Barclays nextgen

Asia's wealthy heirs defy stereotype

The heirs of the ultra-rich in Asia spend most of their time working, and being able to buy whatever they want is a key personal value, finds a Barclays Wealth survey.

Offspring of the very wealthy in Asia want to be able to buy whatever their hearts desire and are willing to spend the majority of their time working to achieve this.

The next generation of the very rich in the region can generally be found hard at work preserving and growing their family’s fortune “contrary to the belief that those born with a silver spoon are rebellious and spoilt”, found a Barclays Wealth survey, which was released yesterday.

A key personal value for 91% of those surveyed is the ability to buy whatever they want. Further, 78% of those surveyed seek to move with the times and an equal number are seeking to build on the achievements of their family — no easy task given that the average family wealth of those surveyed is $45 million or more. The conclusions are based on 48 interviews conducted last year with the sons and daughters of families in China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Singapore and Taiwan.

Only a quarter of respondents are sole heirs. But being the firstborn son is clearly an advantage in the region as the majority of respondents are males, with very few siblings playing an active role in managing either the family business or the family wealth.

For around three-quarters of those interviewed, working occupies most of their time, followed by spending time with their family. Both fitness and philanthropy are equally out of favour with the ultra-rich, with only 22% spending a significant part of their time on either. 

Asia’s wealthy have their fair share of problems. They are concerned with preventing their wealth from diminishing — more than two-thirds of those surveyed believe that wealth preservation requires constant attention. Further, more than half the respondents have the added pressure of wanting to make their own mark on the family business and fortunes. And 52% don’t feel that wealth is to be enjoyed.

Equities are still flavour of the month, despite the volatility that equity markets have witnessed since the subprime-sparked financial crisis of 2008, with 83% of respondents currently invested in equities, followed by 65% in fixed income and 61% in property and mutual funds. Lifestyle investments including jewellery, art and wine are also popular with the ultra-rich surveyed.

A strong local and regional presence, good brand reputation and online banking are the factors that the next generation of rich seek in their private bank. And, luckily, for the banks with which the ultra-rich families are already banking, once these criteria are met they remain loyal to their private bank, even if that bank was chosen by their parents.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.
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