Business / Economy

The rise of female billionaires in Asia

By Wu Yiyao ( Updated: 2015-12-16 10:02

The rise of female and Chinese billionaires over the last two decades is changing the entire billionaire demographic, said research by Swiss-based lender UBS AG and financial services provider PwC.

The report, which surveyed over 1,300 billionaires from the last 19 years across the 14 largest billionaire markets accounting for 75 percent of global billionaire wealth (defined as individuals with wealth of more than today's $1 billion) found that the female billionaire population grew faster than their male billionaire peers, whose number grew by a factor of 8.3 from only 3 to 25 today in Asia.

"Female billionaires in Asia make up almost one fifth of the global female billionaire population and generally are younger than their global counterparts. They tend to have more influence on philanthropy today than ever before, and their influence on decision-making for enterprises is also mounting," said William Yung, Financial Services Advisory Partner at PwC China.

A large number of billionaires in China are self-made, first-generation of ultra-high-net-value-individuals, and most of them come from property development and consumer and retail sectors, according to the research data.

The majority of billionaires who successfully survived market volatility have kept their original businesses, or chosen a hybrid strategy to keep parts of their core business and expanded into other fields, the report said.

"For Chinese billionaires, their needs regarding their involvement in philanthropy and protecting legacies have been rising in recent years, which pushes up demand for professional services including for foundations, single family offices, and family trusts," said Karen Chen, President of UBS(China) Limited.

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