London, Billionaires and Emerging Markets

International Large_2Many emerging markets have undergone a huge boom in the last decade and much of that has been concentrated in the hands of fabulously wealthy tycoons, who in turn have located themselves in London. The top five from this years’ Sunday Times rich list are all from the developing world, with mining magnate and Arsenal investor Alisher Usmanov topping the list, closely followed by Len Blavatnik, a Russian who owns Warner Bros.

Not only does this demonstrate how much wealth is being generated by the developing world, but also how London is still very much a hub of emerging market finance. The super-rich are parking their wealth in London, private equity funds and banks still headquarter in the UK capital even if their business is in Africa or the Middle East. There is a trend towards more offices and staff in the field, particularly as living conditions in African and Asian capitals improve, but London remains a big draw for finance and banking professionals…. as well as football loving billionaires. In a decade from now it will be fascinating to witness where the hot spots for new funds and companies working in developing markets will be.  Could Lagos, Dubai or Jo’Burg emerge as the true leader in emerging market finance hubs?

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