The European magazine, Spear’s, together with the information center WealthInsight, has published a joint rating, featuring cities with the highest concentration of high net worth individuals.
Monaco may be small in size, but it leads the list with the greatest number of millionaires per head. Nearly a third of the country’s population owns 1 million dollars or more, excluding the value of their main residence.
Here is the world ranking, showing the percentage of millionaires by city:
1. Monaco – 29.21
2. Zurich – 27.34
3. Geneva – 17.92
4. New – York – 4.63
5. Frankfurt – 3.88
6. London – 3.39
7. Oslo – 2.90
8. Singapore – 2.80
9. Amsterdam – 2.63
10. Florence – 2.59
11. Hong Kong – 2.58
12. Rome – 2.54
13. Dublin – 2.40
14. Doha – 2.31
15. Toronto – 2.29
Zurich, the banking capital of Switzerland and a major international financial center, is in second place, just after Monaco. The city features 27% of millionaires among its total population. Geneva takes the third place with almost 18% of population owning at least 1 million US dollars.
According to Oliver Williams, a WealthInsight analyst: “A favorable tax regime and a prestigious location are important criteria for attracting millionaires. The proximity to private banks and companies managing private assets is also important. Two Swiss financial centers, Zurich and Geneva, are traditional ‘harbors’ for private banking, as well as London.”
Other cities are a ways away from the leading three: New York features 4.6% millionaires, Frankfurt and London – 3.9 and 3.4%, respectively. The rest of the 15 rated cities have less than 3% of HNWs.
However, the situation is changing and the rating of the next year may look different. Despite the fact that for a long time Switzerland has been very attractive for the rich, the country is witnessing a significant outflow of millionaires. As reported by the “Tribune de Genève”, Pierre Mottu, President of the Wilsdorf fund, owning “Rolex”, has recently moved to London. The French billionaire Claude Berda decided to change Switzerland for Belgium. Before that, Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of Ikea moved to Sweden. Yet Monaco remains the most popular destination for well-heeled relocations. Last year, 1140 Swiss chose Monte Carlo as their permanent residence. Two years ago, there were only 1039.
According to the Swiss resource “20min.ch”, the new trend may be explained by a more lenient taxation practice with regard to the rich outside the country. This is true for Portugal, Monaco and London. Moreover, the publication adds, the decision to leave Switzerland may be influenced by a recent referendum, bringing up inheritance and gift tax. To put it another way, rich people need a guarantee of lifestyle stability in their country.