Dirty Rotten Scoundrels


Jun 15, 2024


Sarah Parsons Wolter


Jun 15, 2024


Sarah Parsons Wolter


The family office scene in Asia is booming, but it's not without its quirks. At a recent Singapore conference, Edoardo Collevecchio of Oppenheimer Generations Asia shared a bizarre encounter: a supposed executive at another “family office” turned out to be a complete fraud. This highlights a growing trend of imposters trying to hustle their way into the industry.

Asia's rapid growth in family offices, fueled by attractive tax breaks and easy visas, has unfortunately attracted scammers. Messaging groups meant for social events have morphed into detective networks, where members vet resumes and firms to weed out the fakes. It’s like a game of “CSI: Family Office Edition,” and it's clear that more scrutiny is needed in this largely unregulated space.

Despite these shenanigans, the future looks bright. According to UBS’s 2024 Global Family Office Report, the Asia-Pacific region is set to become a top investment destination, with over a third of family offices planning to increase allocations there. Additionally, 39% of family offices are now relying more on active management to diversify their portfolios—a 4% jump from last year.

So, while the fraudsters may think they're slick…They are probably no match for Ruprecht in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.


Portfolio News

CapIntel debuts Uncapped: Inaugural user conference for leaders in the digital evolution of wealth and asset management - Uncapped is an exclusive one-day event dedicated to technology and innovation in wealth management, which will brings together wholesalers and advisors for collaboration and learning in a digital-first environment. Read more

Termii announces 3rd edition of annual conference, Elevate 3.0, calls for innovators and entrepreneurs to pitch to win - Termii Elevate 3.0 is meticulously designed to promote innovation, collaboration, and growth within the communication technology and business ecosystems. The event welcomes founders, partners, potential investors, small business owners, developers, and tech enthusiasts for a day of networking and innovation. Read more

Antler to invest $10m in early stage Indian startups - Partners Rajiv Srivatsa and Nitin Sharma will lead the initiative, targeting idea-stage founders with investments of $500,000 per company, totaling 20 investments over the next 6 months. Read more

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Asia’s family office frenzy comes with plenty of imposters - A rapidly growing wealth management industry is spurring a rise in allegations of fake family offices from Singapore to Hong Kong, forcing many in the sector to go “full CSI” to weed out imposters. Read more

UBS Global Family Office Report 2024: balance is back - The report, which contains insights from 320 single family offices across seven regions of the world, finds that Just as balanced portfolios appear to be back in favor, so too does active management. Amid rapid technological change, shifting rate expectations and uneven growth, the increased dispersion of returns offers opportunities for active management. Geopolitics emerges as the top concern for family offices, followed by climate change in the medium term. Read more

Industry News

Morgan Stanley CEO says AI could save financial advisers 10-15 hours a week - "This is potentially really game-changing," Pick said, adding that the bank's tool to transcribe and enter notes from client meetings into a database could boost advisers' productivity. It could also help advisers fine-tune topics to discuss with wealthy clients and tailor investment products to their needs, he said. Read more

UK poised to approve biggest overhaul of listing regime in 40 years - The changes are part of a wider effort to attract companies to float in the UK by easing regulatory requirements. FCA chief executive Nikhil Rathi warned last week that they would create “potential for failure” as well as “great opportunity” from companies seeking to list. Read more

401(k) matches on student loan payments gain foothold in corporate America - Roughly 100 clients of Fidelity Investments are rolling out expanded benefits to help employees struggling to pay down debts and save for retirement. But overall, about 64% of companies don’t plan to roll out an expanded 401(k) match, citing costs as a major reason, according to a survey by the Plan Sponsor Council of America. Read more

US business owners seek higher insurance coverage as AI, election risks loom - Artificial intelligence and U.S. election have emerged as significant risks to businesses this year with an overwhelming 80% of owners worried their insurance will not cover a specific loss, a survey by insurance brokerage Gallagher showed this week. Read more

