Asia poised to overtake North America in HNWI assets

26 June 2014   Category: News, Asia, Global, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore   By Maya Ando

The total assets of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in Asia-Pacific is expected overtake that of those in North America by the end of this year to become the highest globally, according to a report.

The World Wealth Report 2014, compiled by RBC Wealth Management and IT company Capgemini, found that Asia-Pacific continued to lead in terms of HNWI population growth in 2013, rising by 17.3% to reach 4.32 million individuals. In terms of HNWI wealth, the region increased by 18.2% to reach US$14.20 trillion.

On a country-specific basis, Japan was home to the second-highest number of HNWIs globally last year at 425,000. In Hong Kong, the HNWI population and assets held rose by 9.4% and 11.9% to hit 124,000 and $626.9 billion, respectively. Singapore’s HNWI community was up 4.5% to 105,000 members, while wealth ticked up 6.8% to $522.5 billion.

North America, which has a large number of established family offices, for now ranks as the world’s richest region, and last year increased its HNWI wealth by 17% to $14.88 trillion.

By contrast, natural resource-rich Latin America has seen both its HNWI assets and population tumble over the last two years as a result of stagnant GDP growth and sagging equity markets.

In Europe, the HNWI population grew by 12% to 3.83 million individuals, holding a total of $12.39 trillion in total assets, according to the report.

Worldwide, in 2013 there were 1.76 million people added to the HNWI population, while their investable wealth was up nearly 14% to reach a record high of $56.62 trillion.

The World Wealth Report was based on responses from more 4,500 HNWIs worldwide. According to the study, an HNWI is defined as those individuals with more $20 million in investible assets.