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News In Brief

Global wealth makes a big comeback in 2009

Daryl Paranada Jun 14, 2010

A report from the Boston Consulting Group’s Global Wealth 2010 Report says global wealth made a big comeback in 2009 after a big decline in 2008. The survey says the number of millionaire households rose by about 14 percent in 2009 to 11.2 million, close to where it stood in 2007.

In 2008, the number of millionaire households fell about 14 percent to 9.8 million.

But things aren’t all rosy for wealth managers. From the report:

For many wealth managers, however, the recovery did not translate into stronger performance. Participants in a benchmarking study experienced falling revenues, narrower revenue margins, and rising cost-to-income ratios, despite the growth in assets under management.

The report says, “Millionaire households represented less than 1 percent of all households, but owned about 38 percent of the world’s wealth, up from about 36 percent in 2008.”

Other key findings:

  • North America posted the greatest absolute gain in wealth at $4.6 trillion. But the largest percentage gain occurred in Asia-Pacific. Europe remained the wealthiest region with one-third of the world’s wealth.
  • The country with the most millionaire households? The U.S. with 4.7 million, followed by Japan, China, the United Kingdom and Germany.
  • Offshore wealth grew to $7.4 trillion in 2009. That’s up from $6.8 trillion in 2008. Switzerland remains the largest offshore center, accounting for $2 trillion of all offshore wealth.

Though the U.S. has the most millionaire households, the countries with the greatest proportion of millionaire households are:

  1. Singapore
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Switzerland
  4. Kuwait
  5. Qatar
  6. United Arab Emirates
  7. U.S.
  8. Belgium
  9. Israel
  10. Taiwan

A PDF copy of the report’s executive summary can be found here.

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