Kingdom boasts highest density of wealthy households

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has emerged as one of the top ten countries in the world with the highest density of ultra wealthy households, according to Markus Massi, managing director and partner of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).”According to a BCG study, ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) households were mostly concentrated in Saudi Arabia which registered 18 per 100,000 households,” Massi told a press briefing at the Four Seasons Hotel recently.He added that Saudi Arabia was followed by Switzerland (10), Hong Kong (9), Kuwait (8), Austria (8), Norway (7), Qatar (6), Denmark (5), Singapore (5) and the UAE (5).Massi added that the findings are published in BCG’s 11th annual Global Wealth Report entitled “Shaping a New Tomorrow: How to Capitalize on the Momentum of Change,” which was released recently in the Middle East.An UNHW household has more than $100 million in assets under management (AuM). These assets could be in the form of stocks, private equity, bank deposits and assets.He said the big concentration of UHNW households in Saudi Arabia compared to other countries is due to its strong economy, adding “it bodes well for the AuM industry in the Kingdom.””Positive trends also emerged for the Middle East and Africa overall, as assets under management rose 8.6 percent to hit $4.5 trillion in 2010 and with expectations to reach $6.7 trillion by 2015,” said the Dubai-based Massi.He added that growth in the Middle East and Africa was “somewhat above the global average, at 8.6 percent.”Massi added that wealth management in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East is still very much a growth industry and many local wealth managers and private banks are only now getting their business models — including offerings and service delivery — at a level that is comparable with more developed regions.”The growth of Islamic Wealth Management is also an advantageous trend for wealth managers in the region — as their proximity to clients and their expertise makes the GCC countries a natural Islamic Wealth hub,” Massi said. – Arabnews