How much family wealth will be transferred during the next decade?

New report highlights the challenges and opportunities in today’s wealth transfer landscape, which is dominated by men.

Over the next decade, more than a quarter of wealthy individuals are expected to transfer their fortunes while the values and methods of wealth transfer among these individuals and their families will have significant implications for various sectors, including family offices, financial services, the luxury goods industry, and non-profit organizations, a new report claims.

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Altrata’s latest global wealth transfer analysis delves into the growing focus on succession planning and the wealth transition process among the global population of wealthy individuals with a net worth exceeding $5 million, especially those with fortunes over $100 million.

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Family wealth transfers will be influenced by global trends and a complex geopolitical environment. Key trends include intricate succession planning for increasingly globalized wealthy families, highlighting the essential role of expert advisors. There is also a notable disparity between the values, experiences, and aspirations of wealth holders (often founders) and their younger benefactors. Additionally, there is a growing trend of wealth being passed on during the lifetime of the family head rather than solely upon death, necessitating early engagement and preparation.

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Here are the key findings:

  • Approximately 1.2 million individuals with net worths over $5 million are expected to transfer a collective wealth of nearly $31 trillion over the next 10 years. This amount surpasses the GDP of the United States and is over 10 times the market capitalization of Microsoft.
  • Around 37,000 individuals with net worths exceeding $100 million will transfer a collective $13.9 trillion by 2033.
  • About 90% of those transferring wealth over the next decade are men.
  • Roughly one-third of donors with $100 million+ are currently over the age of 80.
  • Individuals with net worths exceeding $100 million will account for nearly half of the $31 trillion being transferred. The wealth transfer will vary significantly across different wealth tiers. The very high net worth (VHNW) individuals, with fortunes between $5 million and $30 million, will constitute 87% of the people transferring wealth, while the ultra-wealthy (over $30 million) will transfer 64% of the total wealth.
  • Wealthy donors in North America and Europe will account for 71% of global wealth transfers up to 2033. North America will see individuals with net worths over $5 million transferring more than $14 trillion (46% share), while Europe will transfer $7.4 trillion (22% share). Despite having more wealthy individuals than Europe, Asia will see only a fifth of wealth transfers, largely due to the younger average age of donors (except in Japan).
  • Generation X will be the primary beneficiaries of their wealthy parents. While the media often highlights millennial and Generation Z inheritors, most heirs are currently in their mid-to-late 40s. Millennials and younger Gen Z individuals are more likely to inherit from grandparents, with typically smaller legacies than those inherited from parents.
  • The next decade's beneficiaries show a stronger interest in environmental and healthcare causes compared to those passing on the wealth. Although the top causes for philanthropic donations remain similar—education, followed by arts and social welfare—beneficiaries exhibit higher engagement in all these causes.
  • At the top of the wealth pyramid, 1,380 billionaires are expected to redistribute their wealth over the next decade. This group will represent just 0.1% of the total number of wealth transfers but a significant 16% (almost $5 trillion) of the collective net worth being passed on, indicating an average transfer of $3.6 billion per billionaire.

Altrata, a leader in intelligence and research on senior executives and wealthy individuals, is a registered trademark of Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies (BoardEx, Boardroom Insiders, RelSci, WealthEngine, and Wealth-X).

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