SINGAPORE -- State-linked DBS Group Holdings has become the first bank in Singapore to introduce a program to encourage the very wealthy to invest in private equity and possibly fill regional capital shortfalls.
The PE Access program informs the wealthiest DBS clients of potential investments, but leaves them to perform their own due diligence. DBS encounters 20 to 30 promising opportunities in an average month.
The program is only available to clients with a net worth over 50 million Singapore dollars ($35.5 million), and the minimum deal size is S$5 million.
Tan Su Shan, DBS head of consumer banking and wealth management, said the program should broaden client investment portfolios while allowing regional businesses to acquire "much-needed funding".
Tan said she hoped the program will help "cement Singapore's status as the region's leading venture capital hub". According to DBS, Asia last year raised only $55 billion in private equity capital as compared to $290 billion in North America and $131 billion in Europe.
The ultra-rich are using private equity investments to increase their wealth, according to Shirley Crystal Chua, chief executive of Golden Equator Capital. She said high net worth individuals want to diversify and invest a portion of their assets in private companies that create "significant advantages to their existing businesses".
"Looking at the current and short-term projected economic and investment environment of the region, it is highly plausible that placing a portion of assets into private equity can strengthen overall portfolio objectives with enhanced returns," she said.