High net worth individual (HNWI) wealth in Asia Pacific grew aggressively in 2015 helping it bag the top spot in HNWI wealth ranking globally, surpassing North America in HNWI wealth and population for the first time. Global HNWI wealth, however, grew at a moderate pace, according to the 2016 World Wealth Report by Capgemini.
Capgemini’s 20th annual WWR revealed that in 2015, wealth in Asia-Pacific grew 10%, and the region held $17.4 trillion in wealth with 5.1 million HNWI population. Majority of the HNWI population in Asia-Pacific were from Japan and China, the study said.
The figures put Asia-Pacific ahead of North America as the latter held $16.6 trillion in HNWI wealth and 4.8 million in population during this period. The region saw a wealth growth of 2%, driven by poor performance of US and Canadian equities.
The study also projected Asia-Pacific to represent two-fifths of the world’s HNWI wealth in a decade, which is more than that of Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa combined.
In comparison, global HNWI wealth grew at only 4% to reach $58.7 trillion in 2015, while global HNWI population grew 4.9% to 15.4 million.
European wealth increased 4.8% to $13.6 trillion, while Latin America was the only region to report a slump in both HNWI population and wealth due to the poor performance of Brazilian equities.
The report also unveiled that ultra-HNWIs did not lead global wealth growth as they have in previous years. However, ultra-HNWI wealth increased more than other wealth segments, with the exception of Latin America.
According to findings from the study, only 32% of global HNWI wealth is now being managed by wealth management firms.
The report also found that HNWI demand for digital services continues to increase, and 72.9% of clients cited that digital maturity is very or somewhat significant in their decision to increase assets with their wealth management firm over the next 24 months.
Wealth managers too, have expressed demand for digital services, but have not yet fulfilled these requests.
Capgemini financial services business unit head of banking and capital markets Anirban Bose said: "It is remarkable that only one-third of HNWI wealth is currently with wealth management firms which shows how great the growth potential is for firms that can combine digital technology and FinTech capabilities with human expertise and relationships, to reflect state-of-the-art services for clients.
"Those firms that can offer a digitally-integrated customer experience that builds on high levels of trust and confidence in firms and captures the characteristics of speed, flexibility and ease of use will be well positioned to become leading firms of the future."