Cem. A. Azak Executive Chairman of Crossinvest
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2020 Family Office Series

The 2020 Family Office Series is a 6 weeks special coverage on family office and multi-family office in Asia. Hear from leading family office experts, institutes, private banks, family offices and many more.  Learn about family office, changes family office are facing, how to setup a family office or join a multi-family office. Find out how the biggest wealth transfer is taking shape, how managing traditional wealth and new wealth is different and many more.

About Family Office: Family offices manage assets of the wealthiest people in the world. There are about 2,800+ billionaires, 290,000 UHNWs and 15,000+ family offices worldwide.  Billionaires and UHNWs setup family offices, with assets ranging from $300 million to $3 billion, and some with more than $10 billion assets.  Newer family offices are also setting up family offices with $20 million to $100 million.

Visit: The 2020 Family Office Series




 

Interview with Cem A. Azak, Executive Chairman of Crossinvest (Asia)

Cem. A. Azak Executive Chairman Of Crossinvest
Cem. A. Azak Executive Chairman of Crossinvest

Interview with Cem A. Azak, Executive Chairman of Crossinvest (Asia)

We interview Cem A. Azak, Executive Chairman and major shareholder of multi-family office Crossinvest (Asia) in Singapore, sharing his valuable insights on family office, key considerations on setting up a family office and the fascinating world of family office.

 

Highlights from interview:
  • “Unique investment opportunities as good assets are undervalued”
  • Why family office: “A more efficient structure to manage their wealth & investments”
  • “Compare & meet professionals and companies they want to work with”
  • On extravagant purchase by family offices: “Not the primary concern – Family office will provide the most efficient way to finance & purchase the assets”
  • Favourite place for family office meetings: Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Zurich/Geneva, and Dubai

” Unique investment opportunities as good assets are undervalued “

 

Introduction

Cem. A. Azak Executive Chairman Of Crossinvest
Cem. A. Azak Executive Chairman of Crossinvest
Who are you and what do you do?

Cem A. Azak:  I am currently the Executive Chairman and majority shareholder of Crossinvest (Asia), a multi-family office providing wealth and management services.

  • Executive Chairman of Crossinvest (Asia)
  • Investment banking & wealth management
  • Board Member, Co-Founder

I have vast experiences in both investment banking and wealth management in United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and Singapore.  I am also a board member of a European fintech company, co-founder of a European digital learning software company, member of the board of trustees of the Turkish Entrepreneurship Foundation and fund-raiser committee of the registered charity Jazz Association in Singapore.

 

Crossinvest Logo

 

Luxury Mansion 1
Luxury Mansion, The World of Billionaires
1. What are the top 1 – 3 concerns / topics for family offices in Asia today?

Cem A. Azak:  In 2020, Covid-19 was and still is a major concern especially given the volatile market environment, the global economic outlook and also the restrictions regarding office hours and work from home regulations.

We have to work much harder to monitor our global investments 24/7 and the capital markets.  Asia is handling the pandemic much better than Europe & US and even with vaccines now emerging, the economic impact will last for several years.  But because of the economic impact, there are now very unique investment opportunities as good assets are undervalued.

Top 1 – 3 concerns / topics for family offices in Asia:
  • Covid-19 is still a major concern
  • Volatile market, economic outlook, restrictions
  • Unique investment opportunities as good assets are undervalued

” Unique investment opportunities as good assets are undervalued “

 

2. Is there any interesting story about family office you can share?

Cem A. Azak:  Crossinvest (Asia) is right now helping our entrepreneurial clients by providing access to bridge financing and also closing venture capital deals for several local and foreign client companies.

For example, we are currently helping one of our client, whose digital company need a USD 6 million bridge financing till March next year.

We are also helping our clients to invest direct into companies, but we will also setup our own venture capital fund in the near future.  We are constantly seeing companies and startups to do our own valuations and due diligence.  Deal sizes are from USD 50,000 for new startups and up to USD 100 million for established companies.  This is the right niche for us as everything above USD 100 million is more interesting for investment banks.

  • Bridge financing
  • Venture capital deals  – From USD 50k
  • Direct investment – Max. USD 100 million

 

On Setting up Family Office

UBS Hong Kong
UBS office in Kowloon, Hong Kong
1. What is the amount of assets required to setup a family office?

Cem A. Azak:  For a single-family office, at least USD 100 million are needed to make it economically viable.  If they join a Multi-Family Office (MFO), then assets of USD 25 to 30 million are a good starting point.

  • Single-Family Office: USD 100 million (economically viable)
  • Multi-Family Office: USD 25 million to 30 million (good starting point)

” Single family office, at least USD 100 million to be economically viable “

2. How does a Billionaire or UHNW setup a family office?

CEM A. Azak:  They can use specialised companies like Multi-Family offices and Wealth & Asset Managers like Crossinvest (Asia) who have the right knowledge to guide and support them.

 

Family Office Advisor 300x225
Family Office Advisor
3. Who initiates setting up a family office?  When is a good time to setup?

Cem A. Azak:  Normally, it will be when the family realises that they need a more efficient structure to manage their wealth and investments.  The best time is when their liquid wealth reaches USD 25-30 million for a Multi-Family Office (MFO).

