High-net-worth individual

High-net-worth individual (HNWI) is a term used by some segments of the financial services industry to designate persons whose investible assets (such as stocks and bonds) exceed a given amount. Typically, these individuals are defined as holding financial assets (excluding their primary residence) with a value greater than US$1 million.[1][2][3]

However, there are distinct classifications of HNWI and the exact dividing lines depend on how a bank wishes to segment its market. For example, an investor with less than US$1 million but more than US$100,000 is considered to be "affluent", or perhaps even "sub-HNWI".[1] "Very-HNWI" (VHNWI) can refer to someone with a net worth of at least US$5 million.[4]

The Capgemini and Merrill Lynch World Wealth Report 2006[3][5] defines an additional class of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs), those with US$30 million in liquid financial assets or with a disposable income of more than US$20 million.[6]

At the end of 2018, there were estimated to be just over 14 million HNWIs in the world. The United States had the highest number of HNWIs (4,900,000) of any country, while New York City had the most HNWIs (377,000) among cities.[7]

United States: SEC regulations

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requires all SEC-registered investment advisers to periodically file a report known as Form ADV.[8] Among other things, Form ADV requires each investment adviser to state how many of their clients are "high-net-worth individuals". The Form ADV Glossary of Terms explains that a "high-net-worth individual" is an individual with at least $1,000,000 managed by the reporting investment adviser, or whose net worth the investment adviser reasonably believes exceeds $2,000,000 (or who is a "qualified purchaser" as defined in section 2(a)(51)(A) of the Investment Company Act of 1940). The net worth of an individual for SEC purposes may include assets held jointly with his or her spouse. Unlike the definitions used in the financial and banking trade, the SEC's definition of HNWI would include the value of a person's verifiable non-financial assets, such as a primary residence or art collection.

Annual World Wealth Report

The World Wealth Report was co-published by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini, previously known as Cap Gemini Ernst & Young who worked together since c. 1993, investigating the "needs of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs are individuals with more than $1 million in assets excluding primary residence)" in order to "successfully serve this market segment". Their first annual World Wealth Report was published in 1996.[9] The World’s Wealth Report[10] defines HNWIs as those who hold at least US$1 million in assets excluding primary residence and ultra-HNWIs as those who hold at least US$30 million in assets excluding primary residence. The report states that in 2008 there were 8.6 million HNWIs worldwide, a decline of 14.9% from 2007. The total HNWI wealth worldwide totaled US$32.8 trillion, a 19.5% decrease from 2007. The ultra-HNWIs experienced the greater loss, losing 24.6% in population size and 23.9% in accumulated wealth. The report revised its 2007 projections that HNWI financial wealth would reach US$59.1 trillion by 2012 and revised this downward to a 2013 HNWI wealth valued at $48.5 trillion advancing at an annual rate of 8.1%.[11]

The 2013 World Wealth Report[12] was jointly produced by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management and included, for the first time, the Global HNW Insights Survey produced in collaboration with Scorpio Partnership. The inaugural survey represented one of the largest and most in-depth surveys of high-net-worth individuals ever conducted, surveying more than 4,400 HNWIs across 21 major wealth markets in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa.

HNWI wealth distribution (by region)[13]
RegionHNWI populationHNWI wealth
Global12 million$46.2 trillion
North America3.73 million$12.7 trillion
Asia-Pacific3.68 million$12.0 trillion
Europe3.41 million$10.9 trillion
Latin America0.52 million$7.5 trillion
Middle East0.49 million$1.8 trillion
Africa0.14 million$1.3 trillion

Capgemini figures

The World Wealth Report published Capgemini has estimated the number and combined investable wealth of high-net-worth individuals as follows,[14][15][16] using the United States Consumer Price Index (CPI) Inflation Calculator.[17]

Year Number of HNWIs


HNWI wealth

(trillions USD)

In 2012 USD

(trillions USD)

1998[14] ? 17.4 24.3
1999[18] 6.0 21.6 29.5
2000[19] 7.0 25.5 33.7
2001[20] 7.2 27.0 34.7
2002[21] 7.1 26.2 33.2
2003[22] 7.3 27.2 33.7
2004[23] 7.7 28.8 34.7
2005[24] 8.3 30.8 35.9
2006[5] 8.7 33.3 37.6
2007[25] 9.5 37.2 40.9
2008[26] 10.1 40.7 43.1
2009[11] 8.6 32.8 34.8
2010[15] 10.0 39.0 40.7
2011[16] 10.9 42.7 43.2
2012[13] 12.0 46.2 46.2
2013[27] 13.7
2014[27] 14.7
2015[27] 15.4
2016[27] 16.5 63.5


Certain products cater to the wealthy, whose conspicuous consumption of luxury goods and services includes, for example: mansions, yachts, first-class airline tickets and private jets, and personal umbrella insurance.[28] As economic growth has made historically expensive items affordable for the middle-class, purchases have trended towards intangible products such as education.[28] In the United States, concierge medicine is an emerging trend as of 2017.[29]

Banking and finance

Most global banks, such as Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citibank, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, and UBS, have a separate business unit with designated teams consisting of client advisors and product specialists exclusively for UHNWI. Because of their extreme high net worth and the way their assets were generated, these clients are often considered to have characteristics similar to institutional investors.

