Switzerland is the most attractive location to set up residency for the international wealthy, beating London and Singapore, according to a survey from Scorpio Partnership, a wealth management consultancy.
The research, which launched a new service, the Mobile Wealthy Residency Index, found that Switzerland’s appeal was due to its overall “rounded offer”.
Stephen Wall, a direction at Scorpio, said: “Most anecdotal evidence from the market suggests Switzerland has been and will continue to be the biggest beneficiary of any moves away from London, particularly in the mid to high net worth and above segments”.
London, second on the index, was marked down because of the recent tax increases for the wealthy, although Scorpio said that the mobile wealthy consider a far wider range of factors than just tax rates when decided where to live, which means London is still a big destination for the rich.
Although, some believe the tax issue will make little difference to London’s success. Michael Power, global strategist at Investec Asset Management, believes that contrary to reports that London is at risk of losing its position as a top financial centre, the capital is actually “outwitting its pretenders one by one.”
Singapore was third, rising fast as a destination for the mobile wealthy. Fourth place went to New York.
The index highlighted a clear distinction between the large “all-in” global centres such as Switzerland and London and the smaller niche centres such as Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Cayman and Monaco.
Scorpio said the smaller niche centres might offer low tax rates but they struggle to compete with the major centres when it comes to lifestyle factors.
“They struggle to compete with the major centres that can offer a wider and deeper range of benefits related to business, lifestyle, property and a concentration of other mobile wealthy residents with the same expectations, outlook and demands,” said the constancy.
Scorpio used eleven criteria to construct the index, including economic and political stability; legal considerations; education for children; proximity; and culture/infrastructure.