Maseco Asia, which will operate as a discretionary fund manager under a type 9 licence from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), will specifically focus on US compliant solutions that will simplify tax reporting and accounting for American citizens and Green Card holders in Hong Kong.
Mark Scher, director and co-founder, has worked for Maseco Wealth in London since 2010 as a senior wealth manager having originated in Detroit, Michigan.
The other co-founder and director is Ashley Scher who also spent the last six years at the London as a senior wealth manager and is still the firm’s Insurance specialist. She currently travels between Hong Kong, the UK and the US to see clients in all three jurisdictions.
Both are substantial shareholders of the firm, with common shareholders of both the new Asia firm and Maseco Private Wealth.
Mark Scher said the time was right to make the transition into Asia: “US citizens are woefully underserved. Most of the products sold here can be highly punitive from a US tax perspective. Additionally, Americans have difficulty finding providers who will even consider working with them. This can include the most basic types of services, even opening a bank account.”
“There is a gaping hole in the market. While there are a handful of firms who loosely work with Americans, they do not have the US focus of our firm. Moreover, many of them have very high minimums which excludes a large swath of the US market here.”
He added that, as a DFM, the company was responsible for the investment of individuals, corporations and trusts.
“However, as part of our service, we will be looking holistically at the account holders’ overall financial picture in order to determine the most appropriate portfolio solution. Depending on market demand, we may enhance our service offering through additional licensing with the SFC in the future.”
The initial team of three is currently in the United Centre, Queensway, on Hong Kong Island, leveraging London for additional back-office support.
Bridge the time gap
“This is particularly important given the fact that we are not open during US trading hours so we need the ability to bridge the time gap so we can effectively execute trading. We will be working primarily in Hong Kong with the view to expand into other parts of Asia. We’re already getting queries from China, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia,” he said.
James Sellon, managing partner at Maseco Private Wealth said: “Expanding the Maseco brand into Asia was the logical next step. Over the last eight years we have helped thousands of US clients in Europe navigate the complexities of allocating capital in a multi-jurisdictional world.
“We believe that international US citizens face the same financial challenges globally and believe that Maseco Asia can leverage off London’s experience. For the first time US citizens in Asia will have the ability to work with a local specialist firm, able to draw on its association with a company which is a thought leader in the global American expatriate space, with strong links in both the US and Europe.”