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UK to see unprecedented exodus of millionaires

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The UK is expected to see an unprecedented net loss of 9,500 millionaires in 2024 — second only to China worldwide, and more than double the 4,200 who left the country last year, which was itself record-breaking following the exodus of 1,600 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) in 2022.

This is according to research from Henley & Partners, an adviser to wealthy individual looking for citizenship by investment programmes. Henley & Partners claims to have created the concept of residence by investment in the 1990s. It benefits from numerous international jurisdictions which are happy to trade citizenship for investment.

For the third year running, the UAE looks set to take first place as the world’s leading wealth magnet, with a record-breaking 6,700 moneyed migrants expected to make the Emirates home by the end of the year, significantly boosted by large inflows from the UK and Europe.

Henley Private Wealth Migration Report

The Henley Private Wealth Migration Report 2024, released last week by Henley & Partners, exclusively features the latest net inflows and outflows of millionaires (namely, the difference between the number of HNWIs with liquid investable wealth of USD 1 million or more who relocate to and the number who emigrate from a country) as projected by global wealth intelligence firm New World Wealth, which has been tracking wealth migration trends for over a decade.

China is again on track to be the biggest millionaire loser globally, with an anticipated net exit of 15,200 HNWIs this year (compared to 13,800 in 2023) whereas India has stemmed its wealth exodus, dropping down to 3rd place after the UK with just 4,300 millionaires projected to leave the country in 2024 (compared to 5,100 last year).

South Korea’s HNWI flight is expected to rise with a forecast loss of 1,200 millionaires (compared to 800 in 2023) while the tsunami of millionaires that fled Russia following the outbreak of the Ukraine war appears to be abating with only 1,000 projected to relocate this year (compared to 8,500 in 2022 and 2,800 in 2023).


Dominic Volek, Group Head of Private Clients at Henley & Partners, says 2024 is shaping up to be a watershed moment in the global migration of wealth:

“An unprecedented 128,000 millionaires are expected to relocate worldwide this year, eclipsing the previous record of 120,000 set in 2023. As the world grapples with a perfect storm of geopolitical tensions, economic uncertainty, and social upheaval, millionaires are voting with their feet in record numbers. In many respects, this great millionaire migration is a leading indicator, signalling a profound shift in the global landscape and the tectonic plates of wealth and power, with far-reaching implications for the future trajectory of the nations they leave behind or those which they make their new home.”

UAE is the number one destination for the mobile investor

With its zero income tax, golden visas, luxury lifestyle, and strategic location, the UAE has entrenched itself as the world’s number one destination for migrating millionaires and is poised to welcome a record net inflow of 6,700 this year alone.

With consistent high inflows from India, the wider Middle East region, Russia, and Africa, the anticipated influx of larger numbers of Brits and Europeans looks set to see the Emirates attract nearly twice as many millionaires as its nearest rival, the US, which is projected to benefit from a net inflow of 3,800 millionaires in 2024.

As Sunita Singh-Dalal, Partner leading the Private Wealth & Family Offices at Hourani in Dubai points out in the report, “the evolution and development of the UAE’s wealth management ecosystem is unprecedented. In less than five years, the UAE has introduced a robust regulatory framework that provides the wealthy with a range of innovative solutions to protect, preserve and enhance their wealth.”

Singapore takes third prize again this year with net inflows of 3,500, while the perennially popular destinations for migrating millionaires, Canada and Australia, follow in 4th and 5th places with net inflows of 3,200 and 2,500, respectively.

European favourites Italy (+2,200), Switzerland (+1,500), Greece (+1,200) and Portugal (+800) all make it into this year’s Top 10 for net millionaire inflows along with Japan, which is on course to welcome 400 wealthy migrants, boosted in part by an accelerating trend of Chinese HNWIs moving to Tokyo that started post-Covid.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Make sure you do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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