The overall financial wealth of high net worth individuals fell by 1.7 per cent globally in 2011 to stand at $42 trillion, according to the RBC/Capgemini World Wealth Report 2012.
The population of the $1 million - $5 million segment, which represents 90 per cent of all HNW individuals, increased both in numbers (by 1.1 per cent) and wealth (by 0.8 per cent), while the numbers and wealth of the population with over $5 million fell.
In other key findings of the report, Asia-Pacific has overtaken North America as the largest HNW market in terms of population. The regionís HNW population expanded by 1.6 per cent in 2011 and hit 3.37 million - signifying a growth rate of 11 per cent over two years.
However, North America maintains its position in terms of overall HNW wealth, representing $11.4 trillion.
Capgeminiís annual World Wealth Report is a global benchmark for tracking HNW individuals and identifying the most striking trends in the wealth management industry. This year marks its sixteenth edition and for the first time was conducted in association with the Royal Bank of Canada Wealth Management. It was previously produced with Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Besides data on the population of HNW individuals and regional trends, the report also highlighted issues such as the rising cost of running private wealth. For example, in 2010, the average cost/income ratio of wealth management rose by 0.8 percentage points from the previous year to 79.8 per cent, having been at 76.8 per cent in 2008.