UBS Group AG and PwC have released their joint annual billionaires report which reveals wealth creation within the billionaire segment in 2015 in the world.According to the report, 460 billionaires will transfer USD 2.1 trillion to their heirs in the next 20 years.

Total billionaire wealth declined in 2015 by USD 300 billion to USD 5.1 trillion while average billionaire wealth fell from USD 4.0 billion to USD 3.7 billion due to headwinds such as the transfer of assets within families, commodity price deflation and an appreciating US dollar.

Asia  produced one billionaire every three days, with China alone accounting for over half of the 113 additions. For most of Asia’s young economies, where over 85% of billionaires are first-generation, this will be the first-ever handover of billionaire wealth.

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Europe has the greatest number of multigenerational billionaires at 182 (54%), and they have proven to be the most resilient at preserving their fortunes. The US has 175 (33%) multi-generational billionaires and APAC has 76 (15%).

For the first time in 10 years, the average wealth of self-made US billionaires surpassed the average wealth of US billionaires with inherited fortunes (USD 4.5 billion vs USD 4.3 billion).

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Josef Stadler, Head Global Ultra High Net Worth, UBS, comments on the new report:

“The findings of this report help us stay ahead of the issues that matter to better advise our clients, which include over half the world’s billionaires and three out of every five billionaires in Asia. Even as China’s growth moderates, it is the bright spot for great wealth growth.

Led by a tech sector on the rise, China minted 80 new billionaires in 2015 and Asia overall created a new billionaire nearly every three days. Meanwhile Europe’s billionaires stood out for maintaining and passing wealth down to their heirs.

This is something that regions like Asia, where many more billionaires are first generation, can learn a lot from, especially as we head into the greatest period of wealth transfer we’ve ever seen. Just as Asian billionaires can gain from the experience of wealth transfer in Europe, there’s much that Europe can learn from the rapid billionaire growth in Asia.”

Michael Spellacy, Global Wealth Leader at PwC US:

“As the shockwaves from regulatory upheaval in the EU continue to trigger global currency fluctuations, strategic planning becomes even more crucial for wealth preservation. Those who control assets face tough investment questions.

Encouragingly, this year’s report shows that Europe’s billionaires were the most resilient with many of the 60 individuals from Europe inheriting their fortunes in 2015 for the first time.

The US, which boasts the biggest collection of billionaires by region, sets the trend. Total US billionaire wealth fell, but ‘new money’ fared better than old, falling by just 4%, from an average of USD 4.7bn per individual to USD 4.5bn.”

Source: UBS