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Practice Management > Building Your Business

‘Huge’ Wealth Transfer in Sight: UBS, PwC Report

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The past 20 years’ exceptional wealth creation will soon be followed by the “biggest-ever” wealth transfer, according to UBS and PwC’s latest Billionaires Report.

The report estimates that approximately 460 billionaires worldwide will transfer $2.1 trillion – which, for size, is the equivalent of India’s GDP – to their heirs over a period of just 20 years. In the U.S. alone, approximately $1.1 trillion will transfer to the next generation.

“Shifts in the structure of that wealth matters to the wealthy and their families,” the report states. “But they also impact the global economy and society as a whole.”

The report, which incorporates 20 years of data that track more than 1,400 billionaires across the 14 largest billionaire markets, explores the potential impact of this massive handover.

The report expects this “critical handover” to have significant implications.

“As great wealth trickles down the generations, its goals will change,” the report states. “We are already seeing the early stages of what we expect to be an upsurge in philanthropy.”

The report includes an in advisor, who has several billionaire families as clients, that attributes the difference between generations partly to the wide range of life choices available now.

“Today’s next gens are facing a much wider array of options due to better education, digitization and technology,” the advisor states in the report. “This amplifies the importance of purpose and meaning for them when choosing what to do and what not to do.”

In order to examine how the values of the millennials differ from their parents, the report reviewed an array of survey analysis and case studies, as well as conducted more than 30 face-to-face interviews.

The report concludes that younger generation have three specific goals and values that make them different from the elder generation, which are “business first,” “values not valuables,” and “identity through philanthropy.”

First, the report finds that young multigenerational billionaires put business first. They’re typically highly entrepreneurial – keen to develop their own role in the family business or start a new businesses, according to the report.

Second, according to the report, many of the millennial generation inheriting billionaire wealth see business success as a way of benefiting society.

“Their business goals must deliver not only returns to the family, but also tangible benefits to a wide group of stakeholders – including employees, customers and society at large,” the report states.

Third, the report finds that some young multigenerational billionaires are inspired by philanthropy.

“More than previous generations, they bring business discipline and strategy to philanthropy. They want their giving to make an impact – and they want to be able to measure it,” the report states.

— Related: In 5 Years, Wealth Management Will Be Transformed: Roubini ThoughtLab


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