Reliance Industries Ltd. Chairman Mukesh Ambani is in the process of setting up a family office in Singapore, according to reports.
The Mumbai-based billionaire has chosen a manager to hire staff for the new entity and run it, the people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private. The Ambanis also chose real estate, one of the people said.
Ambani is the latest in a string of ultra-wealthy people to choose Singapore for their family offices – the organizations set up to manage the affairs of wealthy clans – joining the likes of hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio and Google co-founder Sergey Strand.
The city-state has become an attractive hub for family offices thanks to its low taxation and relative safety. The Monetary Authority of Singapore estimates around 700 were in place at the end of 2021, up from 400 a year earlier.
But the growing number of global wealthy crowding Singapore’s shores is also driving up the prices of cars, homes and other goods. Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong signaled in an interview in August that the wealthy may face more taxes to spur inclusive growth.
Ambani’s decision to set up the family office is part of his broader vision of globalizing his empire from retail to refining and acquiring assets outside India. While announcing the appointment of Aramco’s chairman to Reliance’s board of directors in 2021, the billionaire told his shareholders that this marked “the beginning of the internationalization” of his conglomerate, without further details. “You will learn more about our international plans in the times to come,” he said at the time.
Reliance paid $79 million for Stoke Park Ltd. in April 2021, adding an iconic British location that has served as the setting for two James Bond films. He also bought a 73.4% indirect stake in Mandarin Oriental New York for $98.15 million in January and an $80 million beachfront villa in Dubai this year.
Ambani, who is worth around $83.7 billion according to the Bloomberg Wealth Index, wants the Singapore family office to be up and running within a year, one of the people said. His wife Nita Ambani is also involved in setting it up, the sources added.
Reliance has shifted from its former oil refining and petrochemicals business to e-commerce, green energy and expanding its business footprint across India. In 2020, his technology company Jio Platforms Ltd. attracted more than $25 billion from high-profile Silicon Valley investors including Meta Platforms Inc. and Google. He also unveiled ambitious plans to take on Amazon.com Inc. in the country, including streaming.