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 Europe.
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 importance.
Shanghai, China’s financial centre, was the most popular choice among leading commentators asked which city would be the most important in 50 years.
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 Berlin.
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 60%.
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.