An Interview with Mr. Justin Khoo,
Head of Bullion Operations, Malca-Amit Singapore
Life as Vault Operator:
Earning high level of trust by
delivering absolute peace of mind
S I N G A P O R E , 1 4 A U G 2 0 1 7
“Some visitors of the facility have compared my job to the
person who will foil James Bond’s plans. That made me
An interview with Mr. Justin Khoo, Head of Bullion Operations of Malca-Amit Singapore, who shared his experience in handling high-value assets on the daily basis and his views on Malca-Amit’s stringent security control as well as client-centric service.
– Can you tell us a bit more, within the limit that you can share, about how stringent the security system of Malca-Amit vaulting solutions is?
“Malca-Amit has stringent security procedures in place which prevents any foul play to happen. Yes, it does reduce the speed in terms of physical processing, but what Malca-Amit concerns about is accuracy rather than speed. This just covers the code of conduct for the employees, and we have a separate security procedure for the hardware in the facility! Our underwriters have enforced that all the certain security elements must be present to ensure that our liability coverage is one of the highest in the industry. ”
– What is the most challenging thing that you’ve faced over the past years in managing the vaults?
“There’re so many challenges that I can think of, but the most challenging assignment that we’ve faced was when one of our clients decided to convert his entire holdings of gold into silver. Considering that the ratio was 1:75, you can imagine the sudden spike in the total tonnage. It took us 3 months to completely process the shipment (bar number verification, weighment and allocation) – you can imagine the exhaustion!”
Precious Metals Trading Ecosystem
– Singapore is regarded as the Asian bullion trading hub and it has been greatly supported by the local infrastructure. How does Malca-Amit support the precious metals trading ecosystem?
“Malca-Amit’s offices are strategically located in Singapore and around the world. Malca-Amit has always listened to the client’s feedbacks and catered the appropriate solutions. In 2010, precious metals are still a
taxable item in Singapore. Malca-Amit opened a storage facility in The Singapore Freeport that allows precious metals to be stored without incurring tax. In 2016, Malca-Amit launched UltraVault, a tailored
storage solution that is strategically located in the Central Business District, but not compromising on the security. Both taxable or exempted items can be stored in the facility without incurring tax.”
Cater the Needs for Each Client
– Which type of clients do you deal with more often? Institutional or private?
“My client base consists of more private clients than institutional. However, I communicate much more often to the institutions as the transactions are more frequent. The requests might be at the last minute, so it helps to be in good relations with the airlines and transportation companies to ensure that the requests are satisfied. For private clients, their requests are sometimes unheard of and less frequent. However, Malca-Amit will always exhaust all options to satisfy the client’s request regardless.”
– Some private investors regard keeping precious metals as an alternative asset class to hedge against the traditional investment portfolios. Have you met the clients who have strong beliefs in it?
“Yes, absolutely. Physical precious metals will always be of value especially in the current economic turmoil. Many clients I’ve met agree with this belief, as such introducing them to UltraVault provides a one stop storage solution. UltraVault allows the client to store up to 80KG worth of precious metals and liability is fully assumed by Malca-Amit. We’ve also partnered with bullion houses which assist with all the requests
of purchasing and selling.”
– Other than precious metals and gem stones, are private investors also keen to keep fine art?
“Many clients have inquired about Fine Art storage solutions as they understood that Malca-Amit operates in Le Freeport, the ideal location for Fine Art Storage. As such, in March 2017, we are proud to present our
Fine Art Division, Malca-Amit Fine Art (MAFA). In a short span of 4 months, we have actually filled one of our storage rooms in Freeport with art pieces and the responses are unbelievable!”
“Vault in Real Life”
– As someone in charge of handling high-value assets, people usually think that your job should be very mysterious. Can you tell us how the vault in real life looks like?
” Some visitors of the facility have compared my job to the person who will foil James Bond’s plans. That made me chuckle! What’s exciting about my job is that I can see specific behaviors in the industry that many might not know. Some examples are specific investment grade brands that the majority prefers, price shifts and how it impacts the movement around the world and the stringent security elements in place to ensure our clients that their assets are safe with us.”
“I feel honored for doing my job as clients have instilled such a high level of trust in Malca-Amit and I’m proud to be able to say that we deliver absolute peace of mind for each of them!”
Catering to high net worth individuals, UltraVault by MalcaAmit
provides secure, duty-free storage and logistical
solutions for high-value assets as the world’s most exclusive
safe deposit box service.
25 North Bridge Road
EFG Bank Building
+65 6587 9135