High and Ultra High Net Worth Customer Insights

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High and Ultra High Net Worth Customer Insights

High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) are defined as holding liquid financial assets (excluding their primary residence) with a value greater than US$1 million. At the end of 2017, there were estimated to be just over 15 million HNWI in the world. The United States had the highest number of HNWI (5,047,000) of any country, while New York had the most HNWI (393,500) among cities.

Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWI) have a minimum of $30 million in assets. They represent 0.004% of the world’s population and account for 13% of the world’s wealth. Of the 211,275 UHNWI, the United States has the largest population (69,560) and accounts for nearly one-third of the world’s UHNW members. Because this segment is much smaller than HNWI, much of the information in this research is related to those in high-net worth categories, but will also apply to the ultra-high net worth population.

Spending Influences for HNWI & UHNWI?

The typical UHNWI spends $1.1 million yearly on luxury goods. Their top purchases are (in order): Travel/hospitality, automobiles, art, jewelry/watches, private aviation and yachts. Men account for 87% of those classified as UHNWI with the average male being 59 years old. Meanwhile, women account for 13% of UHNWI, with an average age of 57 years old.

In 2017, the HNWI population rose to a global record high of 16.5 million people. Booming global stock markets catapulted an extra 1.15 million people into the high-net-worth individual (HNWI) bracket, according to figures from Capgemini's 2017 World Wealth Report.

Differences in asset allocation between UHNWI and HNWI.
10% in cash
46% in alternatives
15% in fixed income
9% in international equities
20% in domestic equities.
2% in cash
22% in alternatives
33% in fixed incomes
15% in international equities
28% in domestic equities.
Note: For Ultra High Net Worth, Private Credit is included in the Fixed Income allocation. Data as of March 2017.


“The wealthy are driven by a sense of purpose and desire to succeed, but what makes life fulfilling is not money; it’s what they do with it,” Keith Banks, president of U.S. Trust.

52% of UHNWI and HNWI care about their personal safety and worry about being taken advantage of. Ambitious, but troubled by concerns and anxieties, HNWI strongly believe in paying for expert advice to help them reach their financial and non-financial goals. HNWI consider to be essential to a life well lived, ranking health, family and financial security as key, as identified by the 2015 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth survey.

Both HNWI and UHNWI seek advice on technical aspects of planning, such as portfolio performance and tax and estate planning. However, only approximately one-third of HNWI are talking to advisers about strategies involving their fundamental goals which they consider to be more important. These include identifying family needs and goals (36%) and planning for increased longevity (34%). Even fewer HNWI are having discussions about the strategic use of credit (21%), strategic philanthropy (18%) and investing for social impact (11%).

According to studies, the wealthy and affluent shape their personality by developing habits that remain essential for the long-term success of entrepreneurs and investors. They tend to fall in categories such as hard work, persistence, passion, acquiring self-knowledge, associating with the right people, and staying healthy.

For example:
- 92% of rich say good luck had nothing at all to do with their wealth. They just never gave up.
- 94% of wealthy individuals read current events every day.
- 93% of the self-made millionaires attributed their wealth to their mentors’ help.
- 76% of the rich aerobically exercise for 30 minutes or more, every day

General Demographic Insights

UHNW individuals are primarily male, attended the most elite schools, are married with two kids, and hover around the age of 60. The majority of ultra-high-net-worth men are self-made, while roughly half of women inherit their wealth. The U.S. has more than its fair share of UHNW individuals and leads the world in charitable giving.

Wealth Source
Sources of wealth vary by gender:
- 68% of men made their own wealth
- 19% of men have partially inherited and self-
- 13% of men inherited their wealth
- 48% of women inherited their wealth
- 34% of women made their own wealth
- 18% of women have partially inherited and self-made wealth

1. They built wealth over time
2. They took a basic, long-term approach to investing.
3. They're opportunistically optimistic. More HNWIs are optimistic than pessimistic about investment returns over the next year.
4. They employ a strategic use of credit.
5. They make tax-conscious investment decisions.
6. They invest in valuable tangible assets.
7. They practice disciplined saving, opportunistic buying.
8. They highlight family values and upbringing
9. They have a strong family tradition of philanthropy.
10.They have a marriage/lifelong partnership. Most (86%) are married or are in a long-term relationship

Wealth Management Behavior

The most wealthy population segments - both high and ultra net worth individuals - care most about being taken advantage of (52%). In addition, one in four HNWIs under age 45 is highly concerned about their physical safety and security.

