The wealth of the world’s richest individuals slumped by 3 per cent last year, driven by a decline in the equity markets and the slowdown of the Chinese economy.
High net worth individuals have seen their total fortune decline for the first time in eight years, with the very richest the worst affected by the slump in wealth.
People with an ultra-high net worth – the top 1 per cent of wealthy individuals – accounted for 75 per cent of the decline, according to the data from Capgemini’s World Wealth Report 2019.
The report, which analysed the wealth of the world’s richest people, found that their total wealth fell by around Sh205.2 trillion ($2 trillion) in 2018.
This decline was largely due to a slump in wealth in Asia, particularly in China, where the number of people classed as high net worth fell by 2 per cent.
Concerns over the US-China trade relationship have continued to weigh down on the value of the Chinese market.
Nearly all regions saw the wealth of rich individuals fall, apart from the Middle East, which bucked the trend with a 6 per cent rise in wealth due to strong performances by its financial markets over the past year.
Despite the decline in wealth among high net worth individuals, their trust and satisfaction for wealth managers remained high.
Anirban Bose, chief executive officer of Capgemini Financial Services, said: “While the volatile economic environment of 2018 led to high net worth individuals’ wealth declining globally, wealth managers have been extremely successful in maintaining strong levels of client trust.
“However, future success will depend on the agility of wealth management firms to evolve the client experience and find new ways to add value through more personalised services.
“Next-generation technology and closing expectation gaps will aid this, but the landscape is shifting so quickly that companies must not be afraid to overhaul their strategy and business models if needed.”
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