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UBS and PwC's

Billionaires

Insights

2019

The billionaire effect


The series of annual reports, developed and issued by the collaboration of the global networks of UBS and PwC, outlines billionaires’ characteristics and how they empower the global economy.

 

Download the report

 

 

Key topics

  • Billionaire-controlled companies outperform the market
  • From long-term vision to smart risk taking
  • Transforming the business of global philanthropy
  • Five exceptional years close with a dip
  • The Athena factor revisited
  • The rise of tech’s titans
  • China’s volatility

 

 


 

 

Billionaire-controlled companies outperform the market

Billionaire-controlled companies achieve almost twice the annualised average performance of the market. Over the last 15 years, billionaire-controlled companies listed on the equity market returned 17.8%, clearly outshining the 9.1% of the MSCI AC World Index.

The “billionaire effect” is driven by three distinct personality traits found in billionaires: they are exceptionally focused on their businesses, they have an appetite for smart risk-taking and they pursue long-term strategies – the latter a quality they have in common with family-run businesses.

In which direction is your company moving? Find out more

Over the last 15 years, billionaires-controlled companies listed on the equity marked returned 17.8%

 

 

A growing number of billionaires is targeting sustainable finance.

Billionaires shape global philanthropy

The majority of billionaires engage in philanthropy to varying degrees as they are driven by their ambition to be change-makers. Philanthropists prioritise impact as they do not have stakeholders to answer to, and they can use their own money for what matters to them. A growing number of billionaires are interested in sustainable finance.

Find out more about new opportunities for the Swiss financial sector.

 

 

The Athena factor

Women are joining the ranks of billionaires in ever greater numbers. With a 46% surge over the last five years, from 160 to 233, they have grown substantially faster in number than male billionaires, who have increased in number by 39%. New female billionaires demonstrate wisdom, courage and inspiration, which is why they are referred to as the “Athena factor”, after the Greek goddess.

Find out more about women in business.

Women are joining the ranks of billionaires in ever greater numbers.

 

 

Billionaires in the technology sectors have increased their wealth by 91% over the past five years.

Tech enabling growth

The “billionaire effect” has become especially evident in all matters concerning change-driving and wealth generation over the past five years. Unsurprisingly, billionaires in the technology sectors have increased their wealth by 91% in this time period, disrupting sectors and creating industries of the future.

Find out how we can support your digital future.

 

 

Five strong years close with a dip

The aggregate wealth of billionaires rose by 34% to a total of USD 8.5 trillion in the past five years. By the end of 2018, 589 individuals had become billionaires for the first time, increasing the billionaire population by 39% to 2,101. 2018 saw a temporary halt to the surge in wealth creation.

In 2018, the wealth creation surge came to a temporary halt.

 

 

China’s volatility

The number of Chinese billionaires has increased to 325 from just 16 in 2006, and their wealth has almost tripled over the past five years. However, volatility is especially high in China: 2018 saw the wealth of 103 people dip below USD 1 billion, while “only” 56 new billionaires emerged.

 

 

Marcel Tschanz

Marcel Tschanz

Partner Advisory, PwC Switzerland

Christian Schmitt

Christian Schmitt

Partner, PwC Switzerland