Investments  

European wealth back to pre-2007 crisis peak

Advisers stand to benefit from a rising tide of wealthy people across Europe, as wealth surpassed its pre-financial crisis peak to reach €56tn (£43.7tn) in 2013, Swiss private bank Julius Baer has found.

Advisers stand to benefit from a rising tide of wealthy people across Europe, as wealth surpassed its pre-financial crisis peak to reach €56tn (£43.7tn) in 2013, Swiss private bank Julius Baer has found.

A 52-page wealth report published by the Zurich-headquartered bank analysed trends in wealth to provide a comprehensive study of European private wealth. It revealed that two-thirds of Europe’s wealth was concentrated in France, Germany, Italy and the UK.

Germany had the largest number of millionaire European households at 1.4m, followed by France with 1.3m, Italy with 818,000 and the UK with 796,000.

The report looked at the distribution of wealth in Europe, finding the highest levels of concentrations of wealth in Austria and Germany, with 40 per cent and 35 per cent respectively of total private wealth owned by the richest 1 per cent.

The lowest concentration of wealth was in the UK, Greece and Holland, with 15 per cent or less of total private wealth owned by the richest 1 per cent.

The report also looked at areas such as wealth and tax planning, investing for social impact as an alternative to philanthropy, and how best to start investing in wine and art.

Family businesses have played a large role in wealth building, with many of Europe’s family-led companies well-positioned to drive economic progress, according to the report’s authors Robert Ruttmann and Dimitri Bellas.

Mr Ruttmann said: “As long as capital returns exceed economic growth rates in Europe, European families owning capital are set to gain a larger slice of Europe’s consistently expanding wealth cake.”

Adviser View

David Penny, director of Somerset-based Invest Southwest, said: “It has never failed to astonish me how the British can be downbeat about where we are. We are better off than we have ever been. Most of us remained employed and had mortgages during the credit crunch, so we are no worse off.

“Advisers should continue to operate with optimism. There are plenty of assets that need good independent advice, spread across the entire country.”