Private Wealth Management, in its breadth and depth, has increasingly become a much-sort-after financial service in Africa, thanks to the economic renaissance happening across the continent and the emergence of a solid class of the ‘nouveau riche’.
South Africa has the highest number of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) followed by Egypt, Nigeria and Kenya. According to a study by New World Wealth, a South African consulting firm, other top performing HNWI markets in Africa are Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Mauritius and Tanzania.
The Africa 2016 Wealth Report estimates that there are about 165,000 HNWI living in Africa with a total portfolio of US$125 billion. About 75% of this is held through wealth management companies. HNWI are often sophisticated when it comes to their financial needs. They value the growth of their investments, trust and security. New regulation globally regarding the movement and monitoring of financial assets have made these even more paramount.
The report says African HNWIs (outside South Africa) have tended to keep their funds in traditional holding centers such as the UK, the Channel Islands and Switzerland. Dubai has also emerged as a popular destination, especially for North African HNWIs. But HNWI has become more mobile than ever and investment flows are targeting new markets like Africa, where returns are higher, emphasizing the need for players in the arena to operate from the continent.
It is estimated the African private banking market will grow by 7% per annum over the next 10 years. The most promising emerging African markets for private banking are Ghana and Kenya.
According to Knight Frank in their report Wealth Report 2016, Kenya is the 4th richest country in Africa (in terms of individual wealth held) after South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt. Kenya’s HNWI volumes increased by 60% from approximately 5,300 HNWIs in 2007 to 8,500 HNWIs in 2015, making Kenya one of the top performing countries in Africa during this period.
Kenyan HNWIs is expected to grow by 80%, hitting 15,300 by 2025. This will make it one of the top 20 performing countries in the world over this period.
Strong growth in other East African Economies such as Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda has helped to catapult Kenya’s dominance in the region.
As a result, more banks especially the Pan-African and international ones are actively jostling for a piece of the cake in wealth management. Fund managers are increasingly active, as are specialist wealth managers and Asset Managers who have recognized that it is no longer sufficient to service Africa’s HNWI from western countries such as Geneva, London, New York. They need more localized providers who understand them and their needs.
We therefore believe that this forum is timely and we envision an inaugural private wealth management forum with unique insights, that will provide a great platform to share professional thoughts in finding appropriate and innovative ways to address the challenges present in the current model and create a more prosperous future for the East Africa’s private banking and wealth management landscape.
The event is an opportunity to share ideas, discover trends and network with peers across the wealth management sector.

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