The wealth of high net worth individuals grew by 18% during 1999 on the back of rising stock markets...
The wealth of high net worth individuals grew by 18% during 1999 on the back of rising stock markets and the emergence of new technology millionaires.
According to the 2000 Merrill Lynch and Gemini Consulting World Wealth Report, the wealth of high net worth individuals grew to $25.5 trillion last year from $21.6 trillion in 1998. The survey defines high net worth individuals as those with financial assets in excess of $1m.
The report added that around one million new high net worth individuals emerged last year.
Winthrop Smith, president of Merrill Lynch's international private client group, said: "The relentless rise in high net worth individual numbers and assets worldwide continued in 1999, boosted by a favourable economic environment and exceptional stock market performance.
"The growth in ultra-high net worth individuals has been led by self-made technology-related wealth. This group of individuals has increasingly sophisticated demands requiring private banks to provide a greater diversity of products and highly specialised advice."
More than half of the increase in wealth is down to strong stock market performance in 1999.
Smith said the 1.7 million Asian high net worth individuals saw their wealth grow by 23% last year while the same group in North America, numbering 2.5 million, saw their wealth grow by 17.4%.
The 2.2m European high net worth individuals saw their wealth grow by 19% in 1999.
The number of ultra-high net worth individuals, those with financial assets of more than $30m, also grew by 18% last year rising to 55,000.