The Billionaire Census, now in its ninth edition, provides an annual look at key billionaire trends and demographics – from global population growth to philanthropic endeavors and industry specific billionaire data. The report provides unique insights for businesses and organizations seeking to build relationships with members of this elusive group.
The 2022 Billionaire Census is the first published by Altrata. The report leverages the Wealth-X database and also includes new analysis from BoardEx (another Altrata company), revealing the high number of professional connections that CEOs and trustees of not-for-profit organizations have to billionaires.
The relatively small number of billionaires, and barriers to making connections, both real and perceived, may lead organizations to deprioritize outreach to this group. This reaction is understandable – billionaire spending typically accounts for a small share of the overall donor base or client list for most organizations. So why make the extra effort for such a small community that presents such unique challenges to relationship development?
The importance of understanding this exclusive tier of wealth is important to many organizations. Insight into their giving and spending trends and cultivating engagement strategies with billionaires can pay extraordinary dividends. This is due not only to the direct giving potential of billionaires but also to their role as trendsetters for the broader high net worth (HNW) and ultra high net worth (UHNW) populations.
Billionaire attitudes and behaviors impact the wealthy in a variety of ways. In philanthropic giving, for example, billionaires continue to have a clear impact. Giving pledges, donation categories, and the demand for transparency and accountability have spread across the wealth tiers. Billionaires are more reachable than it may seem at first glance. Some are already connected to members of your organization’s existing network.
Billionaire Market Sizing
The worldwide billionaire population continued to grow in 2021, but at a slower rate than in recent years. In 2022, the billionaire population grew 3.3%, to 3,311. Billionaire wealth grew at a faster pace – up 17.8% to a new high of $11.8T.
The pandemic and its aftermath have continued to exert influence, as has ongoing global market uncertainty with its impact on corporate earnings and unexpected disruptions. The global dispersal of the billionaire population stayed largely consistent in recent years.
There are more than 1,000 billionaires in North America – a new high. North America has the largest billionaire population in the world – 1,035 or 31% of the global total. However, the European billionaire population grew the fastest at 6.8% to 954 billionaires.
Billionaire wealth in each of the top 15 countries grew in 2021, but billionaire population trends were more diverse. The billionaire population grew in the US, declined slightly in China, while it grew nearly 20% in India. Kuwait City, San Francisco, and Hong Kong metro areas across the globe with the highest concentration of billionaires.
Familiar industries continue to drive billionaire wealth. Banking and finance remain the largest sector of origin for billionaire wealth, followed by industrial conglomerates, real estate, and technology. Billionaires whose wealth is from tech are by far the youngest, and most likely to be self-made.
Billionaire Trends in Philanthropic Activity
One area where billionaires often set the agenda for the broader wealthy community is philanthropy. Billionaire giving trends often make an impact on other charitable endeavors.
Another area where billionaires have had a unique impact in recent years is overlooked and geographically diverse causes. Billionaires like MacKenzie Scott have led the trend by giving record amounts to these causes. Scott gave more than $3.9B over the past year, including over 60 nonprofits outside the United States, from small Pacific Islands to Brazil and Ukraine, according to a recent Bloomberg article.
Billionaire giving is also making an impact on how gifts are structured. Taking mission-oriented giving to a new level, billionaire Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard recently announced that he was giving away his entire company. According to a NY Times report, “Mr. Chouinard, his wife and two adult children have transferred their ownership of Patagonia, valued at about $3 billion, to a specially designed trust and a nonprofit organization. They were created to preserve the company’s independence and ensure that all of its profits — some $100 million a year — are used to combat climate change and protect undeveloped land around the globe.”
The Impact of a Billionaire’s Network
Given the considerable demands on their time, the number of competing interests, and their unique privacy concerns, prospecting and nurturing billionaire connections can be difficult. It’s important to have a carefully crafted strategy for approaching billionaires that leverages existing warm relationships.
Business leaders’ and board members’ own professional networks give them a surprisingly high number of connections to billionaires. According to the Billionaire Census 2022, US CEOs or nonprofit board members are directly connected to nearly four billionaires on average.
The second degree connections these leaders have to billionaires is even greater, often numbering into the hundreds. Such connections can come in a wide variety of forms – from shared corporate experience, educational background, or non-profit interactions. Board memberships are a particularly valuable connection, due to the shared vision among board members, the opportunity for recurring in-person contact, and the relatively small number of members of a typical board.
In addition to your direct connections to billionaire prospects, consider your indirect connections as well. It’s not just who you know, it’s who they know. Billionaires sit on an average of three private and one public company board, making the executives sitting alongside them highly valuable as contacts themselves.
Connecting with Influential Billionaires
Billionaires matter to your organization more than you may realize. Billionaire spending, giving, and engagement trends influence the behaviors of other wealthy individuals. These interests also matter for the aspirationally wealthy.
Billionaires are in reach if you utilize the right connections. Crafting a development strategy for these exclusive groups requires special consideration and an approach that may differ in some ways from your outreach framework for the wealthy.
Look for points of connection between billionaire giving and other groups. Access data and insight on billionaire habits and interests. Plan engagement strategies that cater to the aspirational goals of clients, even if they are already very wealthy.
Altrata provides unparalleled insights into billionaires, including their passions, interests, giving habits, and relationship patterns. Access insight on their professional and social networks and find points of connection, prospecting, and relationship development opportunities. If you want to see wealth insights in action and are ready to meet with a member of our team let us know.