Surge of HNWIs: US, India and China top the list of centimillionaires

By Anayat Durrani

Centimillionaires—individuals who possess $100 million or more—account for some 25,490 worldwide and have more than doubled over the past 20 years, according to a new report. Centimillionaires are called the new global citizens and their wealth management revolves around multinational living, which could have a significant impact on the investment migration industry, according to a Henley & Partners’ report.

“With the largest millionaire migration flows on record predicted for next year — 125,000 high-net-worth individuals on the move — there is significant potential for centimillionaires to benefit from the myriad opportunities afforded by an additional residence or citizenship by investing in investment migration programs,” says Mehdi Kadiri, Head of North America at Henley & Partners.

Centimillionaires and global investment immigration

Centimillionaires range in “super-rich financiers to multinational CEOs, to baby boomers selling off their enterprises, to heirs who inherited their wealth, to tech-titan millennials and Gen Zs” but have had no set path to attaining their wealth status. They represent a group of people where money really is no object and the level of wealth achieved means they are less apt to ever worry about money again, the report said.

Kadiri says there are multiple factors that motivate the wealthy to relocate and over the past decade, this has included better education options, a higher standard of living in a safer environment, a more temperate climate or less polluted environment, opportunities for business diversification, and financial reasons such as wealth preservation and legacy protection.

“For those who can afford it, such as the centimillionaires of the world, having a portfolio of complementary residence permits and passports that can guarantee their access to several jurisdictions across the world is the only way to future-proof and safeguard their wealth for future generations,” says Kadiri.

Who are the centimillionaires of the world?

White males over the age of 55 from the U.S. and Europe comprise the majority of centimillionaires.

“Centimillionaires are typically the founders of successful companies or the CEOs of large multinationals,” says Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth, a global wealth intelligence firm that provided data and insights for the H&P report. “Most centimillionaires live in USA and Europe. Sizeable numbers also live in Australia, Canada, China, India and Japan.”

The U.S. has 38% (9,730) of global centimillionaires, and other emerging markets that follow include China and India with populations of 2,021 and 1,132 centi-millionaires. The UK is in 4th place (with 968 centi-millionaires) followed very closely by Germany in 5th place (with 966), Switzerland ranks 6th, followed by Japan (765), Canada (541), Australia (463), and finally Russia (435) to make up the rest of the top 10 countries for centimillionaires. South Africa is the top-ranked country on the African continent, with 92 resident centimillionaires, holding the 27th position globally.

“Residence and citizenship by investment is the simplest, fastest, and most effective mechanism available to achieve ultimate optionality,” says Kadiri.

Daniel Altneu, managing associate, Bedell Cristin Cayman Partnership, says a considerable number of their new and existing clients are centimillionaires that have accumulated significant wealth in both traditional and non-traditional asset classes.

“Many have acquired residency in the Cayman Islands through a desire to spend some or all of their time living in a sophisticated jurisdiction that does not require them to compromise on lifestyle choice,” says Altneu.

He says many centimillionaires and their families, family offices and businesses have chosen the Cayman Islands as a permanent home “due to its unique position of being able to offer tax neutrality in a safe and secure territory that has one of the highest GDPs and standards of living the world, and which prides itself on traditional values of community and privacy.”

Jean-Francois Harvey, global managing partner, foreign registered lawyer for Harvey Law Group, says when it comes to processing a case for someone with this type of wealth, it requires a lot more work regarding the source of funds and assets declaration.

“However, we have seen quite few clients in this range where the assets and source of funds were surprisingly simple since, for many of them, the source of their wealth is the value of the shares they own in their corporation,” says Harvey.

Impact of global migration of centimillionaires

Kadiri says often the countries those millionaires leave behind can have detrimental effects to their economies and real estate markets. In particular, some affluent individuals relocate their businesses and the employment their businesses generate, as well as their skills, qualifications, and influence.

“So, while centimillionaires may reflect only a fraction of a country’s population, producing, attracting, and retaining them is an important endeavor for any country,” says Kadiri. “What investment migration presents then is a win-win solution, since affluent individuals not only gain global mobility and optionality, but they also bring to the host countries their human talent, wealth, networks, and the taxes they pay.”

Kadiri says the fastest growing market for centimillionaires over the next decade is forecast to be Vietnam, with a 95% growth rate predicted. This is followed by India with an anticipated 80% growth rate in individuals worth over $100 million by 2032. 

The safe, business-friendly African island nation of Mauritius has emerged as a hot spot for migrating centimillionaires, with growth of 75% predicted. Other growing markets include New Zealand (72%), Rwanda (70%), Uganda (65%), and Australia (60%).

Amoils says many large emerging market countries have very few billionaires, which he says makes the billionaire wealth band largely irrelevant. But, he says these same countries typically have large numbers of centimillionaires, such as Kenya that has no billionaires but has 14 centimillionaires, Malta that has only two billionaires but has 26 centimillionaires, and South Africa that has only five billionaires but has 92 centimillionaires. 

“The centimillionaire wealth band is therefore a far more accurate reflection of the “super-wealthy” community in these countries,” says Amoils.

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About the Author

Uglobal Staff
Uglobal Staff, along with its peer-reviewed magazines and conferences series, focuses on the global investment immigration market, offering the latest trends and analyses. is a media platform built to provide professionals involved with global programs with the most comprehensive and credible sources of information in digital, print and seminar mediums. The platform was created out of the need for marketplace transparency and to more efficiently connect individuals interested in learning about the global programs - either as a potential capital source or as a solution for their immigration needs. The Uglobal publication collaborates with a network of leading experts and an authoritative board of advisors to uphold a high standard in all content delivered and events hosted by the organization.

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