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Published by: Maya Imberg
Published on:

Connections to billionaires

Published by: Maya Imberg
Published on:
Altrata explores the individuals who have the most connections to billionaires.

Connecting to, developing a relationship with and ultimately onboarding a billionaire as a client or donor typically requires time and a highly individualized approach. The very wealthy — let alone billionaires — typically have great demands on their time, face far more marketing pressures and, consequently, have very specific and exacting standards. Needs and necessities play a very small part in their decision-making process so forging an emotional connection is key.

While an actual request — whether philanthropic, financial, experiential or materialistic — needs to be clear and appealing to a billionaire, a warm introduction can almost be considered a prerequisite for engaging an individual with this level of wealth.

The value of a billionaire client or donor as an introducer to other valuable prospects is often overlooked

Yet, once they become a client or donor, their value as an introducer to other billionaire and wealthy prospects is often overlooked. RelSci and Wealth-X data show that of the 1,000 individuals who are most well connected to billionaires, over a third are billionaires themselves and many others are ultra wealthy.

Over the course of their careers, billionaires forge connections with large numbers of wealthy and influential individuals through the building and running of their businesses, serving on the boards of companies or not-for-profit organizations, their M&A deals and personal introductions at corporate and leisure events, during vacations and in other ways.

Some billionaires have more connections to fellow billionaires than others – some even more than Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos

The number of these connections can be considerable. For example, analysis of high-profile billionaires using Altrata’s RelSci and Wealth-X databases show that David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-chairman of the Carlyle Group, has a direct connection to more than 74 fellow billionaires. Interestingly, along with billionaire Henry Kravis of KKR, these two financiers have significantly more billionaire connections than billionaires such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. Nevertheless, all these individuals have created very large and valuable networks.

Connected US billionaires - Number of direct professional and personal connections to other billionaires (at a minimum)
Note: Connections are based on shared professional, personal and civic experiences, such as current or historical overlapping careers, contacts and board overlaps, among others. Direct connections, or first-degree connections, are direct links between individuals. Relationships are based on those with a ‘strong’ likelihood of relationship, as RelSci also creates paths of connection using lower likelihood connections.

An organization’s wealthy clients or donors are more than just this; their personal connections to other wealthy individuals present opportunities for such organizations to connect with, develop relationships with and eventually acquire additional valuable clients or donors. Organizations that harness the power of these connections stand to make a significant difference in achieving their commercial, organizational or philanthropic objectives.

Engaging Billionaires: Time, Tailoring, and Resonance

It’s probably not worth your time using a conventional sales approach when prospecting billionaires. Instead, approaching them with a detailed strategy that takes into account their time, a tailored message and internal resonance is going to be significantly more successful.


For billionaires, time is an unparalleled asset. The traditional sales approach, marked by generic pitches and persistence, is likely to fall flat. Instead, the strategy needs to acknowledge and respect their time constraints. Remember, everyone wants to pull on these people and your approach needs to reflect that.

This involves pinpointing the opportune moments for engagement and ensuring that each interaction is meaningful. Getting regular reports on these high-profile individuals and the news that surrounds them can help the prospecting process by targeting key moments for pitches and introductions that don’t get passed off to assistants only to be forgotten.


Billionaires are not swayed by generic propositions. Tailoring a message to align with their specific interest and goals is key. Ultimately, this sort of “bespoke billionaire tailoring” requires in-depth research into their philanthropic history, business interests and personal passions. Platforms like Altrata give organizations access to comprehensive data. With tailored data comes a tailored approach and higher chances for a warm connection to a billionaire.

Speak their language and understand what sorts of things motivate them.


Beyond tailored messages, the resonance factor plays a pivotal role. Engaging billionaires is not just about showcasing external value but about building an internal connection. Understanding their motivations, vision and personal aspirations allows organizations to craft more compelling narratives.

For example, creating a donor shortlist for a new medical campus (let’s say for cutting-edge memory research) could target billionaires who have given to Alzheimer’s causes in the past. Most importantly, however, people (billionaires included) give to things they care about. Extrapolating this out, it’s important to look at an individual’s giving history and their interests to determine the causes they will likely respond to.

Perhaps most crucial, this resonance fosters a genuine connection that goes beyond a transactional relationship. Long-term business and personal relationships are created through connection, and connection stems from shared values.

Ready to See Your Direct Connections to Billionaires?

Altrata offers the best tools to foster connections with the ultra wealthy, as well as the platforms to manage them as clients or donors.

  • Access curated data on billionaire interests, passions, and hobbies
  • Map relationships for warm introductions to billionaires
  • Manage billionaire relationships for long-term success and further business development

Talk to an Altrata expert today to schedule a free Live Demo.