E&P Asia launched the Asian Wealth Management Index (AWI) in May 2013 to track the sentiment, asset allocation and wealth management intentions of Asian High Net-Worth Individuals (HNWIs).
Delivered two times each year, the AWI captures Asian HNWIs at a crucial moment in their wealth journey from several perspectives: their engagement with service providers, their levels of optimism amid turbulent markets, and how they plan to shift asset allocation among asset classes to take best advantage of changing investment returns.
The AWI program interviews C-suite executives from the Top 1,000 corporates in ten Asian markets (ex-Japan) and speaks to them as retail investors.
Already, some discernible trends are evident. Where previously Asian HNWIs were well known for self-managing their wealth, there has been a strong move for them to engage with private banks, with the percentage doubling so far over the life of the index.
Five in ten of the HNWI sample still manage their own money, but a significant percentage say they plan to engage a private bank or a financial advisor in the near future.
Levels of optimism remain high, despite turbulent markets, and this has been driven by results: average investable wealth (ex the family home) held by the sample has grown steadily to US$5.44 million over the course of the index, and forecast annualised growth remains in double digits.
In terms of asset allocation, property remains the bedrock of wealth, although the HNWI sample are showing a greater interest in asset classes such as foreign equities, and alternative asset classes such as private equity and infrastructure, which now represent more than 10 percent of portfolios.
Alternatives look set to constitute a bigger proportion of portfolios, with more growth forecast, while fixed income is forecast to dwindle to well under 10 percent.
The AWI platform allows for “questions of the moment” for each round, with a typical approach being a series of recent questions on discretionary mandates. These are in their infancy in Asia, although HNWIs showed significant levels of interest in learning more about this option for managing their wealth.