Daily Management Review

Asian Women the Fastest to get into the World Billionaire List


Asian Women the Fastest to get into the World Billionaire List
A recent new survey from UBS and PwC found that the number of women from Asia entering the billionaire ranks is on the rise and unlike their Western counterparts, they tend to be self-made.
"Over 50 percent of Asian female billionaires are self-made and over 95 percent of them identify as wealth creators within the family, which means they are driving (wealth creation) going forward as well," James Purcell, head of ultra-high net worth cross-asset strategy at UBS, reported the CNBC on Wednesday.
Comparisons of the Asian figures were made with those of Europe where fewer than 10 percent of female billionaires are self-made.
“Within Asia, "you've got the change in social attitudes coming together with economic growth," he added.
The UBS/PwC report said that from three in 2005 to 25 in 2014, over the past decade, Asia's female billionaires rose by more than eight times. The report also noted that more than half of these women billionaires were first generation entrepreneurs. Real estate, industrials and health are the three leading sectors in which the billionaires created their wealth, says that report.
The report also noted that of the billionaire women in the US and in Europe, 81 percent and 93 percent respectively of the women had mostly inherited their wealth.
The report also found that the billionaires’ list, men still greatly outnumber women on the list, rising by 5.2 times to 1,202 in 2014 despite the fact that overall, the number of female billionaires has risen by 6.6 times from 22 in 1995 to 145 in 2014, the UBS/PwC report said.
More than 1,300 billionaires were surveyed in the study over the past 19 years. The wealth that was taken into account in the study was around 75 percent of global billionaire wealth, the report said. 
However the report also noted that there are signs of growing assertiveness even among women who became billionaires due to inheritance.
"We discovered that women inheriting business empires from their husbands or fathers are far more likely than their male counterparts to take the initiative, stepping into the patriarch's shoes and often driving expansion to the next level," the report said.
"Furthermore, billionaire patriarchs and multi-generational families are now more frequently preparing their daughters to play significant roles in their businesses. Choosing the best successor irrespective of gender is to be seen as a strategic step to safeguard the family's interests," added the report.
Women are also often leading families' philanthropic efforts, the study found.
The report also noted that the wealth of billionaires in the study has increased almost eight-fold, from $0.7 trillion in 1995 to $5.4 trillion in 2014 while the global GDP has almost tripled from $30 trillion to over $77 trillion over the last two decades.
The report titled, ‘The Changing Faces of Billionaires’, noted that there was volatility in the fortunes of billionaires as just 44% of 1995’s class of billionaires remained in this bracket of great wealth in 2014. Death, dilution of wealth and business difficulties account for the precariousness of entrepreneurs’ fortunes.