HNIs or high net worth individuals is a class of individuals who are distinguished from other retail segment based on their net wealth, assets and investible surplus.
While there is no standard put forth for the classification, the definition of HNIs varies with the geographical area as well as financial markets and institutions.
Generally in the Indian context, individuals with over Rs. 2 crore investible surplus are considered to be HNIs while those with investible wealth in the range of Rs. 25 lac - Rs. 2 crore are deemed as Emerging HNIs.
There is yet another superlative category in the segment known as Ultra high-net worth individuals. As per a report, even amidst gloomy economic outlook, India recorded the maximum growth in its ultra high-net worth individual population amongst BRICS nations in the last one year reaching at 7,850 super-rich individuals.
It has also been reported that India is home to the highest number of women millionaires when compared with rest of the world with total fortunes to the tune of $95 million.
This boom in the HNI population in India was mainly on account of positive trend in the stock market, real estate, gross national income, consumption and capitalisation.
For the purpose of determining the ultra high-net worth individual status, the study encompassed only individuals with a net worth amounting to $30 million or more.
The classification is done in view of the risk appetite of such investors who need to be guided well in the allocation of their funds. Private banks, mutual funds, investment banks, commercial banks, insurance companies, brokerages cater to HNIs by providing wealth management services.
Broadly speaking, HNIs should manage their wealth portfolio by assessing and working on following parameters that include investments, capital protection, tax planning, credit and inheritance planning.
How are HNIs defined for investing in IPOs?
If you are applying for a IPO in an Indian company, generally, if you apply for amounts in excess of Rs 2 lakhs, you fall under the HNI category. On the other hand, if you apply for amounts under Rs 2 lakhs, you are considered as a retail investor.
There maybe so many ways in which HNIs are categorized and defined, there is no single bracket that you could put them under.
The only reason why HNIs have been defined or categorized. But the basic reason is to show their financial standing. The simple understanding that we have is that these investors are generally perceived to be richer than others. It is simple, they are flush with funds.
Difference between HNIs and UHNIs?
Apart from HNIs, there is another category called Ultra High Networth Individuals. These are defined as people who have more than $30 million as investible surplus. Remember, that there is no standard definition as such. Each association or institution can come out with his own definition of HNIs and UHNIs.
In India, there are not many individuals who fall in the category of HNIs. According to rough estimates, there could be as many as 1700 individuals who are ultra high networth individuals. Here again, it is always difficult to ascertain.