May 23, 2018
An Interview with SVCA’s Advocacy Subcommittee Chairman, Wayne Palmer
Wayne Palmer, Chief Operating Officer at CLSA Capital Partners, takes time off his hectic schedule to give us his experience on SVCA's Advocacy Subcommittee.
Wayne, thank you for leading the Advocacy Subcommittee and making yourself available for this interview. Please tell our members more about the work of the Advocacy Subcommittee?
The Advocacy Subcommittee comprises senior private equity and venture capital industry and advisory professionals and actively seeks to advance the interests of SVCA members by pursuing engagement with MAS and other relevant parties to create a regulatory landscape that will allow the PE and VC industry to thrive in Singapore.
So which hot button issues have you been working on over the past year? Have there been any successes?
The Advocacy Subcommittee has debated and reviewed quite a number of issues since its formation in 2016. Over the past 12 months, we have significantly increased our engagement and profile with MAS across a wide range of topics and we are clearly seen to be a constructive, positive force for industry interests by the MAS. We presented the issues and challenges of managers of smaller VC funds, thus contributing to the feedback and consultation which culminated in the launch of the lighter touch VC Fund Manager Regime that took effect in October 2017. We have also made proactive and detailed submissions to MAS around other topics such as S-VACC, the Outward Re-domiciliation Framework, the S13X tax incentive and proposed a knowledgeable employee exemption to enable non-AI investment professionals to take a stake in the funds they are managing.
Additionally, the Advocacy Subcommittee has established quarterly meetings with MAS, during which a wide range of industry topics are discussed. These quarterly meetings provide an invaluable forum for us to “take the temperature” of MAS in relation to topics that we are interested to pursue on behalf of SVCA’s members.
Moving forward, what new areas will your team be focusing on?
Most recently, we have been working very closely with MAS on fine-tuning the criteria and safeguards for the long-wished-for Knowledgeable Employee Exemption and we are also planning to engage with MAS more closely on tax-exemption schemes with a particular focus on S13X. Updates on these issues will come soon.
In addition, we will be conducting a thorough review of progress to date with a view to re-calibrating the subcommittee’s aims and goals for the next 12 month period. This is likely to be something we will seek members’ guidance on to ensure our efforts are a reflection of the agenda you would like to see advanced, to benefit your businesses.
Are there opportunities for more members to get involved?
Absolutely. Member engagement is critical to the success of the Advocacy Subcommittee. We welcome feedback and any new ideas and perspectives to help the subcommittee frame its operating goals/focus. We also hope that members will step forward whenever we need data or inputs through roundtable discussions or surveys so that we can make our presentations to MAS more robust and better represent members’ interests. Anyone willing to make a contribution should contact the SVCA Secretariat.
Wayne, thank you and the Advocacy Subcommittee for the persistence and hard work!