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28The Bahamas InvestorWEALTH MANAGEMENT

The Bahamas Investor29Over recent years,many members of theworld's wealth management community have beensetting their sights on Asia as a growing number ofhigh-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) across the Asia-Pacific (A-Pac) region look to expand their portfolios.As investors in the west have been plunged into aperiod of wealth preservation rather than wealthaccumulation, in the Asia-Pacific region, the newlywealthy are enjoying an economic boom that isswelling their coffers. The global HNWI population remains highlyconcentrated in the US, Japan and Germany, whichtogether accounted for 53 per cent of the world'sHNWIs in 2010, according to the 15th annualWorld Wealth Report,released in June last year byMerrill Lynch Global Wealth Management andconsulting, technology and outsourcing giantCapgemini. However, the Asia-Pacific area postedthe strongest regional rate of HNWI populationgrowth in 2010 among the top three markets.While HNWI wealth had already overtaken Europein 2009, Asia-Pacific has now surpassed Europe interms of HNWI population, expanding 9.7 per centto 3.3 million, while Europe grew 6.3 per cent to3.1 million (see Figure 1). Asia-Pacific HNWIs' wealth gained 12.1 per centto $10.8 trillion in 2010 (see Figure 2), exceedingEurope's HNWI wealth of $10.2 trillion, where thewealth increase was 7.2 per cent in 2010. Asia-Pacific is now the second largest region for bothHNWI wealth and population, second only toNorth America."While over half of the global HNWI populationstill resides in the top three countries, theconcentration of HNWIs is fragmenting verygradually over time," says Karthikeyan Rajendran,sales director, Middle East, global financial servicesat Capgemini. "The concentration of HNWIsamong these areas will continue to erode if theHNWI populations of emerging and developingmarkets continue to grow faster than those ofdeveloped markets."The fifth annual Asia-Pacific Wealth Report 2010,also produced by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini,noted that ultra-HNWIs, or individuals withinvestable assets of at least $30 million, rose 36.7per cent to 19,600 in the region, while ultra-HNWIwealth jumped 42.6 per cent in 2009.A-Pac potentialThese statistics present a very attractive opportunityfor asset managers. The A-Pac region consists of 12core markets: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India,Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand,Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.These markets together account for 95 per cent ofthe region's gross domestic product (see Figure 3).Leading the foray into the region are the big Swissinvestment banks such as UBS and Credit Suisse,which have been beefing up operations across Asia.Credit Suisse hired 60 new relationship managers inAsia in 2010, while UBS now has a regionalfootprint in eight different cities in the regionincluding Auckland, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydneyand Tokyo. Smaller boutique private banks such asAsia-Pacific region presents challenges for The Bahamas, but the rewards could be greatBy Steve CotterillWinning marketshare in A-Pac"Succeeding in the region reallyinvolves making the right contacts;finding a partner in the economy."WEALTH MANAGEMENT©ISTOCK/ROBERT CHURCHILL