WM Market Reports

Global Wealth Grows; Offshore Centres' Demise Is Exaggerated - BCG Study

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, 17 June 2015


The world's wealthy got richer last year as markets improved, while Asia (ex-Japan) overtook Europe in the wealth stakes. Switzerland retained the crown as global offshore centre.

The middle of the year typically sees the arrival of reports on the global wealth management sector, and Boston Consulting Group is one of the first to hit the airwaves. It reports that global private financial wealth rose by almost 12 per cent year to $164 trillion last year, with 73 per cent of that growth stemming from rising markets and the remainder coming from newly created assets.

In its 15th annual study of the global wealth industry, BCG examined how Asia-Pacific is due to overtake North America as the world’s richest region in 2016, as well exploring the principal drivers of future profitability. The report is called Global Wealth 2015: Winning The Growth Game.

“Potentially disruptive forces are everywhere,” Brent Beardsley, a BCG senior partner and a co-author of the report, said. “The tightening regulatory climate, a more complex investing environment, highly demanding clients, technological evolution, and other trends are straining traditional models. As the pace and magnitude of change intensifies, wealth managers need to think more strategically,” he continued.

Among the litany of statistics in the report, BCG said that for the first time, Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) overtook Europe (both West and Eastern Europe) to become the world’s second-richest region, at $47 trillion of assets.

With a projected $57 trillion in 2016, Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) is expected to surpass North America (a projected $56 trillion) as the world’s wealthiest region, and is further projected to hold one-third of global wealth in 2019. Over the next five years, total private wealth globally is projected to post a compound annual growth rate of 6 per cent to reach an estimated $222 trillion in 2019, it said.


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