Though world gross domestic product shrank in 2009, high-net-worth individuals managed to almost make up for 2008 losses, according to the Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and Capgemini 14th annual "World Wealth Report."

The number of high-net-worth individuals around the world returned to the 10 million mark in 2009 and their wealth soared 18.9%, to $39 trillion.

Emerging markets drove the gains. "The rebound has been, and will continue to be, driven by emerging markets," said Bertrand Lavayssiere, managing director of global financial services at Capgemini.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.