Targeting and Servicing High Net Worth (HNW) Investors – Strategies, Investment Behaviors, Investor Proclivities with regards to Risk, Loyalty, and Product Uptake

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This report analyzes and sizes key segments of the global HNW market, providing detailed recommendations on how best to target and service these segments. It explores how investment behaviors differ across different target segments, and highlights different investor proclivities with regards to risk, loyalty, and product uptake. It is based on our proprietary Global Wealth Managers Surveys.

A key focus for most wealth providers, HNW entrepreneurs constitute the second-largest target segment (after professionals), followed by females and expats, who represent an almost equally large target market. Inheritors are the smallest segment; however, providers reaching out to female inheritors should not encounter any trouble growing their business given that this segment is often overlooked. While there is overlap between segments, distinct investment and servicing preferences call for a differentiated servicing strategy. For example, female HNW investors are more risk averse than other segments, but they tend to be comparatively loyal to their wealth manager. On the flipside, inheritors tend to be the least loyal, meaning early and ongoing engagement is critical.


– 53.4% of global HNW investors reside in North America, but growth is more pronounced in the Middle East and Africa, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

– Professionals account for 9 million individuals within the global HNW market, while entrepreneurs account for another 2.6 million.

– Globally, only 13.9% of female HNW investors have sourced their wealth through first-generation entrepreneurship, compared to 24.7% among males. However, this is slowly changing.

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– Understand the size and service requirements of key client groups

– Develop and enhance your client targeting strategies using our proprietary data on the effectiveness of various targeting strategies across key target groups

– Minimize customer churn rates by gaining a detailed understanding about key client groups’ diverging proclivities, attitudes towards risk, and investment preferences

– Tailor your product portfolio to match demand patterns across the different segments discussed

IndusInd Bank
United Bank of India
Bank of Baroda
Credit Suisse
Bank of China
US Bank

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

1.1 Market overview

1.2 Key findings

1.3 Critical success factors

2. Sizing the Global HNW Market by Segment

2.1 North America is the largest target market, but growth can be found in Latin America and Asia Pacific

2.2 Albeit not mutually exclusive, expats and entrepreneurs constitute the largest target segments after professionals

2.3 9 million HNW professionals make for a sizable target market

2.4 After professionals, entrepreneurs constitute the largest HNW segment

2.5 Reaching out to inheritors early on via next-generation programs will minimize churn rates

2.6 Women constitute less than a fifth of the global HNW market, but represent a growing segment


1.8 million HNW expats make for a sizable target market

2.8 Targeting efforts begin in Asia, as more than half of HNW expats originate from the continent

2.9 The US and the UK are considered entrepreneurial havens among HNW expats

3. Investor Preferences Differ Between Segments

3.1 Key investor segments are seeking common services and excellence

3.2 Targeting females means adopting a tailored servicing approach

3.3 Expats are demanding but ideal for a bank able to offer a full suite of services

3.4 Customer churn is highest in the HNW inheritor segment, making relationship building key

3.5 Well-established referral processes are a must when targeting entrepreneurs

3.6 Highly integrated business and investment banking teams appeal to entrepreneurs and professionals

4. Appendix

4.1 Abbreviations and acronyms

4.2 Definitions

4.3 Supplementary data

4.4 Methodology

4.5 Secondary sources

4.6 Further reading

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List of Figures

Figure 1: HNW growth in the Middle East and Africa and Asia Pacific is forecast to outstrip all other regions

Figure 2: A notable proportion of Filipino HNW wealth remains unmanaged

Figure 3: 68% of Chinese HNW investors use fewer than three wealth providers

Figure 4: The make-up of the global expat population differs significantly by region

Figure 5: CEOs and managing directors make for a lucrative target market in Australia

Figure 6: The entrepreneurial spirit runs high in Poland

Figure 7: The average age of Japanese HNW entrepreneurs is notably higher than the global average

Figure 8: Credit Suisse targets the next generation of HNW investors early on

Figure 9: Proportion-wise, Vietnam is home to the largest female HNW population

Figure 10: Female HNW entrepreneurs remain a rarity

Figure 11: Brazilian female HNW investors are as likely as their male counterparts to start a business

Figure 12: The UAE is home to a significant HNW expat population

Figure 13: Almost 100,000 Chinese HNW expats make for a sizable target market

Figure 14: The geographic footprint of the wider NRI community mirrors that of the HNW one

Figure 15: HNW NRIs and Chinese expats are less likely to expatriate permanently

Figure 16: The US is the preferred location among HNW expat entrepreneurs

Figure 17: DBS supports HNW entrepreneurs across Asia

Figure 18: Knowledge of financial products differs across segments

Figure 19: Male investors are notably more exposed to risk assets

Figure 20: Expats are notably more likely to hold credit products than natives

Figure 21: Expats are more likely to have sourced their wealth through first-generation entrepreneurship

Figure 22: HNW expats tend to be a loyal bunch

Figure 23: BNP Paribas services expats in both their country of origin and residence

Figure 24: HNW females and inheritors tend to be less financially savvy than other segments

Figure 25: Number of HNW individuals per segment per country, 2020

Figure 26: Segment as a proportion of total HNW population per country, 2020

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