It used to be said of Sweden that it was a country with poor citizens but rich companies. Not any more – and increased individual wealth is feeding through into demand for wealth management and private banking expertise.
According to the latest Global Wealth Report from Credit Suisse, Sweden is now ranked sixth in the world in terms of average wealth per adult, ahead of economic power-houses such as the United States, China and Japan.
What’s more, Norway now ranks second and even Denmark, despite the ongoing woes of its banking sector, is ranked 13th in the world.
“All of these countries experienced strong growth of wealth over the past decade, so that average wealth levels are among the highest in the world,” said the Credit Suisse report about Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
This is, inevitably, feeding through into demand for wealth management and private banking services in the Nordics, with SEB, for one, admitting earlier this year that it was expanding these divisions.
The climate appears to be equally healthy for smaller, boutique operations.
For example, Swedish asset management firm Catella in May bought wealth manager EKF Enskild Kapitalförvaltning, renaming it Catella Förmögenhetsförvaltning, in a move that saw its total assets under management rise to SEK45bn.
“The market for wealth management is growing, in large part because of the general increase in wealth held by individuals,” explains chief executive Johan Ericsson. “We are certainly employing more people, especially relationship managers.”