Number of wealthy Asians surpasses that of North Americans

Featured - September 20th, 2012

The grass seems to be greener in Asia, where the number of wealthy individuals has overtaken that of their North American counterparts, driven by fast growing-economies, a survey says.

Royal Bank of Canada and consulting firm Capgemini’s annual survey indicated that the number of Asians with $1 million or more immediately available for investing reached 3.4 million last year, surpassing the figure for North America for the first time. The population of super-wealthy individuals in Asia grew by 1.6% this year, with 54% of them in Japan, according to the report.

Still, North Americans account for the largest share of wealth by value with $11.4 trillion, though this was down 2.3% from the figure in 2010. Asia accounts for $10.7 trillion, due in part to rapid economic growth which provides a suitable environment for businesses owned by Asian entrepreneurs.

According to the Financial Times, the survey highlighted the shift in economic power to the region, particularly in turning Hong Kong and Singapore into ‘centers of offshore wealth’. Barend Janssesn, head of wealth management, emerging markets at RBC told the FT, “Their ability to attract offshore wealth is clearly increasing”.

RBC plans to increase assets under management in Asia from $10 billion to $25 billion by the end of 2016.