WEALTH preservation is what matters most to the majority of Asia's rich families.
Only about a quarter of them said maximising returns was their top priority, according to a report from J.P. Morgan Private Bank published yesterday.
The report surveyed 125 'single family offices' across the globe with at least US$100 million (S$127 million) in assets under management on their motivations and concerns. Single family offices are private companies that manage investments and trusts for a single wealthy family that can include several generations and multiple households.
An overwhelming 73 per cent of these family offices said that preserving wealth was the most important aspect of managing their investments.
Only 22 per cent said that maximising returns was most important, and 23 per cent said minimising taxes was most important.
Generating a target level of income was a top priority for only 17 per cent of the family offices.
Respondents were allowed to select more than one 'most important' aspect in their answers.
The most cited challenge in terms of managing investments was measuring portfolio risk, with a quarter of respondents saying this was their biggest problem.
Other lesser challenges were gaining access to top-tier managers, measuring liquidity needs or assessing risk profiles.
When it came to concerns outside of traditional investing, 30 per cent of respondents said acquiring other businesses was their biggest challenge, compared with building art foundations, creating philanthropic foundations or acquiring real estate.
Only 4 per cent of the family offices said they were most concerned about family discord.
J.P. Morgan noted in the report that it has seen a surge in the number of family offices being set up around the world in recent years.
About 10 per cent of the respondents were based in Asia.
'In Asia, we are witnessing a growing interest in setting up family offices,' said Mr Kenny Foo, head of the wealth advisory group of J.P. Morgan Private Bank Asia.
'Rather than blindly copying European and American models, many Asian families are adapting various elements to suit the particular business, cultural, familial and socioeconomic environments they operate in.'
The survey was done in March.