Given the complexity of their affairs and activities, HNWI are advocates of paying for professional advice in many aspects of their lives. Security and privacy are HNWIs’ two biggest concerns about digital technology, and more than half of HNWI are concerned about exploitation generally. But many HNWI again particularly those who are younger are willing to trade off data privacy to get the solutions they want.

Research by U.S. Trust on the attitudes and preferences of HNWI finds that their approach to investing and building wealth is shaped by their priorities and outlook, which in some cases is preventing them from planning properly to reach their financial goals.

When it comes to managing their wealth, advisers need to focus in particular on making sure wealthy clients have a proper legacy plan in place. They should also manage their risk tolerance so that priorities such as growth over protection of assets is met.

Wealth management Engagement with HNWI & UHNWI

The digital marketing sector for HNW clients is a niche area of expertise, with very few agencies specializing in the luxury sector, and many brands still not understanding the huge impact digital marketing can have on their business. Until more recent years, wealth management's personalized response has relied on human effort. However, digital and algorithmic innovation are creating the possibility of more digital systems, opening up the sector to FinTech players.
Wealth management companies cannot assume that length of experience, brand prestige, or even the quality of their client relationship will insulate them from the possibility of an increasing digital switch.

69% of HNWI are now using online/mobile banking but only a quarter of wealth managers currently offer digital channels beyond email. We see this shift as only 39% of clients are likely to recommend their current wealth manager, falling to 23% among US$10m+ clients. This segment's willingness to switch is fairly high as 47% of HNWI under 45 who don’t use robo-services would consider using them in the future.

Wealth Management and Investment Advisers of HNWI & UHNWI need the following:
1. A quality relationship with a fiduciary and fee-only adviser who genuinely knows and serves them (and legally has to do what is in their best interest).
2. A robust modern-era investment platform and service that is lean, nimble and continually managed on their behalf (preferably Evidence Based Investing with all five levels of optimization).
3. A comprehensive wealth management and preservation service that proactively measures and builds financial strength (preferably Strength Based Wealth Management with all 35 Essential Strengths addressed).

Targeting High and Ultra High Net Worth Individuals

Internet searches and brand recognition through social media are both key factors in the decision-making process for consumers, and this is true of UHNWI consumers as well. So, the failure of luxury brands to acknowledge digital marketing as a great method of increasing revenue means that brands which are ahead of the game and engage in digital marketing strategies can achieve tremendous success.

Relevance Web Marketing recently completed a successful campaign for Fraser Yachts by targeting High Net Worth Individuals interested in buying and chartering -. Fraser has sold more yachts over 30 meters than any of their competitors over the last 5 years.
When evaluating your strategy to these high net worth consumers, you should consider whether your strategy caters for different languages and cultural backgrounds, genders, locations and ages. You should not be simply promoting your product or service social should be used as a tool for building relationships with your target audience.

In the case of UHNWI the ability to seamlessly blend both offline and online marketing strategies is critical to creating a high-value customer experience that builds a deeper relationship with UHNWI who are looking more than ever for brands they can trust.

What attracts HNW & UHNW individuals as consumers?

1. Brand Appeal - the wealthy often show an advance sense of brand assessment and interpretation, based on their own experience, an advanced education and significant exposure to premium brands.
2. The Decision maker - the end consumer may not always be the decision maker. For example, intermediaries such as financial advisers, family members and offices play a major role in the purchasing decision. 3 Exclusivity - a set of unique features or propositions that create and convey a sense of exclusivity must be d in the value proposition.
4. Price matters - the value of money is central to the buying decision and an important aspect even for emotional purchases. That's why the price positioning must always be defined based on the perception of the benefits (whether material or emotional).
5. Values and beliefs - the majority of HNWI and all UHNWI would be placed in the upper part of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs pyramid. Therefore, are more inclined to care about the impact of their purchase on society (e.g. fair-trade), or the alignment of brand values with their own beliefs and values.
6. Investment needs - financial planning offerings must get the balance right between the technical performance of the financial vehicles, but also on softer emotional drivers, such as trust and security.


High Net Worth Individuals and Ultra High Net Worth Individuals know that price matters, but will invest or purchase if the value is evident. They have a sense of exclusivity, get advice from family and close friends and have an advanced sense of brand assessment and interpretation. These individuals are often worried about their physical security and half the time they are concerned about being taken advantage of. These are critical points of consideration when profiling them as a target audience for financial products and services.