Forbes Insights and Société Générale Private Banking Issue a Report
Comparing the Ultra Wealthy in Emerging and Mature Markets
NEW YORK -- March 28, 2013
"Emerging Markets: Africa, Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East—Joining the
Global Ranks of Wealth Creators," the third in a series of wealth reports
from Forbes Insights and Société Générale Private Banking, is based on an
analysis of 250 ultra high net worth individuals in 22 countries in Africa,
Central and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, with an average fortune of
The individual fortunes that have been created there, in some cases in just
over two decades, are breathtaking. They are not yet up to the levels of the
largest fortunes in mature markets, such as the United States and Western
Europe, but they are catching up fast considering the short time span since
their inception. For example, the average size of the fortunes of the 20
richest individuals are: $24.3 billion in the United States, $20.1 billion in
Western Europe, $10.1 billion in Russia, $7.6 billion in the Middle East, $3.2
billion in Central Europe and $2.3 billion in Africa.
The report concludes that it is, in fact, "easier" for an individual in an
emerging market to amass a fortune worth a billion dollars than to build a
major global company. According to the report, 6% of the world's 2,000 largest
public companies, as listed on the Forbes Global 2000, are owned or co-owned
by billionaires from Africa, Central Europe or the Middle East. But as many as
14% of the world's billionaires on the Forbes billionaires list come from
Africa, Central Europe or the Middle East.
Among other key findings from the report:
The openness of the wealthy about their fortunes is lower in emerging markets
studied for this report than in mature markets. On a scale from 0 to 10, with
0 being not open at all and 10 being very transparent, the Forbes Insights
Wealth Panel—composed of editors of Forbes international editions and Forbes
wealth analysts—assigned the emerging markets analyzed for this report a score
of 4.2, and mature markets a score of 7.3.
The openness of the wealthy about their fortunes correlates directly with the
attitudes of their countrymen toward them. The more open the wealthy are about
their fortunes, the more their countrymen accept them, and vice versa. In
terms of social attitudes towards great wealth, the gap between the emerging
and mature markets is just two points, with the Forbes Wealth Panel scoring
mature markets at 6.3, and emerging markets at 4.1.
The wealthy in emerging markets analyzed for this report like to display their
riches slightly less than their counterparts in mature markets (North America
and Western Europe). In terms of wealth display, the Forbes Insights Wealth
Panel awarded mature markets a 6, and emerging markets a 5.3, on a scale from
0 to 10, with 0 being very discreet about wealth and 10 being total display.
There are, however, vast regional differences among emerging markets. The
Forbes Insights Wealth Panel ranked the wealthy in Africa and Central Europe
as the most understated, with Russia and the Middle East the most open in
their wealth display.
To download the report, please go to:
About Forbes Insights:
Forbes Insights is the strategic research practice of Forbes Media, publisher
of Forbes magazine and Forbes.com. Taking advantage of a proprietary database
of senior-level executives in the Forbes community, Forbes Insights’ research
covers a wide range of vital business issues, including: wealth management;
talent management; marketing; financial benchmarking; risk and regulation;
small/midsize business; and more.
Debbie Weathers, 212-366-8848
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