The world's richest people got even wealthier last year despite the global economic crisis, thanks to the growth of emerging economies in Asia and Eastern Europe, according to a new report Thursday.
And the elite "ultra-high-net-worth" (UNHW) club is set to get richer still over next five years, the report predicted.
"Overall, global growth in private wealth is clearly being driven by rapidly developing economies in the 'new world', not by the 'old world'," the report by the Boston Consulting Group said.
Worldwide, private financial wealth grew 1.9 percent to $122.8 trillion (98.7 trillion euros). The increase was considerably weaker than the 6.8-percent rise recorded in 2010 the 9.6-percent gain in 2009.
The highest growth was recorded among the richest of the rich: wealth held by those in the exclusive UHNW club rose by 3.6 percent last year, the report found.
The consulting group predicted private wealth would continue to grow, with a compound annual growth (CAGR) of between four and five percent over the next five years to reach more than $150 trillion by the end of 2016.
And the super-rich would continue to lead the pack, it added.
"Globally, the UHNW household segment will continue to grow the fastest over the next five years, with a projected CAGR of eight percent.
The elite UHNW's share of wealth was also set to grow, the report added.
The super-rich held $7.1 trillion -- or 5.8 percent of global private wealth -- in 2011.
Predicting eight-percent growth over five years for the richest of the rich, the report said this group would by the end of 2016 hold $10.3 trillion -- 6.8 percent of global wealth.
The growth in private wealth showed wide regional variations, with North America seeing a 0.9 percent decline in 2011 to $38 trillion, though expected market improvements would likely reverse the drop.
By contrast, private wealth in the Asia-Pacific region -- excluding Japan -- increased by 10.7 percent in 2011 to $23.7 trillion.
Wealth in the region is expected to continue growing at a double-digit rate and reach $40.1 trillion by the end of 2016, when it would have crept past Western and Eastern Europe combined, the report said.
In Eastern Europe, Russian growth was the main driving force behind the 2011 increase in the region's wealth, which rose 14.4 percent to $1.9 trillion.
Growth in the region was expected to outstrip growth in Western Europe by around 8.7 percent over the next five years to reach $2.9 trillion by the end of 2016, the report said.
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