Based on global sentiment alone, London leapfrogs New York, which lags behind by some distance. Geography must play a part in this. While statistics make New York the global leader, its distance from the wealth hubs of the Middle East, Russia and Asia-Pacific puts it at something of a disadvantage compared with the more centrally located London.
London was considered the most important city across four of our seven world regions (see p62 of Databank for the full listings). But, unsurprisingly, it lags behind New York in the opinion of North American HNWIs. From an Asian perspective, it sits firmly in second position – behind Singapore, and only slightly ahead of Hong Kong and New York. For wealthy individuals in Asia, London and New York are the only two cities from outside their home region to make the grade.
Our global top 10 comprises three European centres (London, Geneva and Paris), two from North America (New York and Miami), four from Asia (Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing), with Dubai as the sole Middle East representative.
The main difference from last year's Attitudes Survey is the weakening of the European centres. Paris drops to ninth place in the popular vote and Berlin falls out of the top 10 altogether. Once again, Singapore has had a very strong year, eclipsing Paris and even Hong Kong, which it had previously lagged.
Further signs of Asia's growing strength are confirmed by the 10-year forecast from our global panel of wealth advisors. London hangs on in pole position, but New York finds itself relegated into third place by Singapore.
Shanghai and Beijing also power up the rankings, pushing Geneva and Paris further down the list. Even Dubai is knocked down the table by the anticipation of the influence that will be wielded by the Asian behemoths.
Eoin Treacy's view The rise of Asia as both an economic hub but also the domicile of an increasing proportion of the globe's richest individuals continues to attract media attention and rightfully so. However, as this report points out, the preeminent position of London and New York as centres of commerce, style and service give them a quality that will remain difficult to assail.
An additional consideration is that with the population of high net worth individuals expected to increase considerably over the next decades demand for asset and property management, hotels, casinos and luxury goods is likely to remain on an upward trajectory.