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Societe Generale Private Banking and Forbes Insights analyse global wealth and family ties


Forbes Insights and Societe Generale Private Banking have published “Global Wealth and Family Ties,” a global study of the impact of family ties in the creation, management and transmission of large fortunes. The study is available at

Different factors determine whether a family is involved in managing a business and therefore in managing the family’s wealth: the life cycle of the economy and that of the business, its sector of activity, the geographic region where the company carries out its business but also the obligations imposed by society. This study presents a statistical analysis of ultra high net worth individuals based on two criteria: the sources of wealth and the involvement of the family in the business.

The survey was carried out with figures and data from Forbes Media’s global wealth database. The study analyses over 1,200 of the world’s largest fortunes with a minimum net worth of 210 million US dollars, in 12 countries or regions: Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, the Middle East, Russia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Key findings from this study include:

Nearly half of these large fortunes are run with family involvement, while the other half are managed by individuals.

Family-managed fortunes are concentrated in certain regions of the world, and hardly exist in others. Mature markets have more fortunes that are run with family involvement than is the case in emerging markets. — The highest percentages of family-run businesses are found in Hong Kong, India and the Middle East.

In Europe, France is the country where fortunes are the most family-minded, while the UK is the most individualistic.

Lowest rates of family-run fortunes are seen in Russia and China, where the free market is a relatively new phenomenon.

The US still remains the centre of innovation and entrepreneurship where a majority of businesses are run without family involvement. Fortunes are still mostly self-made.

Individual fortunes grow more rapidly than family-run fortunes. UHNWI clients represent one of the strategic areas of development for Societe Generale Private Banking and for Societe Generale group as a whole, with the recent launch of Private Investment Banking, a new services offering for high net worth entrepreneurs.


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