How the Handover from Boomers to Gen Z Will Revolutionize Capitalism
In the next ten years there will be an unprecedented wealth transfer from the so-called ‘baby boomer’ generation to the young. There is no escaping this seismic event and, in fact, the transfer has already begun. Never before will so much money – in housing, land, stocks and cash – be shifted so suddenly from one generation to the next, and never before does the next generation feel so differently about the future of the planet and of capitalism from its predecessors.
Ken Costa is one of the top five dealmakers in Europe over the past 25 years and a veteran investor formerly of UBS Investment Bank and Lazard International, and currently Alvarium. With his experience at the pinnacle of the finance community combined with his role as a mentor and coach for this new generation, Ken Costa is uniquely placed to both share the perspective of Boomers and comment on the vital contributions and remarkable societal and economic change that Gen Z and Millennials (“Zennials”) will bring about. In his book, Costa shows how environmental, social and ethical concerns of younger generations are more than mere slogans; instead they are driving the future of the markets.
As the wealth transfer takes place, Zennials will have the political and financial power, innovative technology and influence to throw out the past and implement the future they want. With constant exposure to social media and the 24h global news cycle, they have developed a unique sense of compassion and collectively high moral standards. Through the youthening of the world, this generation will become the dominant voices in shareholder meetings, determining public policy, pressuring institutions and governments into changing course. For such institutions to survive, they will have to take the demands of younger generations into account.
How can we resolve these profound tensions if we live in generational silos? According to Costa, we will need the wisdom and experience of Boomers – Hindsight – plus the social, ethical and environmental purpose motivating Zennials – Insight – to allow us to work together with Foresight. Costa argues that we must create a more inclusive, purposeful, and socially energised capitalism through “CO”: collaboration, compassion and community. Without CO and inter-generational engagement, we are at massive risk of repeating mistakes that led to the political extremism of the 20th century.
For readers of Rebecca Henderson’s Reimagining Capitalism, and Rutger Bregman’s Utopia for Realists, as well as business leaders and tech watchers, this is what the future of capitalism looks like, how our current systems may be upended, and above all how Boomers must work with the invigorating and inspiring young, who see their mission not just to increase value for shareholders, but to save the planet from humanity’s disastrous last 40 years. The 100 Trillion Dollar Wealth Transfer is the essential guide for navigating the future of capitalism and the once-in-a-generation shift that is coming.
About the Author
Ken Costa is an author, philanthropist, thought leader and investment banker who has been chairman of three major global investment institutions: UBS Investment Bank, Lazard International and currently Alvarium Investments, a global $20bn multi-family investment office. Alongside his finance career, Ken has been heavily involved in various not-for-profit organisations including the Advisory Board of the London Symphony Orchestra and Trustee of the Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Fund. In 2023, he was awarded the Canterbury Cross by the Archbishop of Canterbury. He created the highly successful Tick Tock Club for Great Ormond Street Hospital which has raised £45.8m for the hospital. He is Emeritus Professor of Commerce at Gresham College and has been a contributor to The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Times and The Telegraph, and has appeared on the flagship BBC World show “Hard Talk” and the Today Programme. He is married to Dr Fiona Costa, with whom he has four adult children.