Art & Whisky Among Top 10 Investment Choices for Kenyan Tycoons – Report

A report by Knight Frank revealed the top 10 things Kenyan tycoons chose to splash their money on in 2023.

In the Kenyan edition of the 2024 Wealth report, it was noted that tycoons were developing a significant liking for art in a move to grow their assets.

The report titled A Perspective on Kenya Wealth Investment Trends revealed that 71.3 per cent of tycoons made investments in the art sector. This was an over 10 per cent increase from the figures recorded in the 2023 report.

Other investment areas were cars (57.14 per cent), watches (57.14 per cent), whiskey (42.86 per cent), jewellery(42.86 per cent) and furniture (35.71 per cent).

The Swiss-made International Watch Company (IWC) Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 18 karat Rose Gold Men’s Watch.


Additionally, tycoons were opting to splash their money on bags (28.57 per cent), wine (28.57 per cent), diamonds (14.29 per cent) and coins (7.14 per cent).

“A noteworthy shift in the investment preferences of Kenyan HNWIs has been observed, signalling changing trends in investments of passion. A substantial 70% of our Kenyan HNWI clients expressed a keen interest in art, a significant uptick compared to the previous year when the majority (50%) showed a penchant for purchasing classic cars.

“This shift aligns with global patterns, as evidenced by The Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index (KFLII), which tracks the performance of 10 popular investments of passion. The latest data from the KFLII underscores the rising prominence of art as the best-performing luxury asset class 2023, experiencing an impressive 11 per cent price increase,” read the report in part.

Why Shift From Classic Cars?

According to the report, the recent trend among Kenyan tycoons was not new in Kenya only. All over the world, investors are moving to make art part of their asset portfolio.

“The shift from classic cars to art among Kenyan clients suggests a dynamic response to global investment trends and attests to the evolving nature of passion investments,” Knight Frank reported.

“The resilience of the art market in the face of broader economic fluctuations further underscores its appeal as a tangible and culturally rich asset class.

An image of the 1984 Porsche 911 race car.


Ken Block

Tycoons in Numbers

7,200: A separate report by Henley and partners revealed that there are 7,200 individuals in the HNWI category. HNWI are individuals whose networth is over 1 million dollars (Ksh133 million).

4,400: Out of the 7,200 multi-millionaires, 4,400 live in Nairobi County.

2: The top two estates where the multi-millionaires live in Kenya include Karen and Muthaiga.

“East Africa’s economic engine, Nairobi is home to some of Africa’s oldest and most well-established luxury residential neighbourhoods, including Karen and Muthaiga.

“It accounts for a high 48 per cent of Kenya’s total wealth and over 60 per cent of the country’s millionaires. Unlike other cities near the equator, Nairobi is known for its mild and temperate climate – the city is located at an altitude of around 1,800 meters above sea level, which helps to keep temperatures there relatively cool,” read the statement in part.

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