Five new billionaires were added in 2017 to the list of very wealthy Swiss residing in the country, bringing the total number to 36, according to statistics unveiled by UBS on Friday. Their contribution to public finances is not negligible.
The total fortune of these people increased last year by 19% to 123.1 billion francs, driven in particular by the good health of the financial markets, revealed the bank with the three keys in a study. By industry, billionaires are primarily active in healthcare, financial services and retail.
Michael Piepe, 71, fortune estimated at $ 3.1 billion. Keystone archives
UBS does not cite a name, bank secrecy requires. But according to the classification established by the magazine Bilan, one finds among the largest Swiss fortunes established in the Confederation the investor Michael Pieper, Thomas Schmidheiny or August von Finck who holds stakes in Mövenpick and Von Roll.
Other sectors are also well represented such as the Nordmann and Maus families, which own the Manor stores, as well as the Lacoste and Gant brands and the Stern family, owner of the watchmaker Patek Philippe, which owns a stake in Tamedia.
Thomas Schmidheiny, 72, fortune estimated at 3.9 billion dollars. Keystone archives
Of the 36 billionaires, the share of entrepreneurs who have made a fortune themselves stands at 44%, while 56% are heirs. This distribution is reversed in other regions of the world, notably in the United States where the share of entrepreneurs in the billionaire population stands at 69%. In Asia-Pacific, the percentage even reaches 76%.
Prolific China for billionaires
For 2017, the UBS study identified 2158 billionaires worldwide, 179 more than a year earlier. Their average age is around 63 and their average fortune is $ 4.1 billion.
The largest number is still located in North America with 631 billionaires (+ 12%) cumulating a total fortune of 3600 billion dollars (+ 12%).
Western Europe has 414 billionaires (+ 18%). The entire region of Europe, Middle East and Africa (629 billionaires) had a wealth of 2,584 billion dollars.
The Asia-Pacific region as a whole has seen the number of billionaires grow by 8% to 814 billionaires. Some 373 (+ 17%) go to China, compared to just 39 ten years ago. The latter display a cumulative wealth of 1120 billion dollars (+ 39%).