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Nick Warr

Nick Warr

Partner

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Contact
Nick Warr

Nick Warr

Partner

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10 May 2022

World Shaping Wealth: new research shows clear sense of responsibility from world’s wealthy to power the next economy

81% of ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals believe they have a responsibility to use their wealth to solve some of the world's biggest issues.

Our international study – World Shaping Wealth: the impact of affluence on the next economy – demonstrates a significant shift in the role of private capital in the next economy. 

Amidst the backdrop of ongoing conflicts and concerning events on the world stage, the study examines the behaviours, motivations and goals of today’s UHNW individuals. It uncovers the critical role they will play in tackling some of our most pressing challenges, including the climate emergency, and continued healthcare and economic uncertainty – a responsibility no doubt felt more deeply now. 

Commenting on the results from the study, partner and head of our international private wealth group, Nick Warr, said: “We are witnessing a shift in landscape and attitude. Despite – or perhaps because of – an increasingly challenging geopolitical, economic and regulatory environment for them personally, UHNW individuals are focused on the difference their wealth can make to the lives of others.

"Today's UHNW individuals are increasingly active, value-led investors, who demonstrably feel a great sense of responsibility to direct their wealth to benefit society and secure the future of the planet – a trend which we're seeing increasing further still among the youngest generation in our study, the millennials.

"Given the environment we all find ourselves in today, this strong sense of purpose is understandable. Ambitious goals are being set at local, national and international levels and without private capital, governments simply will not have sufficient funds to realise those goals. And the swathe of innovative new businesses working to provide solutions to society's challenges, such as carbon capture and healthcare diagnostics and treatments, often need the risk appetite and foresight of private investors to get them off the ground.

"Now, more than ever, as the world seeks to recover from the pandemic while facing the daunting prospect of achieving net zero in an unstable geopolitical environment, there's an opportunity for UHNW individuals to funnel their wealth to create positive change."

For detailed findings, analysis and comment, view the full report

Key findings

How UHNW individuals are directing their wealth for positive change:

  • 81% believe that they have a responsibility to use their wealth to solve important global problems, including environmental issues, public health crises and conflicts.
  • 73% want to use their wealth to help mitigate the impact of a future pandemic by supporting medical research institutions, the pharmaceutical industry and the financing of vaccines and new technologies.
  • 66% of want to help prevent a climate emergency by investing in the transition to net zero.
  • 65% believe it’s important to use their wealth to finance the global recovery and invest in the future economic landscape.
  • The youngest cohort in our study, the UHNW millennials, are most alive to issues in the world around them, with 94% committed to using their wealth to support important causes.

How UHNW individuals are reaching their goals:

  • 62% say that they are actively engaged with leaders and governments on global issues.
  • 74% state that ESG investments will be central to growing their future wealth, with 69% allocating more of their wealth to ESG investments as they expect returns to increase over the next few years.
  • They are seeking new ventures to grow their wealth. 39% are taking large stakes in start-ups, searching for the next 'unicorn' company, and 36% are investing in the industries of the future which focus on development of biotech, AI, cleantech and the metaverse.
  • 7% are prioritising passing wealth to charity, foundation trusts and philanthropy, while just 23% are focusing their succession planning on their family.

The implications for advisors and the wider private wealth ecosystem:

  • UHNW individuals believe that the number one challenge to wealth protection is the geopolitical environment, with 89% citing this as a significant barrier.
  • 55% of private wealth advisors believe we will not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 unless future UHNW individuals help close the private sector financing gap by investing alongside institutional investors.
  • 91% of UHNW individuals interviewed describe themselves as active wealth creators, identifying their own investment opportunities to grow their wealth. 

Dig further into our data, outlining specific results in our market reports for each of the key regions of UHNW individuals surveyed, and where the majority of the world's wealthiest individuals reside. 

Find out more

 

Notes to editors

72% of the self-made UHNW individuals in our study are corporate or finance professionals who have either made their money through their careers or through their own firms. A further 22% are entrepreneurs who have started their own companies. The remainder have made their wealth by investing in property or in ‘industries of the future’ – tech related to interconnectivity and smart automation like AI, 5G and biotech.

Dig further into our data, outlining specific results in our market reports for each of the key regions of UHNW individuals surveyed, and where the majority of the world's wealthiest individuals reside. 

Methodology

This global study - World Shaping Wealth: the impact of affluence on the next economy - explores the impact that UHNW individuals want to have, what is motivating them, and the actions they are taking to achieve their goals.

Within this research UHNW individuals are defined as having a net worth of at least $100 million.

Independent opinion research was conducted in late 2021 by Coleman Parkes, a global B2B research specialist, with experience across all verticals and markets. Coleman Parkes Research complies with the rules and regulations set by the MRS Code of Conduct (2010) which is based upon the ESOMAR principles. 

The research was conducted among 215 UHNW individuals, with an estimated combined wealth of over $69.4 billion, and 225 of the intermediaries who manage their wealth (private banks, multi-family offices, single family offices, accounting firms and trustees). 

This sample was built to be able to provide representative data in each of the key markets and regions of UHNW individuals surveyed, and where the majority of the world's wealthiest individuals reside. This was established by identifying what proportion of the total sample would need to be interviewed to be robust from a statistical standpoint through an established process of background research and reviewing multiple sources. Statistical robustness means that we have enough responses in our sample to summarise the views and opinions on a particular subject to a confident level of accuracy.

Respondents were based in Austria, China, France, Germany, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland, the UAE, the UK, and the US.

Contact

For any media enquiries or to arrange interview with one of our experts to discuss our study, contact Heather McMaster or Jenny Batchelor.

 
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