, respectfully sharing thoughts and ideas, for a  formal study in modern family offices and to tackle a lot of challenges  going forward, by fostering a sense of confidentiality and trust within a tight-knit small group” Paul added. 

Coming from a business family in Shunde of Guangdong Province and having worked as the Senior Vice President of FamilyOfficeHK, Jacky Leung, founder and chairman of the Royal Family Office, said that family offices are becoming more important and concerning in Mainland China and Southeast Asia. “We see that Hong Kong has already been an international Family office hub as it attracted many HNW families from Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand to set up their offices here. More opportunities are coming ahead.” 

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