High-net-worth individual (HNWI) is a term used by some segments of
the financial services industry to designate persons whose investible
assets (such as stocks and bonds) exceed a given amount. Typically,
these individuals are defined as holding financial assets (excluding
their primary residence) with a value greater than US$1
However, there are distinct classifications of HNWI and the exact
dividing lines depend on how a bank wishes to segment its market. For
example, an investor with less than US$1 million but more than
US$100,000 is considered to be "affluent", or perhaps even
"Sub-HNWI". "Very-HNWI" (VHNWI) can refer to someone with a net
worth of at least US$5 million.
By 2007, the expansion of HNWI assets led to the creation of a super
class of HNWIs, known as ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs),
i.e. those with US$30 million in liquid financial assets according to
Merrill Lynch World
Wealth Report 2006 or with
a disposable income of more than US$20 million.
At the end of 2017, there were estimated to be just over 15 million
HNWIs in the world. The
United States had the highest number of HNWIs
(5,047,000) of any country, while New York had the most HNWIs
(393,500) among cities.  
1 United States: SEC regulations
2 Annual World
3.1 Banking and finance
4 Number of HNWIs per city
5 Academic studies of asset management trends
6 See also
8 External links
United States: SEC regulations
See also: Accredited investor
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requires all
SEC-registered investment advisers to periodically file a report known
as Form ADV. Among other things, Form ADV requires each investment
adviser to state how many of their clients are "high-net-worth
individuals." The Form ADV Glossary of Terms explains that a
"high-net-worth individual" is an individual with at least $1,000,000
managed by the reporting investment adviser, or whose net worth the
investment adviser reasonably believes exceeds $2,000,000 (or who is a
"qualified purchaser" as defined in section 2(a)(51)(A) of the
Investment Company Act of 1940). The net worth of an individual for
SEC purposes may include assets held jointly with his or her spouse.
Unlike the definitions used in the financial and banking trade, the
SEC's definition of HNWI would include the value of a person's
verifiable non-financial assets, such as a primary residence or art
Wealth Report was co-published by
Merrill Lynch and
Capgemini, previously known as Cap Gemini Ernst & Young who worked
together since c. 1993, investigating the "needs of high-net-worth
individuals (HNWIs are individuals with more than $1 million in assets
excluding primary residence)" in order to "successfully serve this
market segment." Their first annual World
Wealth Report was published
in 1996. The World’s
Wealth Report defines HNWIs as those
who hold at least US$1 million in assets excluding primary residence
and ultra-HNWIs as those who hold at least US$30 million in assets
excluding primary residence. The report states that in 2008 there were
8.6 million HNWIs worldwide, a decline of 14.9% from 2007. The total
HNWI wealth worldwide totaled US$32.8 trillion, a 19.5% decrease from
2007. The ultra-HNWIs experienced the greater loss, losing 24.6% in
population size and 23.9% in accumulated wealth. The report revised
its 2007 projections that HNWI financial wealth would reach US$59.1
trillion by 2012 and revised this downward to a 2013 HNWI wealth
valued at $48.5 trillion advancing at an annual rate of 8.1%.
The 2013 World
Wealth Report was jointly produced by
Wealth Management and included, for the first time, the Global HNW
Insights Survey produced in collaboration with Scorpio Partnership.
The inaugural survey represented one of the largest and most in-depth
surveys of high-net-worth individuals ever conducted, surveying more
than 4,400 HNWIs across 21 major wealth markets in North America,
Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. Scorpio
Partnership have established themselves as a market leader in the
supply of HNW insight having spent over 15 years conducting private
client interviews, collecting business intelligence and working with
over 100 clients who range from universal banks, domestic retail
banks, specialist private banks and fund managers, to family offices,
high-net-worth clients and regulatory bodies. The partnership is
independently owned and managed by Sebastian Dovey and Cath Tillotson
and carries out global assignment overseen from its base in London's
Largest HNWI Population, 2012
Percentage of total population
Wealth Distribution (by Region)
Wealth Report published
Capgemini has estimated the number
and combined investable wealth of high-net-worth individuals as
follows, using the
United States Consumer Price Index
(CPI) Inflation Calculator.
Number of HNWIs
In 2012 USD
Banking and finance
Private banking and
Most global banks, such as Credit Suisse, Barclays, BNP Paribas,
Citibank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC,
JPMorgan Chase and UBS, have a separate
business unit with designated teams consisting of client advisors and
product specialists exclusively for UHNWI. Because of their extreme
high net worth and the way their assets were generated[further
explanation needed], these clients are often considered to have
characteristics similar to institutional investors.
