The first billionaires from outside the U.S. on Tuesday announced they would donate at least half of their wealth to philanthropy, joining the Giving Pledge initiative started by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates.
The twelve new signatories include U.K. entrepreneur Richard Branson, Russian nickel and media mogul Vladimir Potanin and India’s software magnate Azim Premji. A total of 105 families from nine countries have now signed the pledge, according to an e-mailed statement from the initiative.
“I genuinely believe that wealth should work for the public good,” Potanin said in a letter to the Giving Pledge. “The decision I made is not just an attempt to be remembered as a philanthropist. I also see it as a way to protect my children from the burden of the extreme wealth, which may deprive them of any motivation to achieve anything in life on their own.”
The other new participants announced were John Caudwell, Chris and Jamie Cooper-Hohn, Andrew and Nicola Forrest, Mo Ibrahim, Patrice and Precious Motsepe, Victor Pinchuk, Hasso Plattner, David Sainsbury and Vincent Tan Chee Yioun.
Members of the Giving Pledge commit to give away at least half their wealth to charitable organizations and philanthropic causes. Co-founder Buffett, 82, is the fourth-richest person on the planet with a net worth of $53.5 billion, according to Bloomberg’s daily ranking. Gates, 57, has a fortune of $66.2 billion.