The "World Wealth Report 2008" by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini looks at the state of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), those with at least $1 million in financial assets, and what is driving wealth generation.
Total investments in clean technology in 2007 added up to $117 billion, up 41 percent from investments in 2005, a "robust" increase, according to the report. Venture capital investments went from $3.6 billion in 2006 to $5.2 billion in 2007. Most of the investments, according to the report, are from wealthy private clients.
Globally, 12 percent of HNWIs include green technology and alternative energy investments in their portfolio, and 14 percent of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (Ultra-HNWIs, those with at least $30 million in financial assets) have invested in green technologies.
Wealthy investors in the Middle East, Europe and Latin America surpass the global percentages. In the Middle East, 20 percent of HNWIs and 21 percent of Ultra-HNWIs invest in green, as do 17 percent of HNWIs and 20 percent of Ultra-HNWIs in Europe and 15 percent of HNWIs and 17 percent of Ultra-HNWIs in Latin America.
Among investors in the Asia-Pacific region, 13 percent of HNWIs and 14 percent of Ultra-HNWIs have green technologies in their portfolios. North America comes in with the lowest percentage of investors, with five percent of HNWIs and seven percent of Ultra-HNWIs.
North American investors were the only ones to report that social responsibility was a primary driver of green investments. About half of other investors said financial returns was the main motivating factor.
Around the same time the report was released, LynxStreet.com was launched to provide a way for people with intellectual property related to clean technologies to auction off their patents or concepts to investors.
The site is set up to allow users to auction patents, pending patents and concepts that have yet to be turned into patents. Investors can also post want ads for types of technologies they're looking for.