Where do the other half live?

By 2015, it'll be the Asia Pacific.

The number and wealth of HNWs in Asia Pacific has grown at more than double the rate of the rest of world in the past five years and is expected to become the world’s biggest by 2015, a new study has found.

According to the Capgemini/RBC Wealth Management Asia Pacific Wealth Report 2013, the region’s HNW population and wealth increased by 31 per cent and 27 per cent respectively in the five-year period, dwarfing the rest of the world, where the number of millionaires grew by only 14 per cent and their wealth by 9 per cent. As a result, 45.4 per cent of the world’s HNW wealth growth came from Asia Pacific.

The region’s HNW population – defined as those with investable assets of at least $1m – grew by 9.4 per cent to 3.68 million in 2012, and their wealth increased by 12.2 per cent to $12trn during the same year. North America had the largest HNW population in 2012, with 3.73 million millionaires. However, according to the study, it will be overtaken by Asia Pacific in the near future, where HNW wealth is expected to grow at 9.8 per cent a year to reach $15.9trn by 2015.

Asia Pacific also outpaced the rest of the world when it came to the UHNWs – those with investable assets of at least $30 million. The region’s UHNW population and wealth grew by 15.4 and 17.8 per cent respectively compared to 9.7 and 9.4 per cent in the rest of the world.

Thanks to economic growth

Jean Lassignardie, Capgemini Global Financial Services’ chief sales and marketing officer, said he expected the region’s fast-growing economies to boost the HNW market through 2014.

‘GDP growth of 5.5 per cent, which is more than double the global average, combined with strong equity market performance across the region and strong real estate market performance in some markets, drove robust growth in Asia Pacific’s HNW population and wealth in 2012. This GDP growth rate is projected to drive Asia Pacific’s growth in HNW population and wealth through 2014.’

All countries in Asia Pacific have seen growth in their wealth in 2012, the report also found. But Hong Kong and India have seen the biggest increases, with their HNW population rising by 35.7 per cent and by 22.2 per cent respectively and their wealth jumping by 37.2 per cent and 23.4 per cent respectively.

Japan and Taiwan were the only two markets to report single-digit increases in HNW population, at 4.4 per cent and 7 per cent respectively.

Perhaps thanks to their wealth’s recent growth, the Global HNW Insights Survey – which is a global qualitative survey Capgemini/RBC conducted together with Scorpio Partnership – found that 80 per cent of HNWs in Asia Pacific excluding Japan said they ‘highly’ trusted their wealth managers and firms, compared to about two-thirds of HNWs in the rest of the world.

The survey also found that Asia-Pacific’s HNWs had different wealth management needs than the rest of the world.

For example, 40.1 per cent of HNWs in Asia Pacific preferred to work with multiple wealth managers from one firm, compared to only 21.7 per cent in other regions. Almost 40 per cent also said it preferred digital rather direct communication with their wealth managers, compared to 21.5 percent in the rest of the world, and 42.3 percent was willing to pay more for tailored services, compared to less than 26 per cent in other regions.

Giulia Cambieri writes for Spear's

This piece first appeared on Spear's Magazine

A duck in the Asia Pacific. Photograph: Getty Images

This is a story from the team at Spears magazine.

Richard Burden
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The warnings Bosnian gravestones carry for us in 2016

Xenophobia does not usually lead to Srebrenica. But it can do.

Two weeks ago, I joined a visit to Bosnia organised by Remember Srebrenica. If you have ever seen one of the Commonwealth War Graves cemeteries in Northern France, you will have a sense of what the cemetery in Potocari, near Srebrenica, is like. Row upon row of identical white headstones stretching into the distance. Whereas in France, of course, most of the headstones are marked by the cross, in Potocari they are white obelisks. Overwhelmingly, they mark the graves of Muslims.

