Millionaire households made up 39% of the world’s wealth in 2010, up from 37% in 2009, according to a new study released Tuesday by Boston Consulting Group.

Those results come as millionaire households accounted for 0.9% of all households globally in 2010, the annual global wealth survey found. Millionaires with more than $5 million in assets under management represented 22% of global wealth, a 2% increase from 2009, and made up 0.1% of all households.

The management consulting firm’s survey also found that the majority of international wealth -- 87% -- is held by households with more than $100,000 in assets under management.

Boston Consulting Group’s annual survey, which included 120 international wealth managers, predicts that wealth will grow at a compound rate of 5.9% to reach $162 trillion in 2015, giving financial advisors even more incentive to adjust their pricing models accordingly to capture this highly coveted client base.

That growth will be fueled by more savings, capital markets performance and increases in gross domestic product, the survey said.

The survey found that 2010 was a strong year for wealth management overall and an improved year for wealth managers as the market continues to rebound from the financial crisis that hamstrung investors through the latter half of the last decade.

North America proved to be the wealthiest region, according to the survey, with almost $38.2 trillion in assets under management, representing about one-third of the world’s wealth. North America also had the largest absolute gain in wealth at $3.6 trillion. North America had the second highest growth rate at 10.2%, behind Asia-Pacific, which led the pack with a 17.1% improvement.

The United States topped the lists ranking both millionaires and households with more than $100 million in assets under management.

While there were about 12.5 million total millionaire households in 2010, the United States came in first with 5.2 million. That was followed by Japan with 1.5 million, China with 1.1 million, the United Kingdom with 570,000 and Germany with 400,000.

“It’s not a surprise that the U.S., being the biggest country in wealth altogether, also has the biggest number of millionaires,” Peter Damisch, a partner and European leader of wealth management at Boston Consulting Group said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

The United States also topped the list of households with more than $100 million in assets under management, defined as ultra high net worth, with 2.7 million households. Germany came in second with 839,000, followed by Saudi Arabia, 826,000; the United Kingdom, 738,000 and Russia, which checked in with 561,000 households.

But other countries topped the list when it came to greatest market share of millionaire and ultra high net worth households.

Millionaire households had the greatest proportion of the population in Singapore, comprising 15.5%, followed by Switzerland, 9.9%; Qatar, 8.9%; Hong Kong, 8.7% and Kuwait, 8.5%. The greatest market share of ultra-high-net-worth households was in Saudi Arabia, followed by Switzerland, Hong Kong, Kuwait and Austria.


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