32% of respondents in this year’s Investment Migration Executive Survey said they planned to open physical offices in Africa over the next year, making the continent the top choice for new office expansions in 2021, just ahead of the Middle East.
Such expansion comes in spite of the continent’s still-low HNWI population: In 2020, Knight Frank’s 2021 Wealth Report estimates, Africa was home to a mere 231,000 millionaires – less than 0.5% of the global total.
Moreover, among all regions, Knight Frank estimates that Africa will see the slowest HNWI population growth over the next five-year period; the number of millionaires will grow by 25% from 2020 to 2025, considerably behind Europe (49% growth), Asia (46%), and Latin America (34%).
Why are so many companies betting on developing business in the continent that has both the lowest absolute number of millionaires and the lowest expected HNWI population growth rates?
Part of the answer, no doubt, is that African HNWIs are far more likely to demand investment migration services than their peers in, say, Europe, simply because the travel and settlement rights with which they are born remain dismal. In other words, there are many more prospective investor migrants per a given HNWI population in Africa than in most other regions.
In November last year, we covered the trend of top-flight RCBI specialists – including Henley & Partners, Arton Capital, Harvey Law Group, and Discus Holding – making forays into Africa. These firms are chiefly attracted by the elevated rates of growth in RCBI-program participation among Africans; in 2020, we found that the global number of Africans partaking in an investment migration program grew at an annualized rate of nearly 30% in the 2015-19 period.
IMI Research Unit has compiled a list of more than 300 institutional B2B partners with which IM companies hoping to quickly penetrate the African market can use as a starting point for building a network of feeder-firms in the wealth management, law, and private banking sectors.
Though predominantly a source market for investor migrants, some African countries are also taking steps to make it a destination for them as well:
- Egypt recently formalized a new citizenship by investment program, several years in the making, which will have a starting threshold of US$250,000 donations to the country's central bank.
- The Director of Kenya's Investment Authority said in April that he was "pushing ahead" with plans for a CIP as well and that there was little opposition to it among the country's leadership.
- The Prime Minister of Mauritius announced in his budget speech in June 2018 that his administration was planning a CIP that would begin at US$500,000, although little has been heard since.
- Rwanda's government last year approved a draft bill that to allow investor naturalization on the basis of "sustainable investment activities".
IMI columnist Anatoliy Lyetayev has outlined three reasons IM companies should make the Nigerian market a priority, and has also written about the tremendous potential of the Kenyan IM market, although he argues it may be premature to target that particular market for the moment.
In the Investment Migration After COVID report, you can see the complete results of the 2021 Investment Migration Executive Survey, get an overview of which programs have been the relative winners and losers of the pandemic year, and learn how dozens of the leading executives in the investment migration market believe the market has, and will, change as a consequence of COVID.
The report attempts to identify the most consequential transformations that have taken place in the investment migration market over the last year, to prognosticate as to which marks 2020 will leave on the market in the long run, and to outline how industry professionals can prosper in the new investment migration market.
Investment Migration After COVID - Trends and Outlook 2021
Investment Migration After COVID tells the story of what we expected to happen after the pandemic, compares that to what happened, and highlights what dozens of leading investment migration executives anticipate will change in the years ahead.
- Findings of the April 2021 Investment Migration Executive Survey©
- How pandemic-related government restrictions have affected the service deliverability;
- How the pandemic has affected demand;
- Which source markets are growing the fastest;
- How client's preferences have changed as a consequence of the pandemic,
- In which regions IM companies are planning to open new offices;
- Which programs have risen and fallen the most in popularity over the last year;
- Which programs were the best-sellers in the last year, and which are expected to be the best-sellers in the next year; and
- Which application processing units were the most efficient in 2020.
- How companies have adapted to new work habits necessitated by the pandemic, such as working remotely, reducing travel and in-person event attendance, and the degree to which such changes are likely to persist in the long term.
- A review of the April 2020 COVID Market Impact Survey©
- How IM executives expected the pandemic to impact demand compared to what actually happened;
- How demand has changed between April 2020 and April 2021; and
- What IM executives expected to happen with border restrictions compared to what actually happened.
- An interview with Nestor Alfred of the Saint Lucia CIU
- How did the Unit change its policies to go from being a laggard to being the most efficient CIU, according to IM executives?
- The mega-trends driving the transformation of the IM market after COVID
- The West wakes up to investment migration;
- Crypto-millionaires: The new new rich;
- The race to digitize and remote-enable program processing;
- Beyond visa-free travel;
- How major investment migration programs performed in 2020
- The winners and losers of the pandemic.
- The biggest differences between the IM market before and after COVID, according to industry leaders
- Stefan Kraus, COO of Henley & Partners;
- Jean-François Harvey, Global Managing Director of Harvey Law Group;
- Eric G. Major, CEO of Latitude;
- Mohammed Asaria, Founder of Range Developments;
- Micha-Rose Emmett, CEO of CS Global Partners;
- Nicholas Stevens, Managing Director of NTL Trust;
- David Lesperance, Managing Partner of Lesperance & Associates;
- Paul Williams, CEO of La Vida Europe; and
- Sam Bayat, Founder of Bayat Legal Services.
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Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine - online or offline - for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 14 years in the United States, China, and Spain.