In August 2022, Equiom Group merged its Hong Kong business with its sister corporate services provider Bridges and moved the combined team to a brand new office in Causeway Bay. Now leading a bigger team in Hong Kong, we chat with Location Head Joe Cheung as he shares his vision for the business and how the new look of Equiom Hong Kong will benefit both his team and their clients.
Why did Equiom decide to merge the two Hong Kong offices?
After a careful review of our business, it became clear that the provision of serviced office services from Bridges with just one executive centre location in Central, the offering was sub-optimal to be competitive in Hong Kong and would not be part of Equiom’s core services going forward. Our core services were always, and remain, the provision of fiduciary services to private and corporate clients - whether we’re acting as trustees for family trusts, as professional directors, or providing business services such as virtual office services, company secretarial services, and other administrative services , by moving both brands into one premium office location, we’re concentrating our efforts on what we do best.
There are lots of commercial districts to choose from in Hong Kong - why did Equiom choose Causeway Bay?
Our clientele consists of overseas UHNW clients and entrepreneurs. Causeway Bay is a premium business and retail location where many professional firms are already based. This makes it the perfect nexus where our clients can seek advice, access various professional services, have their structures managed, and spend their leisure time when they’re visiting Hong Kong. The office is conveniently located next to the Causeway Bay MTR station and only three stops from the HK Airport Express station.
How has the Equiom Hong Kong service offering evolved and how will that benefit clients?
The purpose of putting the Equiom team and Bridges team together is to provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for corporate services to businesses. Equiom focuses on providing best-in-class trustee services to UHNW families, founders of businesses that go on to list their companies on stock exchanges, as well as corporate services to multinational companies. Bridges remains focused on entrepreneurs and start-ups that need basic corporate service – it acts as a bridge until these small-medium-enterprises grow large enough in revenue and size to need support services that are more specific and bespoke. That’s where Equiom’s more specialised support comes in. When these growing businesses are ready to have outside investors and lenders, clients need not deal with multiple service providers and avoid a cumbersome transition process because an extensive range of corporate services is already available to them here.
Both Bridges and Equiom had teams delivering company secretarial, accounting, payroll, and tax filing services. Bringing these teams to one location means we can share resources and knowledge which will let us grow more efficiently. Fast-expanding Bridges clients can easily tap into more sophisticated and experienced professional support from Equiom.
Following the office relocation, what’s next?
We have invested in our team of Mandarin speakers and experienced trust professionals so we can provide an ever-improving service to clients and grow even faster in the private client services space. Our focus will be on assisting UHNW clients that have US family members or hold US passports and US green cards themselves to implement suitable succession planning structures. I believe there will only be more and more demand for our unique trust services offering from Hong Kong alongside our global offices in Jersey, Singapore and South Dakota. As Hong Kong, China and Taiwan Chinese families become more globalised, Equiom is well placed to assist these families’ often complex needs.
Equally, our corporate clients are increasingly looking to take advantage of the depressed stock market by implementing Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”) schemes. Together with security brokerage firms, legal and tax advisory professionals, Equiom will offer a comprehensive solution as trustee for these ESOP schemes.
We’ve got a great platform to build in Hong Kong – our move to Causeway Bay is just the beginning. I’m very much looking forward to helping our clients achieve their goals and grow their businesses as we grow our business alongside them.