Most Billionaires Are Self-Made, Nearly Half The World's Biggest Fortunes Are Family-Run - Forbes

Max Skjönsberg London 30 March 2012


Seven out of ten of the world's billionaires have made their own fortunes, but more than 40 per cent directly involve their family in the management of their wealth, new research from Forbes shows.

In a new study launched in London yesterday, the publisher also said that the UK has the highest percentage of self-made billionaires in the world. More than eight out of ten of the UK’s billionaires in 2011 had created their fortunes from scratch, compared with seven out of ten in the US, which is traditionally more associated with success stories and has more billionaires than anyone else in Forbes’ database.

“In the UK, you have incredibly old money which goes back hundreds of years and money tied up in real estate and holdings throughout the world, but you also have many self-made billionaires like Richard Branson,” said Bruce Rogers, chief insights officer of Forbes Media, when presenting the new report made together with Societe Generale Private Banking.

The study, entitled Global Wealth & Family Ties, analysed 1,200 of the world’s largest fortunes in 12 countries. The minimum net worth of the people in the study was $1 billion, with the exceptions of India ($370 million), China ($500 million) and Singapore ($210 million). The fortunes were sourced form Forbes’ database of billionaires.

The wealth management industry is interested in whether money is inherited or self-made because the origins of a fortune will often determine the risk profile of a client, investment objectives and other needs. 

Self-made but family-run wealth

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