The number of individuals with more than $10 million of investable assets will reach one million for the first time by the end of this year, a gain from 850,000 in 2008, with the focus of growth in Asia, according to Ledbury Research.
The Asia-Pacific region, with 260,000 of such deca-millionaires, will surpass Europe (250,000) in number for the very first time at the end of this year, Ledbury said in a report.
The findings add to other reports from groups such as Merrill Lynch/Capgemini released earlier this year showing that the center of economic gravity continues to move eastwards, with important implications for the wealth management sector.
This forecast population of 250,000 in Europe is still below the 2007 peak figure (270,000), which is unlikely to be matched again in the foreseeable future. South and Central America is the fastest growing region in this respect and will double from 30,000 to 60,000 by 2015, it said.
The report repeated the prediction made at a conference in London last week by Ledbury that the current global total of millionaires, at 17.3 million people, will rise to 22.1 million over the next four years, a rise of 28 per cent. Growth will be focused in South and Central Asia (105 per cent); Eastern Europe (66 per cent) and South and Central America (49 per cent).
For centa-millionaires - those with assets exceeding $100 million – North America has the largest number.
“2011 will see this concentration shift to Asia for the first time and by the end of the year, Asia Pacific will have the single largest ultra-wealthy population in the world, ahead of Europe and North America,” Ledbury Research said.
“Despite these clear shifts in wealth eastwards, wealth managers have not yet responded accordingly: the supply of wealth management does not mirror its potential demand. This is to say that relative to the wealthy population in the South East Asia, there are too few wealth manager outlets in the region,” it said.
South-east Asia accounts for 22 per cent of millionaires globally, for example, and yet only 7 per cent of wealth management outlets are based there. Conversely Europe, which is home to less than one-third (28 per cent) of the millionaire population, boasts half (50 per cent) of the world’s wealth management offices, the report said.