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Founder of controversial trust company Portcullis launches Asian family office

David Chong, the founder of a Singapore-based trust company that came under fire for data breaches and allegations of tax evasion in 2013, has launched a new commercial multi family office.

David Chong, the founder of Singapore-based trust company Portcullis Group, which faced allegations in 2013 that its services were used by some clients to avoid taxes, has launched a new commercial multi family office. 

Operating out of Hong Kong and Singapore, Fusang Family Office is looking to expand upon the conventional investment-focused model found in Asia and offer western-style services such as succession planning.

A 2015 study by JP Morgan estimated that nearly a trillion dollars of intergenerational wealth is expected to be passed down over the next two decades, while only 12% of respondents are prepared for the transition.

The creation of Fusang Family Office comes just six months after China's leaders announced a 2020 deadline to dismantle capital controls that have kept the country from fully integrating with global financial markets. 

Royal Bank of Canada’s World Wealth Report 2015 estimates China’s population of high net worth individuals grew 18% in the past year, and now sits at 758,000. The total wealth of this group grew 20.5% to $3.8 trillion.

David Chong, executive chairman at Fusang, discussed his new venture: “Continuing a 30 year tradition in wealth and succession planning, we serve our clients in the way we do our own. We eat our own cooking and think that is the strongest testament to the service we can bring to the table.”

Fusang Family Office claims to be founded on a longstanding tradition of ethical business and transparency. 

The Portcullis Group was formerly known as Portcullis TrustNet, after it acquired TrustNet Group in 2004. In a 2013 report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Portcullis TrustNet and another trust company, Commonwealth Trust Limited, were named among offshore service providers whose services were used by corporations and high-net-worth individuals to avoid taxes. 

Portcullis TrustNet is one of 300,000 entities that appear in the ICIJ's offshore leaks database

Chong told The Straits Times last year that it was “time to move on” from such media reports and allegations, adding that he believes Portcullis Group, which claims to be Asia biggest independent group of trust companies, had done no wrong.

Fusang Family Office is headed up by Chong’s son, Henry, its chief executive, and consists of family office principals, members, and managers, all of whom reportedly have long-standing experience of working with family offices. 

Marcel Kreis, chief executive of Branded Trust Assurance Systems, and a former managing director of private banking at Credit Suisse, joined the office this week.

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