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Philanthropy: the ones to watch

The Carnegie and Rockefeller families may have been among the forefathers of modern day philanthropy, but who is following in their footsteps?
Which ultra-wealthy donors look set to give away the most money in the future?

The Carnegie and Rockefeller families may have been among the forefathers of modern day philanthropy, but who is following in their footsteps?

Research company Wealth-X reckons it knows. It has released a list of the “global top 20 emerging mega donors” – based on ultra-wealthy people’s efforts to “emulate forebearers of modern major giving”.

China’s Wenzai Huang topped the list, giving away almost 6% of his $1 billion fortune. He was followed by SAP co-founder Hans-Werner Hector (3.53%) and American Terrence Pegula (3.03%), who made his money in natural gas and is now known for his donations to college sporting causes. Gennady Borisovich Bogolyubov (2.90%) from Ukraine and property magnet Jianlin Wang (1.65%) made up the remaining top five.

Asians dominated the list – seven of the top 20 were from India or China, while 20% came from the US. Higher education was the most popular cause, followed by health and social programmes.

The research also found that mega donors gave on average 9.9% of their income to philanthropic causes compared to the average American’s 4.7%.

President of Wealth-X David Friedman said: “The top 20 mega donors represent a total net worth of $65.4 billion, less than 1% of combined global UHNW wealth. Clearly there is opportunity for greater giving globally.” 

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