The super-rich around the world have recently been able to expand their huge fortunes again. In the twelve months up to April 2023, the number of billionaires worldwide climbed by seven percent to 2,544, according to a study published on Thursday by the major Swiss bank UBS. Their total assets increased by nine percent to twelve trillion dollars. For the first time, Europe made the largest contribution to growth. The driving force was the buying spree after the pandemic, which caused the share prices of France’s luxury goods and cosmetics companies to rise. This benefited their owning families.
Corporations such as LVMH, Kering, Hermes and L’Oreal are based in the country, which now has a total of 34 billionaires. Germany has 109 billionaires and Switzerland has 75 billionaires. While technology and healthcare entrepreneurs in particular have accumulated wealth over the past decade, owners of retail and consumer goods manufacturers have benefited in the past twelve months. In the meantime, however, there are already signs of a shift from which industrialists are likely to benefit. Governments in a number of countries promoted the energy transition and increased defense spending.
UBS also pointed to another change in trend. For the first time since the survey began, billionaires acquired more wealth through inheritance than through entrepreneurship. “We expect this issue to become more widespread over the next 20 years, as more than 1,000 billionaires will pass on an estimated $5.2 trillion to their children,” said Benjamin Cavalli, UBS’ super-rich business manager.