China: home to the most UHNWIs

10 January 2020

The People’s Republic of China has more billionaires than anywhere else in the world.

Despite the squeeze of the US-China trade relations, businesses are growing, and Chinese nationals continue to accumulate wealth. It’s estimated that the PRC now has more UHNWIs than the USA, which is shaping some exciting trends in the region – one being the rise in female, self-made billionaires.

The business environment in Asia is fantastic for entrepreneurship, and women especially have grasped the opportunities – particularly in China. Looking globally, self-made billionaires are typically men, and their wealth has been closely related to tech. What’s interesting in China especially is that female billionaires are typically self-made, and their source of wealth is much more varied: pharma, tech, food, manufacturing and retail. China is truly a fantastic place to be a businesswoman with ambition.

Active wealth: The future of services for the two and three comma club?

Estate planning for wealthy Asians, especially the Chinese, is changing rapidly, especially as traditionally favoured offshore jurisdictions have tighter exchange of tax information and substance regulations. Where the landscape is changing fastest, however, is in the demand for multi-faceted service providers that can truly bridge the gap between services associated with private wealth and corporate structuring and other services.

On average, Chinese billionaires are a decade younger than elsewhere, and they are still actively running a business, especially as the opportunities in the country are flourishing. Typically, ‘billionaire’ and ‘UHNWI’, conjures thoughts of estate planning, family offices, investments and preserving wealth. ‘These are of course considerations, but at ZEDRA we view things slightly differently and rather than work around business silos, we have set up our services to reflect a different reality, which we see especially in Asia.

Today’s UHNWIs are looking for service providers that understand that their wealth is being deployed and earnt actively, rather than simply seeing it as a fixed sum that’s been inherited, and which needs to be preserved and passed on. Chinese wealth, particularly, comes in the form of wildly successful businesses – it’s living and breathing. There are global considerations, expansion to explore – these business owners and families need corporate structures, funds, SPV’s, escrow, capital market solutions, and so on. At the same time, they also need structures like trusts or foundations.

Wealth planning typically distinguishes between investable financial assets and business or operating assets– they don’t see them as being intricately linked. At ZEDRA, we understand that one often comes with the other. A business owner doesn’t only need corporate solutions, nor do they only need solutions focused on bankable financial assets: they need to be able to pick and choose from both, depending on their specific situation. ZEDRA offers a multitude of services that span a client’s unique requirements, offering our clients seamless solutions through a sole point of contact.

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