Episode: 6
Wealth Without Borders

Premiered on: 09 March 2013 01:30 GMT

To be wealthy is to be mobile. And with so many international super rich now able to move around the globe at will, certain destinations are proving a magnet. The super rich are becoming more and more transient, drawn to global megacities such as London and New York. We ask new London residents like Zhu Mingming why. The episode analyses the attraction of London, fast becoming the number one city for the itinerant mega-rich, and its up-and-coming rivals such as Miami.

Facts and Figures

The journey of wealth

Ultra High Net Worth historic data and predictions for the future.

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Wealth Without Borders

To be wealthy is to be mobile. And with so many HNWIs now able to move around the globe at will, certain international destinations are proving a magnet.


London is the city that matters most to global high-net-worth individuals.”

The Wealth Report 2012

Why is 21st century wealth so much more fluid than in, say, the 1980s? The spread of English as the global language of business has substantially lubricated the movement of wealth. Global communications have also played a part. The internet and mobile telecommunication means that the business traveler can now stay in touch wherever they are in the world. The rise of multinationals means that intra-company promotions now result in expatriate moves for many high echelon employees. More importantly, globalisation of finance has had the result that key financial hubs (New York, Tokyo and especially London) are now critical, regardless of parental company. Take the 2009 IPO of major silver mining company Fresnillo. The company is Mexican, yet it chose to float on the LSE.

These factors have benefitted many hubs of regional wealth, but London is the city that matters most to global high-net-worth individuals, according to research published in The Wealth Report 2012. Global property specialist Knight Frank predicts that this situation will continue for at least the next decade. Whilst New York, Beijing, Shanghai, Paris, Hong Kong, Miami and Singapore have all prospered through the mobility of international wealth, for now it seems that London has the financial base, the culture, the language, the property and the security that the wealthy require.

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About the Programme

Changing Fortunes is a co-production by D&E and Films of Record for BBC World News. To film the series we visited the home cities and workplaces of the global wealthy, with interview locations across Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe.

The series director is the award winning filmmaker James Rogan. James’s credits include the six part documentary series Warship for Channel Five whilst his latest feature documentary Amnesty! When They Are All Free is his third for BBC Storyville. Changing Fortunes Executive Producers are Marc Heal for D&E, who originally conceived the series, and the award winning filmmaker and writer Roger Graef OBE, for Films of Record.

The series is broadcast on BBC World News at the following times:
Saturdays at 0130 and 1530 GMT
Sundays at 0930 and 2030 GMT

To find viewing times in your location please go to the BBC World News schedule page