By 2006, asset managers working for HNW individuals invested more than £300 billion on behalf of their clients. These wealth managers are bankers who in 2006, earned multimillion-pound salaries and owned their own companies and equity funds.[30] In 2006, a list of the 50 top investment bankers was published by the Spear's Wealth Management Survey.


Certain magazines, such as Monocle,[31] Robb Report,[32] and Worth, are designed for a high net worth audience.


Brands in various sectors, such as Bentley, Maybach, and Rolls-Royce in motoring, actively target UHNWI and HNWI to sell their products. In 2006, Rolls-Royce researchers suggested there were 80,000 people in ultra-high-net-worth category around the world. UHNW individuals "have, on average, eight cars and three or four homes. Three-quarters own a jet aircraft and most have a yacht."[6]

Number of HNWIs per city

The following is a list of the cities with the most HNWIs as of December 2018 as per the 2019 Global Wealth Migration Review. [33]

RankCityNumber of
1 New York City377,000
2 London318,000
3 Tokyo315,000
4 Hong Kong236,000
5 Singapore222,000
6 San Francisco Bay Area220,000
7 Los Angeles191,000
8 Chicago147,000
9 Beijing142,000
10 Shanghai139,000

The Wharton Global Family Alliance whitepaper was released in 2008 to study the investment strategies of single family offices in the United States and in Europe.[34] The research was segregated into sub-groups representing those with less than $1 billion in assets and those with assets above $1 billion. The study found that U.S. families reported a more aggressive attitude toward investment objectives than their counterparts in Europe. One recommendation of the WGFA study advised the advisors and family offices serving this niche to avoid complexity in the structure of portfolios.

The authors cite that the more complex the portfolio and number of holdings, the more difficult the job of performing adequate governance, reporting, and education. The Institute for Private Investors, a peer networking organization for wealthy families and their advisors, suggested a similar theme to its membership in 2008 with a conference themed, "The Return to Simplicity".[35] Kotak Wealth Management and CRISIL Research, published a report on the Ultra High Net Worth Individuals in India titled "Top of the Pyramid Report".[36]

See also


  1. Staff, Investopedia (6 April 2006). "High Net Worth Individual - HNWI".
  2. "Capgemini 2007 World Wealth Report" (PDF). Capgemini. 2006-06-12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-09-10. Retrieved 2007-07-08. World Wealth Grows to $33.3 trillion Says Merrill Lynch
  3. Nivedita Chakravartty (18 Jan 2007). "For A Few Dollars More". The Times of India.
  4. Stefano Caselli; Stefano Gatti (2005). Banking for Family Business: A New Challenge for Wealth Management. Springer. ISBN 3-540-22798-9.
  5. 2006 World Wealth Report (PDF) (Report). Capgemini. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 2, 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  6. Ray Hutton (5 November 2006). "Rich spurn ultra-luxury cars". UK: The Sunday Times. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  7. "Global Wealth Migration Review 2019". AfrAsia Bank Limited. 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  8. "SEC.gov - Form ADV". www.sec.gov.
  9. 2003 World Wealth Report (PDF) (Report). Capgemini. 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 2, 2010. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  10. 2009 World Wealth Report (Report). Thought Leadership. Capgemini. 2009.
  11. 2009 World Wealth Report (PDF) (Report). Capgemini. 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  12. 2013 World Wealth Report (PDF) (Report). Capgemini. 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-25. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  13. "World Wealth Report 2013". Capgemini.
  14. 1998 World Wealth Report (PDF) (Report). Capgemini. 1998. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  15. 2010 World Wealth Report (PDF) (Report). Capgemini. 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  16. 2011 World Wealth Report (PDF) (Report). Capgemini. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 November 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  17. "Consumer Price Index (CPI) Inflation Calculator". U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  18. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-05-09. Retrieved 2012-03-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-06-17. Retrieved 2012-03-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-06-17. Retrieved 2012-03-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-27. Retrieved 2012-03-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. "Wayback Machine" (PDF). 2 January 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-01-02.
  23. "Wayback Machine" (PDF). 2 January 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-01-02.
  24. 2008 World Wealth Report (PDF) (Report). Capgemini. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 23, 2008. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  25. "The proliferation of high-net-worth individuals". The Economist. 4 October 2017.
  26. Currid-Halkett, Elizabeth. "Conspicuous consumption is over. It's all about intangibles now". Aeon Ideaslanguage=en. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  27. Schwartz, Nelson D. (2017-06-03). "The Doctor Is In. Co-Pay? $40,000". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  28. Rivkin, Annabel (12 December 2006). "How I make the rich richer". The Times. London. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  29. Neate, Rupert (November 11, 2017). "Wealth: Monocle: you've seen the magazine – now buy the apartment". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  30. Post Staff Report (December 8, 2014). "Magazines for the mega-rich". New York Post. Retrieved 2018-12-24.
  31. afrasiabank.com. "Global Wealth Migration Review - AfrAsia Bank Mauritius". www.afrasiabank.com.
  32. Wharton Global Family Alliance. "Benchmarking the Single Family Office: Identifying the Performance Drivers".
  33. Institute for Private Investors. .
  34. Ultra HNI segment set to treble: Report. Indian Express (2011-06-07). Retrieved on 2013-07-18.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.