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About 38% of the world’s newest billionaires are rich because of their family

Between 2022/2023 137 new billionaires have emerged across the world and a new study has shown that most of these individuals about 38.6% owe their wealth to family inheritance.

The UBS Billionaire Ambitions Report 2023 reveals that out of the 137 individuals attaining billionaire status for the first time during this period, a staggering $291.5 billion in total wealth was amassed.

Among these new billionaires minted during this year’s study period accumulated more wealth through inheritance than entrepreneurship.

In a breakdown for the first time in the history of this study a total of “$150.8 billion was inherited by 53 heirs. That exceeds the 84 new self-made billionaires’ total of $140.7 billion”.

This paradigm shift in the origins of billionaire wealth underscores the growing influence of affluent families across major geographical regions.

Analyzing the data, it becomes evident that in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, heirs boasted an average wealth of $2.0 billion, outstripping the $1.6 billion amassed by entrepreneurs.

Similarly, in the Americas, inheritors held a net worth of $2.2 billion compared to entrepreneurs’ $1.5 billion. In Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), the inheritors’ average wealth of $4.4 billion was twice that of entrepreneurs, who averaged $2.2 billion.

What you should know

In an earlier report this year, Forbes shed light on the burgeoning ranks of the world’s latest entrants into the exclusive billionaire club.

Leading the pack is 30-year-old Mark Mateschitz, whose estimated wealth of $34.7 billion makes him the wealthiest individual in Austria and secures him the 37th spot globally.

Mateschitz ascended to this financial zenith by inheriting a substantial 49% stake in the renowned energy drink behemoth Red Bull, following the passing of his father and co-founder, Dietrich Mateschitz, in October.

Among the newly anointed billionaires, Rohiqa Cyrus Mistry emerges as the wealthiest woman, boasting an estimated fortune of $7 billion.

Her ascent to wealth came as the widow of Cyrus Mistry, the former chairman of the influential Indian conglomerate Tata Sons, whose untimely demise in a car crash occurred in September.

The roster of the youngest billionaires welcomes Clemente Del Vecchio, part of a familial cohort comprising six siblings and a stepmother.

Del Vecchio’s newfound billionaire status is attributed to the inheritance of a stake in the eyewear titan Luxottica, following the passing of his father, Leonardo Del Vecchio, in June 2022.

Additionally, Kim Jung-youn, a scion of the South Korean gaming empire Nexon, founded by her late father Kim Jung-ju, who passed away in February 2022, also graced the list of the youngest billionaires.

More insight

The UBS report notes a notable shift in career trajectories, suggesting that new possibilities beyond traditional family business involvement are emerging.

A significant 57% of the 53 heirs chose alternative career paths, aligning with their individual ambitions, skills, and circumstances.

As IPO markets anticipate reopening, a potential transformation is anticipated, with private companies returning to public markets.

This shift follows three decades of historic wealth creation, fostering a generation of multigenerational wealthy families.

While entrepreneurship has traditionally been a primary source of new billionaire wealth, the report emphasizes that inheritance is increasingly becoming a substantial factor in the creation of billionaires.

The study acknowledges that the subdued initial public offering (IPO) markets in 2022 and early 2023, in contrast to heightened activity in 2020 and 2021, have limited opportunities for entrepreneurs to monetize their businesses.


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