• Futurewealth report reveals direct correlation between wealth, success and digital media usage
  • Asia’s HNW show significantly more digital media activity and Web usage than their Western counterparts

LONDON/SINGAPORE – According to a study released today by SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC), Standard Chartered Private Bank and Scorpio Partnership, the world’s wealthiest are much more likely to use the internet, mobile applications and other digital media communication tools to create, manage, spend and invest their money.

The study, entitled The Futurewealth Report: The digital world of the Futurewealthy, surveyed 3,477 respondents from across the world with an average USD1.9 million in assets on their digital habits and views on technology. It finds those with wealth over USD4 million are the most highly connected and the ones most likely to explore the wealth creation possibilities of the internet.

The results point to an opportunity for financial services professionals to connect and engage more effectively with their very wealthiest clients and prospects in this largely receptive market segment if they embrace the same technology innovations.

“We understand the needs of the wealthy are changing and this study is the first in a series that will allow us to forge new directions for one of the most important issues to the next generation – technology,” said Al West, Chairman and Chief Executive officer of SEI.

“This first instalment of the Futurewealth Report illustrates the shifting styles of engagement amongst the wealthy, particularly in Asia. In a highly competitive landscape, private banks need to constantly ask themselves how they can continue to add value to their clients and enhance their overall experience. With digital modes of communication now fast becoming a hygiene factor, private banks that are able to deliver the right balance of online and offline solutions may better differentiate themselves from the competition,” said Shayne Nelson, Global Head, High Value Client Coverage & CEO, Standard Chartered Private Bank.

The study reveals that the High Net Worth (HNW) group is quick to acknowledge the role that technology innovations have played in their success. On average, 56% of those surveyed believe their engagement with digital technology has contributed to their success and ability to create wealth today. This figure rises to 76% for the most wealthy.[1] Looking to the future, 77% of respondents believe the internet and digital technology will contribute to their success in five years’ time; a figure that rises to 92% for the wealthiest. On average, the Futurewealthy expect to increase their use of the internet by 21% in five years’ time.

When asked which Web-based activities would contribute most to their future wealth creation, communication, buying and selling, and networking come up tops. Once again, the wealthiest placed the strongest emphasis on each of these activities for their financial success

The wealthiest of the Futurewealthy survey respondents is defined as those with wealth over USD4 million.

“With the rise of a tech-savvy wealthy segment, financial intermediaries, especially wealth management firms, need to adjust their business models and value propositions based on a stronger understanding of their segments’ technology habits and desires, not the size of their wallets” said Al Chiaradonna, Senior Vice President of SEI’s Global Wealth Services. “Institutions that expect this group to align with them need to have leading-edge technology platforms and infrastructure to support the changing landscape and enrich the client experience. As the survey results suggest, this group is best won over by companies who can offer future-focused technology innovations and services.”

Key Findings

The richest of the sample own four digital devices and spend over 48 hours each week on the Web, 13 more hours than the rest of the Futurewealthy. They also spend more money online, with an average top spend of USD15,400 compared with USD5,700 for the Futurewealthy as a whole.

The study also revealed some insights on the preferences for digital-based communications and networking tools for the wealthy. 64% believe that collaborating with others online will be important to their continued wealth creation. Many of them already have a presence on multiple social media platforms geared towards networking and connecting with others. 71% already have a presence on Facebook and 31% are using LinkedIn. The ubiquity of mobiles is also changing behaviours and how they interact, with 55% accessing  social networking sites through mobile applications or devices. 49% use a banking/finance mobile application, suggesting a shift in how they prefer to manage and monitor their finances.

Also of note, the study finds that the wealthiest spend 13% less of their internet time conducting simple research tasks, when compared to the rest of the Futurewealthy group. Instead, they engage with some of the more complex functionality available online, and are more likely to start discussions or manage their own website and web content.

“What we see quite clearly is that the world’s wealthy are experimenting with online opportunities and new technologies. In fact, this group is not simply engaging with the digital world but putting it right at the centre of their wealth creation endeavours,” said Catherine Tillotson, Managing Partner at Scorpio Partnership.

East vs West

The research also points to some interesting regional variations when it comes to digital engagement. In fact, Asia’s high-net-worth (HNW) population with at least USD2 million show higher levels of digital activity than both the mass affluent of the region with less than USD500,000 and their direct counterparts from the West.

Specifically, Asia’s HNW individuals are spending up to one and a half hours longer online every day than their Western counterparts in the same wealth bracket, and two hours more than their less wealthy compatriots. During this time, they are engaging with a broader range of social media sites and are more likely to use mobile and tablet applications. In fact, 72% of Asia’s HNW[1] use apps to stay up to speed with their banking and finance, while only 50% of Asia’s mass affluent and 46% of Western HNW individuals are doing the same.

Significantly, Asia’s wealthy respondents also have a greater level of trust in the Web as a purchasing tool and those with over USD2 million are willing to part with over USD12,600 during any single online purchase, a staggering USD2,500 more than the than those from the West and over USD9,600 more than Asia’s mass affluent.

