Billionaires Insights 2015: "The changing faces of billionaires"

Jan 2016

The UBS/PwC billionaire report, "The changing faces of billionaires", explores the role of women in building lasting financial legacies and how wealth is preserved across multiple generations. The report's findings, which build upon UBS/PwC's 2015 Billionaires Report released last May, revealed that the number of female billionaires is growing faster than the number of their male counterparts. Women have been controlling greater average wealth than men and becoming more influential in family businesses, philanthropic enterprises and governance. The report also highlights the fleeting nature of great wealth, finding that only 126 billionaires, or 44% of the class of 1995, are billionaires today. It underscores the strategies these continuing billionaires have employed to build and preserve lasting legacies.

Key findings of the report:

  • The female billionaire population grew faster than that of their male billionaire peers, growing by a factor of 6.6 compared to a factor of 5.2 for men
  • Female billionaires are driving their families' businesses. 57% in the US, 63% in Europe and 96% in Asia are active wealth creators
  • Over half of Asia's female billionaires are self-made, compared to a global average of 20%
  • The report shows a high attrition rate of billionaires. Only 44% or 126 of 1995's billionaires have remained so over the last 20 years
  • Those who kept their billionaire status grew their assets from an average of USD 2.9 billion to USD 11 billion, outperforming both equity markets and global GDP
  • Billionaires see regulation and tax as key challenges to maintaining their legacy
  • Sticking to the initial family business, establishing strong governance and a clear family identity/culture are critical to building lasting legacies

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