Friday, October 24, 2014

Mumbai University 9th in list of billionaire alumni, above MIT

Majority of the billionaires alive today finished their undergraduate studies from an American university. But in an interesting finding, the University of Mumbai has emerged as the only entry in the top 10 list of universities that is not American.

The list of "Which Universities Produce The Most Billionaires" is heavily dominated by US universities with 16 of the top 20 entries. Ranked 9th, the University of Mumbai however figures higher than MIT, NYU or even the University of Michigan or Columbia.

Twenty-five billionaires obtained their bachelor's degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, making it the top university in the world in terms of number of billionaire undergraduate alumni according to this year's Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census released on Thursday. It is followed by Harvard University with 22 billionaires, Yale with 20 billionaire alumni, University of Southern California with 16, Princeton and Cornell with 14 billionaire alumni.

The annual study also showed that higher education is not a prerequisite to achieving billionaire status as 35% of the 2,325 billionaires in the world have not obtained a tertiary-level degree. Notable university dropouts include Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. Both walked out of Harvard during their undergraduate years to start their businesses. 

The top eight in the list are American colleges. The only entry to break this monotony is the University of Mumbai which is ranked 9th and has produces 12 billionaires. Interestingly, only one British university figure in the top 20 list and it is not Oxford or Cambridge. London School of Economics (LSE) is ranked 10th and has produced 11 billionaires.

Among those billionaires who hold a tertiary-level degree, 42% graduated with a bachelor's degree, 26% have a master's degree, 21% finished their MBA and 11% attained a PhD.

Apart from LSE, Lomonosov Moscow State University (11th rank) and ETH Zurich in Switzerland (20th rank) are other schools outside the US that made it to the top 20 billionaire schools list.

The Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2014 makes an interesting finding - more than a quarter of the billionaires who obtained their undergraduate degrees in the 16 American universities on the list were born outside of the United States. Nearly 40% who attended these top American schools for their post-graduate studies were not US citizens.

Indian billionaires recently threw up an interesting trend found nowhere else in the world — knowing ones roots. Despite popular notions of billionaires being jet-setting, cosmopolitan individuals, most Indian billionaires are still based in the same locations where they were raised. Around 95% of Indian billionaires, who currently have their primary business in India, also grew up there. The trend globally is very different.

Around 23% or just 1 in 4 billionaires globally have the same home city as the city of their primary business. Only 39% of all billionaires globally have the same home state as the state of their primary business. Billionaire hotspots such as Singapore, Switzerland and Hong Kong have emerged as favoured destinations for the ultrarich. However, only 36, 34, and 25% of their billionaire populations respectively, grew up in these countries.

Interestingly, 3 out of every 10 billionaires in India don't even have a college degree.

Only 3% of Indian billionaires are female, the joint lowest of any focus country. The majority of Indian billionaires are college-educated with 72% possessing at least a bachelor's degree (Switzerland and the US are the only other two focus countries that have a higher proportion of university-educated billionaires).

Mumbai was recently ranked 11th in the top 20 billionaire cities being home to 28 billionaires. New York led the list with 103 billionaires.

The report says that the world's billionaire population reached a record high of 2,325 billionaires this year, a 7% rise from 2013. The combined wealth of this ultra afflent tier increased to $7.3 trillion, a 12% rise from last year. Interestingly, 63% of billionaires' primary businesses are privately held and 81% of all billionaires made all or the majority of their wealth themselves, telling us that entrepreneurialism and private wealth are keys to billionaires' success. According to forecasts, the global billionaire population will surpass 3,800 by 2020.

Billionaires — defined as those individuals with a net worth of US $1 billion or above — control nearly 4% of the world's wealth. There is only one billionaire for every three million people on the planet. Although the overall size of the billionaire population is small, the impact of billionaires on the global economy is significant.

Between 2011 and 2013, the growth in the wealth of the world's billionaires accounted for 40% of the growth in total ultra-high net worth (UHNW) wealth — although billionaires only comprise 1% of the global UHNW population. Between July 2013 and June 2014, the billionaire population grew by 7% to reach 2,325, an all-time record high. The combined wealth of the world's billionaires increased by 12% to $7.3 trillion.

Source: The Times of India, October 24, 2014

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