High net worth individuals becoming true global citizens

With advances in technology there is a growing trend of high net worth individuals becoming more international in their outlook and globally mobile, moving more frequently from one country to the next. According to James Bowling, CEO of Monarch&Co, a company that specialises in international citizenship by investment programmes, there are numerous factors that are the driving force behind the rise of what is being referred to as the global citizen.

He notes that globalisation and the liberalisation of markets has made it easier for ambitious individuals to start and grow international businesses, as well as conduct and manage their affairs from almost any location. “Technological advancement has made the world a significantly smaller place with individuals no longer restricted to living and conducting business in the same country. It is now easier than ever to communicate across borders and facilitate new international business. The Internet is a global source of information and a means for businesspeople from around the world to connect with each other. It has also become the catalyst fuelling the desire for international travel and people wanting to experience different places and cultures that they have read about,” says Bowling.

According to a recent survey conducted by Ledbury Research of 2000 high net worth individuals from more than 17 countries, more than 750 of which identified themselves as entrepreneurs, over two in five have lived in more than one country, while one in five had lived in three or more countries. The research revealed that those who saw themselves as entrepreneurs were twice as likely to be planning to move overseas in the next five years compared to the other respondents. “It is anticipated that the trend won’t stop with this generation, as wealthy individuals expect their children to be even more globally mobile than they are,” says Bowling.

“Today there are fewer barriers than ever before and many high net worth individuals are seeking dual citizenship in countries that can grow their businesses, while providing a better education and lifestyle offering for themselves and their families,” says Bowling. “Many consider a move to countries that are financially and politically stable as a way of protecting their wealth. Wealthy individuals are gravitating towards just a small number of destinations around the world, which has led to high concentrations of wealth in certain regions and cities.”

He notes that while these high net worth individuals are at liberty to choose to live just about anywhere in the world, they are opting for countries in which they can get professional services and access to everything from property through to arts and entertainment. Certain global cities, namely London, New York and Singapore have become wealth hotspots. Bowling says that this is due to that fact that these destinations provide a variety of lifestyle choices as well as the opportunity for individuals to invest in liquid, regulated and relatively stable markets.

“Generally the wealthy have always had the opportunity to be more internationally mobile than the broader population, however it has become even easier than ever before. More countries have opened their borders to foreign citizens and global travel has become far more advanced. Business can be managed from almost anywhere, which has brought about significant advantages to individuals who are able to be more selective about the lifestyle they lead, where they educate their children, and how they invest and grow their wealth,” Bowling concludes.