Affirm buy now, pay later loans will be embedded into Apple Pay later this year - Affirm will surface as an option for Apple Pay users on iPhones and iPads later this year. Apple also said that installment loans via credit and debit cards would be available on Apple Pay in the U.S. with Citigroup, Synchrony and Fiserv-related issuers. Read more

CFPB issues proposed rule banning medical bills from credit reports - The proposed rule would stop credit reporting companies from sharing medical debts with lenders and would prohibit lenders from using medical information to make lending decisions, the agency said in a press release this week. Read more

Peru pursues real-time payments via India’s UPI technology - This partnership makes Peru the first country in South America to adopt the technology. The development is a major feather in the cap of India’s fintech industry and another great example of how countries in Latin America are embracing fintech innovation to promote financial inclusion. Read more

AlphaSense acquires Tegus for $930m; increases latest valuation to $4b - This transaction will bring Tegus' breadth of private company data to AlphaSense's platform, further delivering on the companies' shared mission to empower business and financial professionals to make smarter decisions through AI-driven market intelligence. As part of this deal, AlphaSense has raised $650m in funding, co-led by Viking Global Investors and BDT & MSD Partners. Read more

Starling Bank reports 50% revenue rise in third year of profitability - UK challenger Starling Bank has reported its third year of profitability in the year ending 31 March, with pre-tax profits jumping 54.7% to £301.1m. Read more

Mastercard to phase out manual card entry for online payments in Europe by 2030 - Starting from 2030, Mastercard will no longer require Europeans to enter their card numbers manually when checking out online — no matter what platform or device they’re using. Mastercard will announce Tuesday in a fireside chat with CNBC that, by 2030, all cards it issues on its network in Europe will be tokenized. Read more

Select Financings

AccountsIQ - Dublin based accounting technology startup raised €60m in Series C funding led by Axiom Equity. Read more

BayaniPay - Philippines based money transfer company raised $3m in Series A funding led by Wavemaker Partners. Read more

Brightwave - New York based AI-powered research assistant for financial analysis raised $6m in Seed funding led by Decibel Partners. Read more

Danelfin - Barcelona based stock selection and portfolio management AI company raised €2m in new funding led by Nauta Capital. Read more

Enfi - Boston based credit risk analysis startup raised $7.5m in Seed funding led by Unusual Ventures. Read more

InScope - San Francisco based automated financial reporting startup raised $4.3m in Seed funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Better Tomorrow Ventures. Read more

Irys - London based on-chain data developer raised $3.5m in Seed funding led by Lemniscap. Read more

Jump - Salt Lake City based software provider for financial advisers raised $4.6m in new funding led by Sorenson Capital. Read more

Kima - Israel based settlement protocol connecting TradFi services to DeFi tools raised $5m in pre Seed funding led by Blockchange and FinSec Innovation Lab. Read more

Layer3 - Washington based token distribution protocol raised $15m in Series A funding led by ParaFi and Greenfield Capital. Read more

Light - Denmark based ledger management startup raised $13m in Seed funding led by Atomico. Read more

Linq - Cambridge based AI agent for financial analysts raised $6.6m in Seed funding led by InterVest and Atinum. Read more

Mountain Protocol - Massachusetts based yield-bearing stablecoin issuer raised $8m in Series A funding led by Multicoin Capital. Read more

Nexus Labs - San Francisco based zero-knowledge cryptography firm raised $25m in Series A funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Pantera Capital. Read more

Sahl - Egypt based bill payment startup raised $6m in Series A funding led by Ayady for Investment and Development. Read more

Sidekick - UK based wealth and savings app for millennials raised £4.5m in Seed funding led by Pact VC and TheVentureCity. Read more

Squads Labs - Philippines based application offering Solana-based wallet for businesses raised $10m in Series A funding led by Electric Capital. Read more

Stake - Dubai based real estate investment platform raised $14m in Series A funding led by Middle East Venture Partners. Read more

Zeliq - Paris based sales automation platform raised $10m in Seed funding led by Exor Ventures. Read more


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