Wealth in Hong Kong: HNW Investors 2016; Understanding HNW investors and wealth management strategies.

Wealth in Hong Kong: HNW Investors 2016; Understanding HNW investors and wealth management strategies.

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Executive Summary

The Hong Kong private wealth market is an attractive mix of East and West. Its long-established nature makes it larger and more diversified than is common in the rest of Asia Pacific. Local HNW investors have mainly sourced their wealth through a mixture of entrepreneurship and earned income. An expectation of better returns through advisors is driving uptake of professional advice, but investors are reluctant to relinquish control completely, preferring advisory mandates. The average portfolio is heavily invested into equities, and this is not expected to change. However, we forecast rising demand for alternative products, which currently only constitute a minor proportion of the typical HNW portfolio. HNW clients also show moderate to strong demand for financial and pension planning, while estate planning continues to be a service that is sold rather than bought.

Key Findings

Family business owners and first-generation entrepreneurs together form the largest HNW client segment in Hong Kong. Wealth managers need to be prepared for clients with irregular incomes, heavy exposure to single industries, and finances entwined with their business.

Expats constitute a sizable proportion of the local HNW market and should prove to be a lucrative target segment.

Advisory mandates continue to dominate in Hong Kong. However, HNW investors prefer to manage simple investments themselves.

The average portfolio is heavily exposed to equities, while only the bare minimum is held in cash and near-cash products to ensure liquidity.

Already moderate to strong demand for margin lending is forecast to increase even further, and wealth managers should ensure that clients understand the risks associated with a leveraged investment strategy.


Verdict Financial's "Wealth in Hong Kong: HNW Investors 2016" report analyzes the investing preferences and portfolio allocation of HNW investors in Hong Kong. The report is based on our proprietary Global Wealth Managers Survey.

Specifically the report:

Profiles the average HNW investor in Hong Kong in terms of their demographics and analyzes the expat opportunity in the country.

Analyzes which wealth management mandates are preferred among HNW investors in Hong Kong and how demand will develop going forward.

Examines the allocation of HNW investors' portfolios into different asset classes and how the allocation is expected to develop in the future.

Analyzes product and service demand among HNW investors in Hong Kong.

Reasons To Buy

Develop and enhance your client targeting strategies using our data on HNW profiles and sources of wealth.

Give your marketing strategies the edge required and capture new clients using insights from our data on HNW investors' drivers for seeking investment advice vs. self-directing.

Tailor your investment product portfolio to match the current and future demand for different asset classes among HNW individuals.

Develop your service proposition to match the product and service demand expressed by HNW investors in Hong Kong and react proactively to the forecasted change in demand.

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Contact Us:
Ken Research
Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications



The HNW market in Hong Kong is well diversified and attractive in its own right

Key findings

Critical success factors


Entrepreneurs represent an important segment of Hong Kong's HNW market

In a diversified market, first-generation entrepreneurs and family business owners still need particular attention

HNW individuals have built their fortunes through manufacturing and the financial services industry

Wealth managers should be prepared to cater to the distinct needs of Hong Kong's large expat community

HNW expats represent a lucrative target market in Hong Kong

Uncertainty if they will return to their country of origin motivates HNW expats to invest locally


A multi-asset management strategy is key in Hong Kong

HNW investors in Hong Kong expect better returns through advisors

The largest proportion of HNW wealth is kept in advisory mandates

Advisory mandates are set to remain the preferred type of asset management

Demand for advisory and discretionary services is on the rise

HNW investors prefer to manage simple investments themselves


Hong Kong's love affair with equities is set to continue

Equities dominate the typical HNW portfolio, and this is not expected to change

Equities constitute almost two thirds of HNW investors' managed wealth

Bonds constitute the second-largest asset class

Cash and near-cash investments constitute a significantly smaller proportion in Hong Kong than in the wider region

Property constitutes only a minor proportion of the typical HNW portfolio

Commodity investments are of little interest to HNW clients

Alternatives only constitute a small proportion of the typical HNW portfolio

Dissatisfaction with traditional asset classes is driving demand for alternatives


Planning services

Financial and retirement planning should be an integral part of a wealth manager's offering

With the exception of inheritance planning, demand for all planning services is forecast to increase

Current market conditions mean that property advice is of little interest to HNW investors

Positive lending conditions are driving demand for credit in China

HNW demand for margin lending will continue to rise


Abbreviations and acronyms




Liquid assets

Mass affluent


Verdict Financial's 2015 Global Wealth Managers Survey

Verdict Financial's 2014 Global Wealth Managers Survey


Further reading

About Verdict Financial


Figure 1: Wealth managers should be prepared to cater to Hong Kong's large business owner community

Figure 2: BNP Paribas targets entrepreneurs in Hong Kong

Figure 3: Financial services represents an important driver of the economy and wealth in Hong Kong

Figure 4: Expats are an important part of the HNW community in Hong Kong

Figure 5: Hong Kong attracts expats from various regions, but China stands out

Figure 6: HNW expats invest locally as they are unsure if they will return to their country of origin

Figure 7: An expectation of better returns is driving uptake of financial advice

Figure 8: The majority of HNW wealth is kept in advisory mandates

Figure 9: Demand is strongest for advisory and discretionary mandates

Figure 10: Demand for advisory and discretionary asset management is forecast to increase significantly

Figure 11: Vontobel's private banking app allows clients to trade remotely

Figure 12: Investors feel confident enough to manage simple investments themselves

Figure 13: HNW investors are heavily exposed to equities

Figure 14: HNW investors prefer equity funds over direct holdings

Figure 15: Capital appreciation opportunities is the number one driver of equity investments

Figure 16: HNW investors allocate 23% of managed wealth to fixed income products

Figure 17: Demand for fixed income products is set to decrease

Figure 18: Only 5% of managed HNW wealth is held in cash products

Figure 19: HNW demand for cash products will continue to fall

Figure 20: 4% of HNW wealth is allocated to property

Figure 21: A weak property market will see real estate investments fall

Figure 22: Commodities are of little interest to HNW investors in Hong Kong

Figure 23: Commodity investments are forecast to decrease

Figure 24: Hedge funds are the preferred alternative investment product

Figure 25: Dissatisfaction with other investments is driving HNW demand for alternatives

Figure 26: Financial and pension planning is the core of a wealth manager's appeal

Figure 27: HSBC supports HNW investors over generations

Figure 28: With the exception of inheritance planning, all types of planning will see a marked increase in demand from HNW investors

Figure 29: HNW investors show moderate to strong demand for margin lending

Figure 30: Demand for margin loans is forecast to increase

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Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas Wealth Management, HSBC, Vontobel

Alternative investments, commodities, equities, bonds, deposits, funds, direct investments, private banking, wealth management, Hong Kong, investments, portfolio allocation, HNW, expats, discretionary asset management, execution-only, self-directed investors

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