Orangefield Trust of the Netherlands has acquired Apes, a private equity fund services firm in Singapore, in a bid to avail of new tax incentives and opportunities in the city state.

With opportunities to capitalise on the influx of public and foreign funds into the region, the company says it plans to strengthen its presence in Asia through both organic growth and acquisitions.

ôThe government wants to make Singapore a financial hub in the region, by offering attractive incentives to private banks and private equity fund managers,ö says Charles Kwun, managing director of Orangefield Trust in Hong Kong.

ôSingapore has also entered into double tax treaties with other jurisdictions, another advantage for fund managers. We saw a growing potential for private equity managers getting into Singapore, so we believe there is a market for boutique service providers like Apes,ö he adds.

Kwun will also head up the new merged entity in Singapore. Apes founder Tek Yok Hua has been appointed director and managing administrator of the new entity. The firm has also poached a former KPMG qualified accountant to take up the role of chief operating officer, but declined to reveal his name.

Orangefield also plans to double its existing team of five staff in Singapore by the end of the year, in order to build up capacity for new business.

With over $2 billion of assets under administration, Apes has clients such as Baring Private Equity on its books.

A spin off from ING Trust, Orangefield specialises in trust and corporate management services, with a diverse client portfolio that includes Fortune 500 companies, mid-sized businesses and private customers.