Billionaires Insights 2020

Riding the storm: Market turbulence accelerates diverging fortunes

Over the past decade, global billionaires have doubled in number and their total wealth has more than tripled. By July 2020, there were 2,189 billionaires, up from 969 at the end of 2009. Total billionaire wealth reached USD 10.2 trillion at the end of July 2020, touching a new high after the year’s V-shaped rebound in asset prices. This recovery was led by billionaires in industry and technology. This level surpasses the previous peak of USD 8.9 trillion, reached at the end of 2017.

Now in its seventh edition, UBS and PwC are pleased to launch our annual Billionaires Insights report, Riding the Storm. We have extended our usual period of analysis to take into account the transformative impact of COVID-19, and revealed that a cohort of billionaire innovators and disruptors have pulled ahead of their peers.

Wealth reaches new heights

Total billionaire wealth reached USD 10.2 trillion at the end of July 2020, touching a new high after the year’s V-shaped rebound in asset prices.

Philanthropy and sustainability pioneers

Billionaires are pioneering innovation in philanthropy and seeking to do good across all spheres, including in their corporate and investment activity.

Polarizing fortunes

Billionaire innovators and disruptors in the tech, healthcare and industrial sectors are pulling ahead of the pack, with COVID-19 accelerating this divergence.

Record-breaking donations

In the space of a few months, billionaires gave more than ever before to efforts to tackle the pandemic, with 209 billionaires publicly committing a total of USD 7.2 billion between March to June 2020.

Innovators on the rise

Scientists, computer programmers and engineers are revolutionizing industries at a pace never seen before and disrupting the wider economy.

Next generation of rebuilders

Once the storm passes, the next generation of innovators will use emerging technologies to digitize, refresh and revolutionize the economy.

"In the last decade, the wealth of billionaires in the tech sector grew 5.7 times. Sectors which have better adapted to technology and innovation such as industrials saw wealth grow 3.8 times during the same period. Technology and innovation seem to be key ingredients for wealth creation.”

Anuj KagalwalaPartner, Asset and Wealth Management Tax Leader, PwC Singapore

Key findings - Singapore

  • There are a total of 25 billionaires in Singapore as of 20202.
  • Self-made billionaires are 62% of the billionaire population in Singapore (compared to 60% in EMEA and 72% in the US).
  • Total billionaire wealth in Singapore firstly grew by 11%, reaching USD 79.1 billion. During the months from April to July 20202 it bounced 30% to USD 102.6 billion.
  • In 20191 and 20202, the top three wealth driving industries in Singapore were Consumer & Retail, Industrials and Health Industries.

1 2019 - Standard cut-off date: 7 April 2020
2 2020 - Exceptional cut-off date: 31 July 2020

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Anuj Kagalwala

Anuj Kagalwala

Asset & Wealth Management Tax Leader, PwC Singapore

Tel: +65 9671 0613

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