Hong Kong’s property tycoons are the wealthiest men in the city. Many of them are well into their 80s: Li Ka-shing of Cheung Kong, Lee Shau-kee of Henderson Land, and Cheng Yu-tung of New World Development. But all of them are still involved in running the businesses they helped found.
Wealth experts say Hong Kong is unusual, in that its many self-made billionaires often struggle to turn over the reins of their companies to their heirs. For investors, who like a clear succession plan, the uncertainty is an added risk.
“Once in a while I see an enlightened Joe who opens up the conversation about planning and continuity. But it is rare,” Thelma Kwan, the head of wealth advisory for Asia Pacific at Barclays Wealth, says. “The inability to let go is always there. The reluctance to talk about mortality is always there.”
But increasingly, a younger generation of scions, educated abroad, are getting involved and shaking things up. Take, for example, 32-year-old Adrian Cheng Chi-kong. He’s set to inherit part of the empire carved out by his grandfather, Cheng Yu-tung, whose holdings are worth an estimated $9 billion, according to Forbes magazine. They include the privately held Chow Tai Fook jewelry chain and the Hong Kong-listed New World group, active in property and infrastructure.Page 1 of 6 | Next Page