UHNWs and COVID-19: Who are the billionaires paving the way for recovery?

209 billionaires donated a total of $7.2BN to the coronavirus pandemic during March and June 2020.

The contributions split between financial donations, manufactured equipment and future commitments were led by the USA with 98 philanthropists donating a total of $4.6BN. They were followed by China with 12 donors and both India and the UK with 9 according to the recent report by UBS and PwC.

175 billionaires gave a collective $5.5BN to support foundations, NGOs, hospitals, and hotels for emergency workers while 24 converted manufacturing production to make Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and devices such as ventilators. A further 10 billionaires have specifically targeted impacts such as building production for vaccines.

The next generation of disruptive entrepreneurs are also set to repair the damage through emerging technology, especially within pharmaceuticals. Healthcare billionaires have had their total wealth increased by 50.3% to $658.6 BN, boosted by innovation in diagnostics and the recent BioNTech vaccine funded by Single Family Office, Athos Service GmbH.

But who are the faces behind the numbers?

We have seen headlines of Roman Abramovich offering his 231-room Millennium Hotel as accommodation for local medical workers, the £20m ventilator project led by James Dyson and the ventilator consortium made of the likes of Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Airbus. We have also seen Alibaba donate 1.1m test kits, 6m masks and 60,000 protective suits and shields while distilleries like BrewDog converted their usual beer, whisky and rum production lines into hand-sanitiser stations.

But while we have seen the work of companies and their founders – we still know little about the billionaires across the world who have personally donated to the cause. Over the next three months will be working to create a thought-leadership series specifically in their honour, exploring the billionaires who have donated and the impact their donation has had on global recovery.

Have you donated to the coronavirus pandemic or do you know someone who has? Please get in touch and join the conversation – who are the billionaires paving the way for recovery?