What emerged from 30 interviews with billionaires around the world


Miuccia Prada, Leonardo Del Vecchio and Giorgio Armani, three Italian exponents of the Forbes Billionaires ranking

UBS and PwC today published the annual Billionaires Insights report, entitled "The Billionaires Effect". Now in its fifth year, the study draws on the vast network of clients and data available to UBS and PwC with the aim of offering detailed information on billionaires from all over the world, with a focus also on Italy. The study is the result of more than 30 face-to-face interviews with billionaires and their heirs and, for the first time, also a survey of more than 100 UBS client advisors.

READ ALSO: The Forbes ranking of the richest men in the world in 2019

The main results of the study:

  • Taking a 15-year period (until the end of 2018), companies listed on the stock market controlled by billionaires recorded an increase in performance of 17.8%, compared to the average of the MSCI AC World index of 9.1%
  • The strong dollar and the volatile stock market have brought the wealth of the Scroogeists to decrease by 388 billion dollars – reaching 8.5 trillion dollars in total – after 5 years of growth.
  • In the Americas we have witnessed a slight increase in wealth, with 33 new billionaires in 12 months.
  • Last year, the "technology scouts" saw their wealth increase more than in any other sector, thanks to existing companies and new market players
  • Billionaires are using their business experience to impact through philanthropy
  • The number of billionaires women has grown by 46% in 5 years

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Billionaires in Italy

  • The total number of Italian billionaires fell by 19% in 2018, from 43 to 35
  • Of these 35 billionaires, 3 are new entries: 2 women and 1 man. These 3 new Italian paperoni have added 3.9 billion dollars in "new wealth".
  • 40% of Italian billionaires are self-made
  • The total billionaire wealth in Italy has fallen by 16% to reach 142.7 billion dollars. Italian self-made billionaires hold 51% of total wealth
  • Over the past year, Italian billionaires have underperformed the MSCI ACWI index by 7%
  • In 2018, the only wealth that grew in Italy is linked to the industrial sector, which recorded a marginal 2% (from 11.9 billion to 12.1 billion dollars)

    "The boom in the birth of new billionaires we have witnessed in the last five years has undergone a natural correction, he comments Paolo Federici, Market Head Italy by UBS Global Wealth Management. The stronger dollar, as well as greater uncertainty in the stock markets in an eventful geopolitical context, have created the conditions for this decrease. However, as a demonstration of how their business is prosperous, billionaires continue to create and lead companies that consistently outperform stock market indices. This talent has also poured into their philanthropic activities, as this elite is always looking for new ways to contribute to environmental and social evolution. The "Billionaire Effect" is strong and healthy throughout the world. "

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