Singapore has emerged as an international financial hub because of its robust management framework, government support, and pro-business ecosystem. Wealth management is a lucrative sector for fund managers who intend to establish their presence in Singapore. As per the regulatory framework, the FMCs can be bifurcated as registered fund management companies (RFMCs) and capital markets services licenses (CMSL). The RFMCs are subject to fewer compliance requirements and supervision. On the other hand, CMSL is considered a full license and has strict prerequisites for being given to an applicant.
An RFMC does not need to hold a CMSL for carrying out fund management activities. Therefore, companies earlier functioning as Exempt Fund Managers (EFMs) now are called RFMCs. To be eligible as an RMFC, the assets under management (AUM) of the RMC should not be more than S$250 million, and it should not cater to more than 30 qualified investors. Of the 30 qualified investors, more than 15 funds with accredited investors as underlying investors should not be present. The FMC can start its business operations once the MAS authorizes its notification and includes the name of the RFMC in its online directory on the website of MAS.
The minimum competency requirements for an RFMC registration are as follows:
The relaxation in compliance requirements set by MAS has resulted in fund management being one of the regulated activities in Singapore with numerous fund management companies (FMCs) in the country.