SINGAPORE (Aug 24): A new billionaire is created in Asia every other day, according to UBS and PwC in a joint report on the billionaire set.
There were 162 new billionaires in Asia in 2016, compared with 39 in the US and 24 in Europe. While the US still commanded most of the wealth, Asia is likely to overtake it in four years, if the current trend of growth continues.
Many of these high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) are the creators of their own wealth. The UBS/PwC report also observed that the proportion of self-made billionaires has been increasing over time, and now accounts for some 60% of the current billionaire cohort.
Their riches were obtained through successful businesses founded in the last century, and the latest surge in wealth is driven in part by the synchronised global economic growth over the past year, coupled with the boom in equity markets.
Today, many of the first generation HNWIs are in their twilight years. Some have retired, while others have taken more of a backseat at the businesses they control, though they still exert some influence.
Amid the seemingly carefree lives of the rich and famous are real concerns of wealth preservation and transfer. How are Asia's families transferring their wealth to their posterity and selecting the successor of their businesses?
Find out more from our cover story, Crazy rich and Asian, in our latest issue of The Edge Singapore (Issue 845, week of Aug 27), as we take a look into the region’s billionaire families and individuals, and how they manage their wealth.