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The number of UHNWI’s in South Africa is expected to reach 700 by 2018

Press release July 18, 2014

This report is the result of WealthInsightâ's extensive research covering the high net worth individual (HNWI) population and wealth management market in South Africa.

Research suggests that as of 2013 there were 581 UHNWI in South Africa, with an average per capita wealth of USD 124.7 million, making them a major target group for wealth sector professionals. Being one of the most prominent emerging economies, the UHNWI of South Africa contribute significantly to the development of the economy.

This report: Ultra HNWIs in South Africa 2014 provides a detailed report covering the high net worth individual (HNWI) population and wealth management market in South Africa. The report highlights the current market scenario and outlines the challenges and scope of the market.

Market overview

Out of the 581 UHNWI’s in South Africa in 2013, there were 8 billionaires, 164 centimillionaires and 409 affluent millionaires. UHNWI’s accounted for 1.2% of the total South African HNWI population in 2013, greater than the global average of 0.7%, and this number has been increasing at a steady pace. The number of South African UHNWIs increased by 50.5% during the review period, from 386 in 2009 to 581 in 2013. The number of billionaires also increased by 100%, while the number of centimillionaires and affluent millionaires increased by 47.7% and 50.9% respectively. This number is further predicted to increase by 16.1%, reaching 700 in 2018. This will include 10 billionaires, 201 centimillionaires and 489 affluent millionaires.

In 2013, equities was the largest asset class for South African HNWI’s, closely followed by real estate accounting for 26.3%; business interests with 14.7%; cash and deposits with 12.6%; fixed-income with 11.5% and alternatives with 7.8%.


Key regions

At the end of 2013, HNWI’s in South Africa held 17.4% (USD 35 billion) of their wealth outside their home country, which is below the worldwide average of 20-30%. Research predicts that foreign asset holdings will increase to USD 45 billion by 2018. In 2013, Africa accounted for 27.0% of South African HNWIs' foreign assets, followed by North America with 24.2%, Europe with 22.6%, Asia-Pacific with11.7%, Latin America with 9.0% and the Middle East with 5.4%.

Market outlook

The number of core HNWIs in South Africa is expected to grow by 16% over the forecast period, reaching 56,447 by 2018. Additionally, allocations in commodities are expected to decline to 1.7% of the total HNWI assets by 2018, as the global liquidity tightens. In 2013, South African HNWI liquid assets amounted to USD102.4 billion, representing 51.2% of wealth holdings.

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