Billionaires’ wealth fell in 2018: report

08 Nov 2019

The growth in the wealth of billionaires has slowed, according to a new survey.  It comes following simmering geopolitical tensions adversely impacting ultra-high-net-worth individuals.
According to research from UBS and PwC, billionaires’ wealth dropped by $388bn in 2018, after five consecutive years of growth. 
“While the Americas saw a slight wealth increase this year, led by prominent U.S. tech billionaires, in Asia the number of billionaires edged down after five years of sharp growth,” reported CityAM.
“Women are also joining the ultra-rich ranks in greater numbers, with the number of female billionaires growing by 46% in the last five years.”
Josef Stadler, Head of ultra-high net worth at UBS Global Wealth Management, said: “The stronger dollar, combined with greater uncertainty in equity markets amidst a tough geopolitical environment, has created the conditions for this dip.
“Nevertheless, it’s clear that billionaire businesses continue to thrive. Billionaires are creating and steering businesses that consistently outperform equity markets.
“This business acumen has also translated into their philanthropy, as billionaires seek new ways to engineer far-reaching environmental and social change.”
Indeed, shares in companies controlled by billionaires have, says the report, outperformed the global market average over the past 15 years.
To reach this conclusion, the report authors looked at the stock performance of 603 public companies in which billionaires have key influence and to which most of their wealth is linked.
Billionaire businesspeople have an “optimistic attitude,” said the research. They also continually seek out opportunities and are “undeterred by failures and roadblocks,” it noted.
“Billionaires' enterprises tend to pursue a long-term strategy that benefits from an exceptional alignment between performance and management incentives,” the report added.

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