Asian billionaires now outnumber US counterparts: report
For the first time, the number of Asian billionaires have outnumbered their US counterparts, according to UBS/PwC Billionaires Report 2017.
The shift in billionaire numbers now favours Asia, but the US still retains the greatest concentration of wealth. However, if the current trend continues, the total wealth of Asian billionaires will overtake that of their counterparts in the US within four years, according to the UBS Group AG and PwC joint annual billionaires insight report.
Now in its third year, the ‘New wealth creators gain momentum’ report said that it aims to “better understand” the billionaire population globally.
The report highlights subtle trends emerging, including what it calls “the increasingly important role of peer networks” to orchestrate new deals and access “significant funding” outside of capital markets. Moreover, elite philanthropic and impact investing networks are emerging, it said.
The report found that:
- Globally, the total wealth of billionaires rose by 17% in 2016 to US$6.0trn, double the rate of the MSCI World Index
- Billionaires are responsible for businesses that employ a workforce equal to that of the whole of the UK.
- Last year, technology was the biggest driver of wealth creation, followed by financial services and then materials.
- Networks are playing an increasingly powerful role, with families working together on new ventures and younger entrepreneurs using contacts to orchestrate deals
The number of US billionaires grew by 25 to 563 individuals and billionaire’s wealth in the US has been growing by 15% since last year amounting now US$2.8trn.
The report added that there are also wider societal impacts of billionaires in terms of improving living standards, job creation and providing access to cultural capital.
Of the 1,542 billionaires analysed, they own or partly own companies that employ at least 27.7 million people worldwide – roughly the same as the UK’s working population. New billionaire entrants on the list from 2016 employ at least 2.8 million people.