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  1. Wealth
June 22, 2011

World Wealth Report: Asia Overtakes Europe

By Spear's

The World Wealth Report 2011 released today reveals that are more HNWs in Asia-Pacific (3.3 million) than Europe (3.1 million) for the first time; Asia-Pacific expanded its lead by worth from $200 billion in 2010 to $600 billion in 2011

The World Wealth Report 2011 released today reveals that are more HNWs in Asia-Pacific (3.3 million) than Europe (3.1 million) for the first time; Asia-Pacific expanded its lead by worth from $200 billion in 2010 to $600 billion in 2011.

On a broader level, the report shows that the global rich have surpassed in headcount and worth the heady heights they reached in 2007. Those with over $1 million in investible assets saw their wealth rise 9.7 per cent in 2010, while those with over $30 million saw their wealth increase 11.5 per cent.

Download the World Wealth Report 2011 here

Britain’s level of HNWs was stagnant (up 1.4 per cent to 454,000), while China increased by 12 per cent to 535,000 and India by 21 per cent to 153,000, breaking into the top twelve for the first time. America still has far and away the most HNWs with 3,104,000, nearly double Japan and three times Germany. Outside the top twelve, Hong Kong is now the fastest growing destination worldwide at 33.3 per cent due to its buoyant equity and real estate markets. Africa recorded the fastest regional rise in HNWs, at 11 per cent.

Global investments of passion stayed largely unchanged from last year, but there were interesting regional changes: HNWs in the Middle East bought less jewellery than in 2009 (yet still the most in the world), while Asia-Pacific ex-Japan and the Middle East bought the least art, making newer art fairs like Art Dubai and ART HK either well-positioned for growth or talking to the uninterested.

The World Wealth Report showed that 98 per cent of financial advisers and 88 per cent of wealth managers believe their clients trust them, a startling rebound from lows in 2008. However, when seen against the report’s finding that financial advisers do not feel they are fully satisfying clients in important areas like preferred financing for entrepreneurs and providing joined-up advice from across the business, this seems like complacency.

Alan Walker, head of financial services at Capgemini Consulting UK, said: ‘It’s not necessarily complacency. It’s two separate issues: do I trust this person? Yes, at the moment. Coud they do better at serving my needs? Yes.’

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Adam Horowitz, head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management UK, took a different view: ‘It’s a reality check. Firms are reacting at a different pace to the need. The message is clearly being received by the industry and people are reacting at some firms better than others.

‘Providing HNW clients with important benefits such as more harmonised and consistent service offerings, access to a wider range of resources or capabilities, and new investment opportunities are important differentiators,’ said Horowitz. ‘This requires a kind of flexibility and responsiveness that represents a significant shift for many firms.’

Another conclusion was that advisers feel that full-service firms are much better positioned than pure play wealth managers or independent asset managers for client priorities including capital preservation, portfolio management, specialised advice, transparency and asset allocation, but not in independent investment advice. (The make-up of those surveyed (undisclosed) may bear on why full-service firms came out so far ahead.)

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