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29 October 2018, 05:40 | Vera Richards
LearnEntertainmentInvestWealth Management The World’s Billionaires Became 20% Richer in 2017
By Jackie Goodman
The country made two billionaires every week during that period, with 199 billionaires created across the world in total, according to the 2018 UBS and PwC Billionaires Insights Report.
If current trends hold, Asian billionaires' wealth will surpass that of their American counterparts in three years.
More than 40 of the 179 new billionaires created last year inherited their wealth, and given the number of billionaires over 70 the report's authors expect a further $3.4trn to be handed down over the next 20 years. But this is just the beginning.
A significant percentage of the "newly created" billionaires are hardly the self-made men-and they are overwhelmingly men-of popular lore. "A new generation is emerging, and they see an opportunity to tackle some of the greatest environmental and societal challenges facing humankind".
The United States, which followed China, produced 53 billionaires in 2017, said the report. Today, only 30 years after the country's government first allowed private enterprise, they number 373 - almost one in five of the global total.
Since other industries like retail and financial services rely heavily on technology, technology has become the horizontal and most other industries are verticals. 89 Chinese entrepreneurs became billionaires in 2017, roughly three times more than in the United States and EMEA.
One Chinese billionaire told the researchers: "Nowhere else in the world can you find better conditions for growth than in China". Roughly half of China's new billionaires saw their wealth dip below 10 digits by the end of the year, the report showed.
The report, jointly published by UBS Global Wealth Management and consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, was titled "New Visionaries and the Chinese Century", in which Chinese entrepreneurs are hailed as the "vanguard of a new industrial revolution". "The continued progress of wealth creation is supported by government policies liberating the economy, while urbanisation and business model disruption has crafted powerful new entrepreneurs".
They have driven 80 percent of the 40 main breakthrough innovations over the last 40 years.
Technology is the driving force behind what many of these billionaire entrepreneurs do.
The report noted that great wealth in Asia remains relatively volatile in a climate of rapid economic development and erratic stock markets that forge fortunes fast, but that can equally undo them. "It's hard to become a billionaire through sheer organic growth". More than one third (38 percent) of family offices are now engaged in sustainable investing, and nearly half (45 percent) plan to increase their sustainable investments in the next 12 months.
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