The world's high-net-worth population is skyrocketing, pointing to asset management opportunity here and abroad - particularly in Asia.

The rebounding economy in Asia and booming markets elsewhere helped add a million investors last year to the high-net-worth club - those with $1 million or more of investable assets - according to the Merrill Lynch/Gemini Consulting World Wealth Report. Assets held by these investors rose 18% globally in 1999, to $25.5 trillion, the report said, with those in North America and Europe accounting for $8.1 trillion and $6.7 trillion, respectively. The report, issued May 1, estimates that global wealth in this category could reach $44.9 trillion by 2004.

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