Over half of next generation wealth holders are concerned they will lose their family fortunes, says survey

While financial security is on the minds of people across the income spectrum, a new survey reveals wealthy individuals are not immune to financial concerns, although their challenges are unique to their demographic. 

By 2030, over USD15 trillion in global wealth will transition to a new generation, marking one of the largest wealth transfers in history and more than half (54 per cent) of the next generation of UHNW inheritors surveyed admitted they are worried they will lose the wealth their family has created, while 44 per cent are concerned their children will lose the wealth. 

These insights are from a new survey – The next generation of global enterprising families: shaping tomorrow, today – by Campden Wealth, commissioned by RBC Wealth Management. 

Over 100 next generation inheritors, with an average family fortune of close to USD1 billion, were surveyed across Canada (18 per cent), the United States and the United Kingdom (17 per cent).

“Ultra-high net worth inheritors are not immune to the changing global landscape and the issues associated with it,” says Ross Jennings, Head of Sales & Relationship Management with RBC Wealth Management. “The ongoing generational wealth transfer places an additional need to ensure they can protect and grow their wealth for future generations while focusing on their interest in driving social and environmental change.”
“It is common for next generation wealth holders to fear losing the fortunes their families have amassed,” says Dr Rebecca Gooch, Director of Research, Campden Wealth. “Great wealth is often created over generations and each generation does not want to be the one responsible for losing it. The emerging generation has a lot resting on their shoulders. With that said, there is no generation better prepared to tackle the challenges we as a society face, and this one is intent on making a positive social and environmental impact.”

The coming wealth transfer is unfolding against a backdrop of uncertain times marked by a global pandemic, geo-political challenges, an ageing population, and a climate change crisis. As a result, 73 per cent of Next Gen UHNW inheritors believe that, given the problems faced by the word today, their own children will have a more difficult and challenging life than their own. More than half (56%) believe their children should learn about the importance of social and environmental responsibility at home and almost two thirds (62%) feel a responsibility to grow their family wealth.
When next generation wealth holders were asked to rank the aspects of their lives they find most challenging, health problems ranked a joint second, alongside family dynamics. This was only surpassed by communication breakdowns, which ranked first. In a similar vein, nearly half (49 per cent) of Next Gens reported to be worried about their health.
Notable proportions of Next Gens also expressed concerns with regard to caring for their aging parents. Thirty-nine per cent reported feeling concerned about having adequate time, while 17 per cent reported concerns about who would accept primary responsibility for their care, and 9 per cent expressed concerns regarding an awareness of the health care system.
While this statistical data was collected prior to the World Health Organization’s declaration of Covid-19 as a global pandemic, follow-up interviews were conducted after the initial announcement. In these interviews, Next Gens spoke about how their families have been dealing with the pandemic. While some families have been addressing the crisis head-on by working in hospitals, others have been focusing their

philanthropic efforts to combat the disease, or re-evaluating their investment strategies given the financial turbulence caused by the crisis.
Succession planning remains a priority for UHNW families, with 67 per cent currently having a plan in place, while one third (33 per cent) are either without plans or have Next Gens with no knowledge of existing plans. Just over one quarter (28 per cent) of Next Gens believe their families are somewhat or very unprepared for succession.