China produced a new billionaire almost every week in the first quarter this year, according to a report by UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The country’s robust capital markets and steady economic growth is driving wealth creation in China and helping drive the overall wealth of the Asian region.
According to the report, Asia now accounts for 36% of wealth by self-made billionaires, overtaking Europe for the first time and second to the US. Asian billionaires, with an average age of 57, are younger than their global peers, the report says.
“Looking forward, we expect the region to be the center of new billionaire wealth creation,” says Antoinette Hoon, private banking advisory services partner, PwC Hong Kong.
Data for the past five years shows a shift in value creation from the US to Asia, and in particular, to China. “As Asian billionaire families grow in size and complexity, succession planning and the engagement of the second generation have become increasingly important components in establishing a lasting family legacy. Ultra high net worth clients are becoming more and more sophisticated and, increasingly, exhibit institutional- like needs,” Francis Liu, Regional Market Manager, UHNW Greater China, UBS Wealth Management says.
The Billionaires Report found that between 1995 and 2014, 917 self-made billionaires generated more than $3.6 trillion of wealth globally. Many started young, with 23% launching their first business venture before the age of 30 and 68% before turning 40. In the U.S., technology produced the second highest number of self-made billionaires (27.3%) in the last two decades.
Entrepreneurship is a strong driver of wealth creation globally, says the report, adding that billionaires are turning to philanthropy to establish a legacy.
The analysis encompasses data for 1,300 billionaires spanning 19 years across the 14 largest billionaire markets, which account for 75% of global billionaire wealth.