The wealthy see more opportunities than threats in issues such as population growth, changing energy sources and food instability.
That’s according to a study by research firm Scorpio Partnership and wealth management group Kaiser Partner, which found that 66% of the high net worth individuals questioned believed the 10 main “drivers of change” present long-term opportunities.
As well as population growth, food stability and changing energy sources, the drivers of change, as defined by former US vice-president Al Gore and Kaiser Partner in 2005, include environmental change, war, pandemics, scientific and technological revolutions, and globalisation.
A fifth of the 250 individuals surveyed, who were worth an average of $3.5 million (€2.8 million), said they were already taking advantage of the opportunities offered by change, either through their businesses or investments – with science and technology, communications, globalisation and energy sources most popular.
Just over 5% also said they were trying to counter the potential threats such changes could bring through businesses, investments or charitable giving.
When it came to their responsibilities, the wealthy listed family first, followed by civic duty, and obeying laws and regulations. They also ranked giving something back to the community highly.
This contrasted with the views of the traditional wealth advisers questioned, who overestimated “the importance of securing the family’s financial future” and “significantly” underestimated the “urge of wealth creators towards a wider altruism”, according to the report.
“Responsible wealth – in the eyes of wealth creators – is as much about engaging with society at large as it is about protecting one’s own interest,” the research said.
Those questioned came from Germany, Russia, the UK and the US.