” a more efficient structure to manage thier wealth & investments “

 

4. Why not an investment holding company?  Why a family office?

Cem A. Azak:  Both structures can work but there are normally some tax and regulatory advantages for the Family Office setup.  Example, here in Singapore the 13R / 13X structure (tax exemption) is very interesting.

13R and 13X are tax exemptions schemes in Singapore.  13R is the exemption of income of company incorporated and resident in Singapore arising from funds managed by fund manager in Singapore. 13 X is the exemption of income arising from funds managed by fund manager in Singapore.

 

5. How about a multi-family office?  Why a multi-family office?

Cem A. Azak:  Multi-family offices are more cost-efficient as the cost is shared with multiple families.  But you can still have your own structure within to enjoy the same services, like from a single-family office.

” Mult-Family Offices are more cost-efficient “

 

6. Some single family offices are also evolving to become multi-family office or offering family office setup advisory.  Why is this trend emerging?

Cem A. Azak:  It is mainly to grow their Assets Under Management, share their expertise, generate additional revenues, and to share the cost of running the structure.

 

Crossinvest Logo

 

In a Family Office

Chinese Family On Private Jet E1607229354418
Chinese Family on Private Jet
1. What happens in a family office if the family have disputes, face legal, business or financial problems?

Cem A. Azak:  Unfortunately, it is very similar to any other dispute or problems you have within a company, but the family office can try to mitigate between the family members as it (family office) would know each family member quite well.  All problems would be dealt with in a professional non-emotional manner, which helps to find the right solution.

” Similar to other dispute within a company “

 

2. What really happens in a family office managing $200 million or $2 billion?

Asians love real estate. They buy buildings? Take-over listed companies? Buy private jets or islands? Invest in stocks, bonds, private equity or hedge funds?

Cem A. Azak:  Predominantly, the family office manages the liquid assets, be it in the financial markets, real estate, private equity or venture capital so the family can concentrate on their corporate businesses.

Managing USD 200 million or USD 2 billion is quite similar as it all depends on the goals the family has for themselves.  The family office would firstly have very lengthy discussions with the family to understand their goals and then would set up an investment strategy for them.  This long-term strategy doesn’t normally change on a day-to-day basis.

 

3. What is / are the most extravagant or exotic asset family offices buy?
Luxury Mansion 3
The World of Billionaires

Cem A. Azak:  Exoticness is not the primary concern for a family office; the major concern is to invest in financial assets.  But if a family / UHNWI wants to buy a yacht or a private jet, the family office would use its expertise to evaluate the most efficient way for financing and purchasing these assets.

” the most efficient way for financing and purchasing these assets “

 

Final words

Hong Kong 3
Hong Kong, Asia’s leading financial centre
1. How is the journey for you so far as Executive Chairman of Crossinvest (Asia), advising clients, billionaires, UHNWs?

Cem A. Azak:  We are very close to the families we work with.  Helping them address their financial goals is very rewarding from a personal relationship point of view.  We are proud that our clients have longstanding relationships with us and see us as their trusted advisors.

 

2. Any other things you want to share to billionaires, UHNWs, family offices or family office professionals?

Cem A. Azak:  They should always try to work with the best-in-class which can show a longstanding and trustworthy legacy and track record as building up expertise needs time and cannot be achieved overnight.

Clients should do thorough background checks beforehand and compare and meet with several professionals & companies they want to work with.

” Compare & Meet Professionals & Companies They Want to work with “

 

HSBC London Headquarter
HSBC London Headquarter Riverview
3. Best or favourite city for family office meetings or gatherings in the world?

Cem A. Azak:  Aside from Singapore, I would say Hong Kong, London, Zurich/Geneva, and Dubai.

 

Thank you Cem A. Azak for sharing your valuable insights in The 2020 Family Office Series to family offices, family office professionals, billionaires and UHNWs in Asia and around the world.

 

Crossinvest Logo Thumbnail

Cem A. Azak, Executive Chairman of Crossinvest (Asia)

Cem A. Azak is the Executive Chairman and majority shareholder of Crossinvest (Asia).  He is a financial industry leader and veteran, with vast experiences in both investment banking and wealth management in United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and Singapore.  He was Senior Managing Director, Market Head International at EFG Bank and Executive Director, Head of Europe, Middle East & Africa at DBS Private Bank.  Prior, he was with Barclays Bank in Investment Banking and Wealth Management in Europe, in London, Zurich and Frankfurt.

Cem A. Azak is also a member of the Auto1 Fintech Board in Germany (European car dealers financing provider company) and co-founder and major shareholder of Schul-Cloud (German digital learning management systems provider for schools and universities in Europe).  Cem A. Azak is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Turkish Entrepreneurship Foundation, fund-raiser committee of the registered charity Jazz Association Singapore.  He is also recipient of the Patron of the Arts Award in 2020 and Friend of the Arts Award in 2018 by the National Arts Council of Singapore.

Crossinvest (Asia) is established in Singapore in 2005 and is an award-winning multi-generational, privately-owned asset manager that exemplifies the finest Swiss Private banking traditions. The independent asset management and private wealth management company offers bespoke and exclusive discretionary management, financial advisory, private equity, venture capital opportunities and family office services to sophisticated individuals, entrepreneurial families, and institutions.

Visit: Crossinvest



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