As the flames of war rage in West Asia and Ukraine, the US Congress finds itself immobilised by internal strife, creating a dysfunction that even some within the Republican Party fear is offering solace to America’s adversaries.
I n a world where financial fortunes of the already wealthy often seem unstoppable, the release of Altrata’s 11th edition of the World Ultra-Wealth Report for 2023 comes as a reality check. Altrata’s data-driven intelligence report on the world’s wealthy and influential reveals a 5.4 per cent decline in the global ultra-high net worth (UHNW) population in 2022. This marks the first annual decrease in this demographic ~ comprising people with at least $30 million ~ in four years. This contraction is the most substantial since 2015. One of the primary drivers behind this decline, highlighted in the report, is the global economic shockwaves triggered by the war in Ukraine. The ripple effects of geopolitical conflicts are often felt throughout the financial world. This effect decreased the global UHNW population’s net worth by 11 per cent to $41.8 trillion.
It’s a stark reminder that even the wealthiest individuals are not immune to the consequences of international crises. Regionally, the impact has been disparate. North America, the world’s largest ultra-wealth region, experienced a 4 per cent decline in its UHNW population in 2022, the most significant annual fall in a decade. This can be attributed to economic uncertainties, changing investment landscapes and the pandemic’s lingering effects. The report suggests that the region’s recent decline deviates from its usual upward trajectory.
Asia, on the other hand, suffered the most significant fall of any region, with a 10.9 per cent decrease in ultra-wealthy individuals and a 10.6 per cent decrease in their overall wealth. This decline can be partly explained by the region’s high exposure to global economic fluctuations, along with challenges associated with the pandemic’s aftermath. Europe faced its share of challenges, with an inflationary spike and an energy crisis stemming from the Russia-Ukraine war, affecting the region’s wealth assets. This reduced Europe’s ultra-wealthy population by 7.1 per cent. These events serve as a reminder that political conflicts and energy crises can have far-reaching consequences, transcending borders and affecting even the most privileged. The Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean saw gains in ultra-wealthy individuals and their total net worth. This divergence highlights the resilience and adaptability of different regions in the face of adversity.
It suggests that, even in challenging times, opportunities for wealth creation exist and that some areas are better positioned to seize them. Beyond the numbers, the report delves into the diverse archetypes among the ultra-wealthy. It showcases entrepreneurs, corporate executives and sole inheritors, each with unique characteristics and strategies for wealth accumulation. These archetypes remind us that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to wealth creation. It’s a complex interplay of factors, including the source of wealth, asset allocation, industry affiliation, luxury asset ownership and more. Altrata’s World Ultra-Wealth Report, 2023 provides a glimpse into the shifting landscape of wealth. It reminds us that fortunes of the wealthiest can rise and fall with the tides of geopolitics and economics.