Global wealth continues to shift to Asia, but London and New
York are likely to remain the most important cities for HNWIs for
another 10 years, according to a report by Citi Private Bank and
estate agents Knight Frank.

The Wealth Report says that the Asia-Pacific (the region
covering China, SE Asia and Japan) now has more centa-millionaires
(those with over $100m in assets) than North America or Western

Citi surveyed its wealth advisers and Knight Frank’s property
specialists around the world, with respondents in each region
selecting either London or New York as the most important.

Beijing and Shanghai were the cities growing in importance the
fastest, with Beijing set to jump from 9th to 3rd in the list in 10
years, and Shanghai from 8th to 4th, the cities displacing Hong
Kong and Paris in those positions.

London took third place, being chosen by respondents in Europe,
Russia, the Middle East and Africa as the fastest-growing in

Shanghai, China’s financial centre, was the most popular choice
among leading commentators asked which city would be the most
important in 50 years.

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Sources of power

London ranked first for quality of life, with Singapore beating
New York to second place.

The UK’s capital also scored highest for knowledge and
influence, New York and Boston, the latter home to MIT and Harvard
University, coming second and third respectively.

Washington ranked first for political power, ahead of London and
New York, Beijing taking fourth place ahead of Paris and


What HNWIs seek in a city

Personal safety, economic openness and social stability are key
attributes that HNWIs look for in a global city, perhaps explaining
the continued popularity of the Atlantic duopoly.

Personal security, chosen by 63% of respondents, is the most
important factor, ranking above economic openness, chosen by

The newly wealthy in emerging economies rate stability, business
transparency and educational systems as the most important factors
in where they choose to live.

Quality of life, knowledge and influence and economic activity
are the key factors for the ultra-wealthy investing in property,
according to the report.