Switzerland boasts more millionaires but Covid-19 casts shadow

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is likely to put a brake on growth in assets in 2020. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

The number of wealthy people rose sharply last year in Switzerland as well as globally. However, the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic have had a major impact on their fortunes. 

This content was published on July 9, 2020 - 08:57

The number of "high net worth individuals" (HNWIs) in Switzerland - with assets of at least $1 million (CHF936,557) excluding their main residence - jumped by 13.9% to 438,000 in 2019. The size of their assets increased by 14.1%, according to the Capgemini World Wealth Report 2020 published Thursday. 

Globally, the number of high net worth individuals increased by 8.8% to 19.6 million people and their fortunes grew by 8.6% to $74 trillion. 

Last year, growth was particularly strong in North America, with the number of HNWIs increasing by 10.9% to 6.3 million. This was followed by Europe with an increase of 8.7% to 5.2 million and the Asia-Pacific region with an increase of 7.6% to 6.5 million. 

In the hierarchy of the richest, millionaires with assets between $1 million and $5 million represent the bulk of the HNWIs with 17.7 million people worldwide. This is followed by those with assets between $5 and $30 million, who numbered about 1.8 million. At the top of the list are the 183,000 or so "ultra-HNWI" who hold sums of money in excess of $30 million. 

In the first quarter of 2020, the economic impact of Covid-19 resulted in the evaporation of $18 trillion from the markets. Between January and the end of April, global wealth contracted by 6% to 8% over one year. 

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