The world’s financial elite are descending on the small Swiss town of Davos this weekend for the 48th World Economic Forum (WEF).
Among them are some of the richest and most powerful people in the world.
Such is the wealth of this year’s speaker line up that — while Davos is known to attract the world’s richest business and political leaders — a small minority of multi-billionaires drastically raises the average wealth.
One of the themes of the Davos gathering this year is “to deliver sustainable and inclusive economic development” which, as WealthInsight’s Oliver Williams noted, is likely to include addressing issues of wealth inequality.
The three wealthiest speakers at Davos this year are Microsoft founder Bill Gates, with a net worth of $72.7bn, Alibaba founder and chief executive Jack Ma, with a net worth of $47bn, and US investor and hedge fund manager Ray Dalio, with a net worth of $14.1bn.
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US president Donald Trump caused a stir when it was revealed earlier this month he would be attending this year’s Davos meeting – known as a globalist convention at odds with Trump’s American-First policy. Trump is expected to deliver a keynote address towards the end of the conference. He is the sixth richest speaker at this year’s WEF.
The uber-rich that dominate the list of speakers this year mean that the average net worth of those speaking at the WEF in 2018 is $414.3m, slightly down from $469.5m in 2017.
The average net worth among Davos speakers in 2016 was $358.5m.
WealthInsight’s head of research Oliver Williams said:
With an average wealth of almost half a billion per speaker, this year’s World Economic Forum has one of its most wealthy line-ups.
With as many as 12 billionaires set to lecture Davos this year, the average wealth of each of the 433 speakers is skewed into the hundreds of millions. The net worth of businessmen such as Bill Gates and Jack Ma dwarfs that of the many journalists, academics and writers, pushing the speakers’ average to over $400m.
Speakers discussing this year’s theme, Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World, are bound to address issues of wealth inequality. But coming from such a wealthy panel, many will struggle to take them seriously.