This divide further filters into the extent to which they believe the internet can play a part in their success. When asked if the Web had played a role in their wealth creation endeavours, 74% of Asia’s HNW said that it did; only 61% of Western HNW respondents and 55% of Asia’s mass affluent were likeminded.

This report is the first in a four-part series of studies as a component of the larger Futurewealth Project, which aims to better understand the ambitions and consumer attitudes of the world’s up-and-coming wealthy. Each report with the series, entitled Stepping up to the Communication Age, will focus on a different aspect of the theme of how technology and digital communications can be used to engage the next generation of wealthy. The other three parts of the series will be published in the first half of 2013.

Asia’s HNW is defined as respondents with USD2 million and above in this survey. Asia’s mass affluent is defined as having assets less than USD500,000.

For more information please contact:

Sebastian Dovey

Managing Partner

Scorpio Partnership

T: +44 20 7811 0120



Catherine Tillotson

Managing Partner

Scorpio Partnership

T: +44 20 7811 0120



Jason Rocker

Braithwaite Communications

T: +1 215 564 3200 x110



Dana Grosser

T: +1 610 676 2459



Melissa Cheah

Head, External Communications, CB
Standard Chartered Private Bank
T: +65 6596 7912


Ally Lim
Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs
Standard Chartered Private Bank

T: +65 6596 9097




  1. In total, 3,477 individuals took part in this fourth global poll of the Futurewealthy. The average level of wealth among these individuals was USD1.9million.
  1. Geographically, 46% of the sample group live in Asia Pacific, 25.6% live in the Americas, 27.1% live in Europe and 1.3% live in other countries around the world. 65.3% are employees and 17.9% are business owners.
  1. The research covered four topics, the first of which has been included in this paper:
  • The digital habits of the Futurewealthy
  • Communication habits
  • Helpful investment technologies
  • Digital marketing
  1. The research was conducted using an online survey. Participants were identified using profiling techniques to determine their likelihood of qualifying as Futurewealthy candidates. They were contacted directly by email.
  1. The research was conducted by Scorpio Partnership in collaboration with Standard Chartered Private Bank, and SEI.
  2. Scorpio Partnership is a pioneer in the art of translating the complex needs of wealthy clients into practical, innovative and profitable solutions to target these customers. This award-winning firm has interviewed almost 10,000 millionaires and billionaires worldwide to collect opinions on what they will need next. With this knowledge, the firm has implemented strategic research, practical consulting and business innovation projects in over 35 countries.
  3. Standard Chartered Private Bank is the private banking division of Standard Chartered. Headquartered in Singapore, the Private Bank provides exciting career opportunities to over 1,200 employees including around 470 relationship managers globally. It has 22 offices including two trust offices across Asia, Africa, Middle East and Europe.

The Private Bank has grown strongly since its inception in May 2007. On top of its strong organic growth, it acquired American Express Bank in 2008, through which it has further improved its capabilities.

The Private Bank leverages the natural strengths of Standard Chartered: A heritage of over 150 years in international banking, an international network across more than 70 countries, and strong local presence in growth markets. This puts the Private Bank in an advantaged position to build and deepen the relationship with its clients.

Standard Chartered Private Bank’s strong growth and rising industry leadership has been recognised by the industry: major awards that the Private Bank has won include the “Best Global Private Bank” award at the Wealth Management Awards 2011 organised by The Financial Times and Investors Chronicle; “The Best Private Bank in Asia” and “The Best Private Bank in India” awards by The Banker in 2011; and the “Outstanding Private Bank in Asia Pacific” award at the annual Private Banker International Global Awards 2012, which the Private Bank has won four times.

For more information, please visit:

  1. SEI’s Global Wealth Services is an outsourcing solution for wealth managers encompassing wealth processing services and wealth management programs, coupled with business process expertise. The integrated offering aims to provide wealth management organizations the infrastructure, operations and administrative support necessary to capitalize on their strategic objectives in a constantly shifting market. At the heart of the solution lies the Global Wealth Platform, which supports trading and transactions on 101 stock exchanges in 46 countries and 33 currencies, all using straight-through processing. For more information, visit
  2. The SEI Advisor Network provides financial advisors with turnkey wealth management services through outsourced investment strategies, administration and technology platforms, and practice management programs.  It is through these services that SEI helps advisors save time, grow revenues, and differentiate themselves in the market.  With a history of financial strength, stability, and transparency, the SEI Advisor Network has been serving the independent financial advisor market for more than 16 years, has over 4,900 advisors who work with SEI, and $32.5 billion in advisors’ assets under management (as of Sept. 30, 2012).  The SEI Advisor Network is a strategic business unit of SEI. For more information, visit
  3. SEI (NASDAQ:SEIC) is a leading global provider of investment processing, fund processing, and investment management business outsourcing solutions that help corporations, financial institutions, financial advisors, and ultra-high-net-worth families create and manage wealth. As of September 30, 2012, through its subsidiaries and partnerships in which the company has a significant interest, SEI manages or administers $448 billion in mutual fund and pooled or separately managed assets, including $195 billion in assets under management and $253 billion in client assets under administration. For more information, visit