The financial wealth of high net worth individuals (HNWI) around the world reached a record high of $46.2 trillion in 2012, constituting a 10% increase from $42 trillion in 2012 and surpassing the 2007 pre-crisis peak of $40.7 trillion as well as the previous record of $42.7 trillion in 2010. HNWIs are defined as individuals possessing assets of $1m or more, excluding primary residence, collectibles, consumables, and consumer durables.
The world's population of HNWIs grew by 9.2% to 12 million in 2012 compared to a growth rate of 1% in 2011. North America's HNWI wealth totaled $12.7 trillion in 2012 and accounted for 27.5% of global financial wealth. It was followed by Asia-Pacific with $12 trillion (26%), Europe with $10.9 trillion (23.6%), Latin America with $7.5 trillion (16.2%), the Middle East with $1.8 trillion (3.9%) and Africa with $1.3 trillion (2.8%). The population of HNWIs in each of North America and Asia-Pacific stood at 3.7 million individuals in 2012, followed by Europe with 3.4 million, Latin America and the Middle East with 0.5 million each and Africa with 0.1 million.
In parallel, Ultra-HNWIs accounted for 35.2% of global HNWI wealth and represented only 0.9% of the global HNWI population. Ultra-HNWIs are defined as individuals having investable assets of $30m or more.
Capgemini, RBS Wealth Management, Byblos Research