These days, more women than men are becoming billionaires, says a new report by UBS Group AG and PwC.
The report examines the role that women play in building financial legacies and preserving wealth across multiple generations because they’re becoming more influential when it comes to managing family businesses and philanthropic enterprises.
Further, “The rise of female and Asian billionaires over the last two decades [has started to] create an entirely new billionaire demographic, and I see no signs of [that] slowing,” says Josef Stadler, head GlobalDynamic (Global) Ultra High Net Worth at UBS.
Consider that, over the last two decades, the number of female billionaires has grown faster than the number of male billionaires. The population of wealthy women has multiplied by 6.6 times, compared to 5.2 times for men.
The report notes the population of Asian female entrepreneurs has seen the strongest growth over the last 10 years. In second and third place are billionaires that come from Europe and and the US. In fact, female billionaires in Asia make up almost one-fifth of the global female billionaire population, and generally are younger than their global counterparts—wealthy women in Europe and in the U.S. are typically multi-generational billionaires.
Protecting wealth is important
These days, wealthy business owners need to build long-term investment plans, says Michael Spellacy, global wealth leader at PwC U.S. Too often, he notes, second-generation family members undermine the value of businesses that first-generation relatives create.
As the report says, more than half of the global billionaires recorded in 1995 have dropped from the list over the last 20 years due to issues such as family erosion and business failures. On the opposite side, the majority of multi-generational billionaires who have created lasting legacies have done so by maintaining full or partial control of their businesses.
However, two-thirds of billionaires over age 60 will soon face critical wealth-transfer decisions, says the report. So, clear estate plans and long-term investment strategies are required. Wealthy clients should also consider how tax and regulation changes may impact their businesses going forward.
Most of the billionaires who have managed to preserve their wealth have ties to the consumer and retail, technology and financial services industries, while investors who work and invest in the industrials, real estate and health industries have wealth that is more fleeting.
By 2014, the average wealth of billionaires around the globe grew to an average of $11 billion, from $2.9 billion in 1995.
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