By 2006, asset managers working for HNW individuals invested more than
£300 billion on behalf of their clients. These wealth managers are
bankers who in 2006, earned multimillion-pound salaries and owned
their own companies and equity funds. In 2006, a list of the 50
top investment bankers was published by the Spear's
Brands in various sectors, such as Bentley, Maybach, and Rolls-Royce
in motoring, actively target UHNWI and HNWI to sell their products. In
2006, Rolls-Royce researchers suggested there were 80,000 people in
ultra-high-net-worth category around the world. UHNW individuals
"have, on average, eight cars and three or four homes. Three-quarters
own a jet aircraft and most have a yacht."
Number of HNWIs per city
The following is a list of the cities with the most HNWIs as of
December 2017.  
New York City
San Francisco Bay Area
Academic studies of asset management trends
The Wharton Global Family Alliance whitepaper was released in 2008 to
study the investment strategies of single family offices in the United
States and in Europe. The research was segregated into sub-groups
representing those with less than $1 billion in assets and those with
assets above $1 billion. The study found that U.S. families reported a
more aggressive attitude toward investment objectives than their
counterparts in Europe. One recommendation of the WGFA study advised
the advisors and family offices serving this niche to avoid complexity
in the structure of portfolios.
The authors cite that the more complex the portfolio and number of
holdings, the more difficult the job of performing adequate
governance, reporting, and education. The Institute for Private
Investors, a peer networking organization for wealthy families and
their advisors, suggested a similar theme to its membership in 2008
with a conference themed, "The Return to Simplicity". Kotak Wealth
CRISIL Research, published a report on the Ultra High
Net Worth Individuals in India titled "Top of the Pyramid Report".
Ultra high-net-worth individual
Global assets under management
Politically exposed person
List of countries by wealth per adult
^ a b Investopedia Definition of "High Net Worth Individual (HNWI)"
Capgemini 2007 World
Wealth Report" (PDF). Capgemini. 2006-06-12.
Retrieved 2007-07-08. World
Wealth Grows to $33.3 trillion Says
^ a b Nivedita Chakravartty (18 Jan 2007). "For A Few Dollars More".
The Times of India.
^ Stefano Caselli; Stefano Gatti (2005). Banking for Family Business:
A New Challenge for
Wealth Management. Springer.
^ a b 2006 World
Wealth Report (PDF) (Report). Capgemini. 2006.
Archived from the original (PDF) on January 2, 2010. Retrieved 11
^ a b Ray Hutton (5 November 2006). "Rich spurn ultra-luxury cars".
UK: The Sunday Times. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
^ SEC Form ADV
^ 2003 World
Wealth Report (PDF) (Report). Capgemini. 2003. Archived
from the original (PDF) on January 2, 2010. Retrieved 10 September
^ 2009 World
Wealth Report (Report). Thought Leadership. Capgemini.
^ a b 2009 World
Wealth Report (PDF) (Report). Capgemini. 2009.
Retrieved 11 September 2013.
^ 2013 World
Wealth Report (PDF) (Report). Capgemini. 2013. Retrieved
10 September 2013.
Wealth Report 2013. capgemini.com
^ a b c "World
Wealth Report 2013". Capgemini.
^ a b 1998 World
Wealth Report (PDF) (Report). Capgemini. 1998.
Retrieved 10 September 2013.
^ a b 2010 World
Wealth Report (PDF) (Report). Capgemini. 2010.
Retrieved 11 September 2013.
^ a b 2011 World
Wealth Report (PDF) (Report). Capgemini. 2011.
Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 November 2011. Retrieved 11
^ "Consumer Price Index (CPI) Inflation Calculator". U.S. Bureau of
^ 2008 World
Wealth Report (PDF) (Report). Capgemini. 2008. Archived
from the original (PDF) on November 23, 2008. Retrieved 11 September
^ a b c d "The proliferation of high-net-worth individuals". The
Economist. 4 October 2017.
^ Rivkin, Annabel (12 December 2006). "How I make the rich richer".
London: The Times. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
^ Wharton Global Family Alliance. "Benchmarking the Single Family
Office: Identifying the Performance Drivers".
^ Institute for Private Investors. .
^ Ultra HNI segment set to treble: Report. Indian Express
(2011-06-07). Retrieved on 2013-07-18.
Wealth Report (WWR) (PDF) (Report). Capgemini. 2013.
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