Like swallows, HNWIs travel from the furthest corners of the globe to Europe for the summer. But while some of these migratory patterns are caused by climate – such as the stifling heat of the Middle East – most come for Europe’s unique array of summer sporting and cultural events.
There is scant data on the number of HNWIs who come to Europe for the summer season, though private jet companies typically see an uplift in usage.
Charter company Fly Victor is busiest during their ‘summer season’ between May and September with an average of 63,000 departures per month. The most popular request for summer 2017: London.
Estate agency Hamptons International estimated in 2015 that 10 percent of homes in Kensington and Chelsea – the capital’s wealthiest neighbourhood – are second homes. Many are owner-occupied only during the summer months, as are the large number of second homes in Paris, Geneva and Monaco.
Keen to capitalise on this seasonal influx of wealth, many private banks line up suitable sponsorships where their brand is flashed before the international jet set , while flattery takes place in corporate hospitality.
Details of the deals are rarely disclosed, but they range from the £7m signed between UBS and Mercedes AMG to the £100,000 prize money Coutts puts up for the Coutts Glorious Stakes horserace.
Many annual sponsorship budgets are blown during the summer months where the potential for reaching a wealthy audience is at its greatest.
As 2018’s summer season gets underway, here is the run-down on some of the headline private banking sponsorships:
M&G and RHS Chelsea Flower Show – 22-26 May
Last year M&G’s sponsorship of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower show was set to expire. However, after competition from other private banks including Citibank and Coutts, it decided to renew its branding of gardening’s most famous event until 2020.
M&G chief executive Anne Richards said: “We looked at a number of other options for our marketing and sponsorship in the UK but quickly came to the conclusion that there was little out there to compare with our excellent partnership with the RHS.”
An RHS survey showed that the average household income of its members is around £70,000 and that 83% are over 55.
Investec Epsom Derby – 2 June
‘The sport of kings’, horseracing is a well-attended by old and new money alike. Major sponsorship deals include QIPCO, the Qatari investment fund which sponsors Royal Ascot, the world’s most famous horseracing event. As an individual race, however, the Epsom Derby is one of the most prestigious of the flat calendar. Investec have sponsored the past ten of the 250-odd annual races run.
Mirabaud Bol D’Or – 8-10 June
Mirabaud has long held a passion for sailing. In 2012 the family-owned private bank entered a yacht for the Vandée Globe, a single handed, non-stop circumnavigation race. However, its biggest commitment to the sport takes place every summer in the bank’s own back garden: Lake Geneva.
For over a decade Mirabaud has added its name to the Bol D’Or, a century old regatta where yachts race been Geneva and Le Bouveret and back, non-stop.
BNY Mellon and the Royal Academy’s 250th Summer Exhibition – 12 June-19 August
Art exhibitions come and go, but the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition has been an annual fixture for 250 years. It is the world’s oldest open submission exhibition which hangs over 1,000 pieces of art created by professional and novice artists alike. A keen sponsor of exhibitions at the Royal Academy, BNY has added its name to the Summer Exhibition for this anniversary year.
HSBC and Wimbledon – 2-15 July
2018 marks the tenth year HSBC has been the official banking partner to Wimbledon, the world’s most famous tennis tournament. The event is sponsored by the bank-at-large, but customers of the private bank can expect some perks from corporate hospitality.
Lendy Cowes Week – 4-11 August
Cowes Week is not only the largest sailing regatta in the world, but also the longest running one. In a sign of evolving frontiers of financial services, last year the regatta changed its main sponsor from Aberdeen Asset Management to Lendy, a new peer-to-peer lender specialising in property loans.
Aberdeen Standard and the Ryder Cup – 28-30 September
Though it has forgone its Cowes Week sponsorship, under its post-merger brand, Aberdeen Standard, the larger group sponsors the Ryder Cup golf tournament. The US/Europe match alternates continents but this year takes place near Paris at the Albatros Course of Le Golf National in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.
UBS and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport
Some of the biggest sponsorship deals concern Formula 1, where investments are hefty. As the world’s largest private bank, UBS has led its industry in motorsports sponsorship through its alliance with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport.
The deal was estimated at £7m in 2015. The investment should pay off, however. Monaco is one of the highlights of the summer sporting season and F1 circuit. This year WealthInsight found that one third of Monaco’s residence are HNWIs, a portion that explodes for the May event.