In the 1990s, the old battery factory of Potocari was the headquarters of Dutch troops. They had been deployed to uphold the United Nations designation of the enclave as a safe area. Their presence, however, did not stop Serb troops from rounding up around 25,000 people sheltering at the base in July 1995. Once the UN troops stood aside, families were divided. Most of the women and children were loaded and sent west to areas of the country still controlled by the Bosnian government. The men and boys were loaded on to separate trucks. Within days, most of them were systematically shot.

Many other men and boys had already taken to the woods to escape, only to face shells, snipers and ambush on the way. Some, like 19-year-old Hasan Hasanovic, made it through to free territory around Tuzla. Many did not. Those did not die in the woods were either persuaded to give themselves up, or were captured. Like the men and boys who had been taken from outside the UN base at Potocari, most simply disappeared. To this day, their bones are still being found in or near mass graves in eastern Bosnia.

And so, 21 years on, I met Hasan at Potocari. July1995 was the last time he saw his twin brother Hussein, his father Aziz or his uncle, Hasan.

The former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan described the Srebrenica massacre as the worst crime on European soil since the Second World War. Indeed, the word massacre doesn’t convey the enormity of what happened. Earlier this year, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia found 1990s Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic guilty of involvement in genocide. The verdict in the trial of military leader Ratko Mladic is expected later this year.

Nobody who visits Potocari can fail to be moved by what you see there. For me, it brought back memories of how, as a new MP back in the 1990s, I was one of those calling for more assertive international action to stop the carnage that was unfolding in Bosnia. It was an unfamiliar position to find myself in. All my political life until that point, I had been amongst those opposing involvement in military action abroad. Now I found myself supporting intervention. For three years before the Srebrenica genocide, people in Sarajevo had been starved of food, medicines and even the means to defend themselves as their city was remorselessly pounded from the hills that surround it. We knew it. We could see it on TV. We also saw that neither Europe nor NATO nor the UN were taking action that could have stopped it.

There were always so many geopolitical reasons not to intervene effectively. I heard them day after day from Ministers in the House of Commons. But that did not help the men, women and children who were dying in Sarajevo, and in 1995 it did not save Hasan’s twin brother, his father, his uncle or the 8,000 others who ended up in the mass graves around Srebrenica.

Since I have returned from Bosnia, two things keep dominating my thinking. The first is about Syria. The political circumstances that have led to the destruction of Aleppo today are not the same as those facing Sarajevo in the 1990s. For people trapped there though, the parallels must feel much more real than the differences. I don’t claim to have an off-the-shelf action plan for what the international community should do today any more than anyone else does. I just keep thinking how in twenty years’ time, people visiting Aleppo - hopefully reconstructed as Sarajevo has been today - will ask: “How could the world have let this happen in 2016?” What will be our answer?

The other thing that dominates my thoughts is that the genocide in Bosnia hit people like me. A man I met, who unexpectedly found himself becoming a soldier in 1992, told me how, before the war, he wore a t-shirt, jeans and an earring. On a good day, he would to listen to the Ramones. On a bad day, it would be the Sex Pistols. I am a bit older than him, but this was still my generation. And it happened In Europe.

What is more, the murders and the ethnic cleansing were not committed by strangers. So often, they were committed by neighbours. These were normal people who had been whipped up to dehumanise those who they were told were “different”. They were told that their way of life was under threat. They internalised it. They believed it. And, down the line, they no longer needed persuading it was “them or us”.

Most of the time, xenophobia does not lead to the horrors that have scarred Srebrenica forever. But it can do. That a lesson for all of us must never forget. So next time you hear someone talking about people living either down the road or across the sea being "them" not "us", don't shrug and walk away. Speak up and speak out instead.

Richard Burden is Labour MP for Birmingham Northfield and a Shadow Transport Minister. He visited Bosnia with the Remembering Srebrenica charity in October 2016. You can find out more about the Remembering Srebrenica charity here.

Richard Burden is MP for Birmingham Northfield. Follow him on Twitter @RichardBurdenMP.