Who is Lee Shau Kee?
Lee Shau-kee is a renowned Hong Kong business magnate who has made an indelible mark on the city’s economic and social landscape.
Born in Guangdong, China, Lee grew up in Hong Kong. He began his career as a teacher before venturing into the property development industry in the 1960s. He founded Sun Hung Kai Properties, which has since become one of the largest property developers in Hong Kong and a significant player in the global real estate market.
Lee has also diversified his business interests and investments, including in the finance, utilities, and infrastructure sectors. His life story is a testament to the power of hard work, innovation, and social responsibility, and his legacy continues to inspire generations of entrepreneurs.
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Lee Shau Kee Personal Info
Name: Lee Shau Kee
DOB: March 7, 1928
Birthplace: Shunde, Guangdong, China.
Education: University of Hong Kong
Wife/Partner: Lau Wai-kuen
Hometown: Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Famous As: The King of Hong Kong’s property market and one of the wealthiest people in Asia.
Lee Shau Kee’s Early Life
Lee Shau Kee was born on March 7, 1928, in Shunde, Guangdong, China. He was the youngest of six children. Lee’s father was a businessman who owned a small grocery store, while his mother was a homemaker.
Lee’s family moved to Hong Kong when he was three years old. They settled in Sai Ying Pun, a district on Hong Kong Island.
Lee’s family was not wealthy, and they struggled to make ends meet. He was a bright student and excelled academically, but he also worked part-time jobs to help support his family.
Throughout his life, Lee remained close to his family and was known for his humility and generosity.
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Lee Shau Kee’s Education
Despite facing financial challenges, Lee Shau-kee was able to pursue higher education and develop his skills in economics and finance.
After completing his secondary education, Lee attended St. Paul’s College, a prestigious secondary school in Hong Kong. He was known for his academic excellence and was awarded a scholarship to attend the University of Hong Kong.
At the University of Hong Kong, Lee earned a degree in economics. He was a diligent student and was often seen studying late into the night. During his university years, Lee became interested in the stock market and began investing in stocks.
After completing his undergraduate degree, Lee continued his education by earning a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from the University of Chicago. His MBA studies provided him with a strong foundation in finance and management, which would later prove invaluable in his career as a businessman.
In addition to his formal education, Lee also pursued continuing education and professional development throughout his career. He attended executive education programs at Harvard Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, among others.
Lee’s education was a critical factor in his success in the business world. His understanding of economics, finance, and management allowed him to make smart investments and build successful businesses.
Lee Shau Kee’s Career
Lee Shau Kee founded several successful companies throughout his career.
After completing his education, Lee briefly worked for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) before deciding to pursue a career in property development. He gained valuable experience working for various property development firms before establishing his own company.
In 1963, Lee founded his own property development company, Sun Hung Kai Properties, with partners Kwok Tak-seng and Fung King-hey. At the time, the company had only three staff members and limited resources. However, Lee’s vision and entrepreneurial spirit helped the company grow rapidly.
Under Lee’s leadership, Sun Hung Kai Properties became one of the largest property developers in Hong Kong, with a portfolio of high-end residential, commercial, and industrial properties. The company also expanded its operations globally, with projects in mainland China, Singapore, and the United States, among others.
In addition to his involvement in property development, Lee also pursued other business ventures throughout his career. He invested in companies in the finance, utilities, and infrastructure sectors, among others.
One notable example is Henderson Land Development Company, which Lee acquired in the early 1990s. Under his leadership, Henderson Land became one of the largest property developers in Hong Kong, with a diverse portfolio of properties and businesses.
Throughout his career, Lee has emphasized the importance of social responsibility in business. He believes that businesses have a responsibility to contribute to the communities in which they operate and to promote sustainable development.
Lee’s career is a testament to his vision, hard work, and dedication to social responsibility.
Lee Shau Kee’s Net Worth
Lee Shau Kee’s net worth has fluctuated over the years, but he has consistently been one of the wealthiest people in Hong Kong and Asia. As of April 5, 2023, Lee Shau Kee has a real-time net worth of $29.3 billion, according to Forbes.
Lee’s wealth is primarily derived from his ownership of Sun Hung Kai Properties. Sun Hung Kai Properties has a diverse portfolio of high-end residential, commercial, and industrial properties in Hong Kong and other parts of the world. In addition to his holdings in Sun Hung Kai Properties, Lee also has investments in other companies and industries.
Lee’s net worth has been impacted by fluctuations in the property market and broader economic trends. However, he has been able to maintain his wealth by diversifying his investments and pursuing a conservative approach to debt.
Lee Shau Kee’s net worth is a reflection of his entrepreneurial spirit and innovative approach to business. His success continues to inspire future generations of entrepreneurs and philanthropists.
Lee Shau Kee’s Personal Life
Lee Shau Kee is known for his calm and composed demeanor, as well as his sharp analytical mind. He is a strategic thinker and able to make quick decisions in high-pressure situations.
Outside of business, Lee enjoys reading and has a keen interest in Chinese history and culture. He is an avid golfer and enjoys playing the sport in his free time.
Lee is also known for his humility and modesty, despite his immense wealth and success. He is highly respected in Hong Kong for his philanthropic efforts and his commitment to social responsibility. Lee is also known for his strong work ethic and his dedication to his family.
While Lee Shau Kee is primarily known for his business acumen, his personal life is a testament to his well-rounded character and commitment to his family and community.
Lee Shau Kee’s Parents
Lee Shau Kee was born into a humble family. His parents were farmers who lived in a small village near the city of Shunde. While little is known about his parents, their influence on Lee’s upbringing and values cannot be understated.
Lee’s father was a hard-working farmer who instilled in him a strong work ethic and a commitment to excellence. His mother, meanwhile, was a loving and nurturing figure who provided him with emotional support and encouragement.
Growing up in rural China, Lee and his family faced numerous challenges, including poverty and political instability. After the Communist takeover of China in 1949, Lee’s family fled to Hong Kong in search of a better life.
Despite the challenges of starting over in a new country, Lee’s parents continued to support him in his education and career aspirations. Their sacrifices and support laid the foundation for Lee’s success.
Lee has spoken fondly of his parents in interviews, often citing their influence on his personal and professional life. He credits them for instilling in him a sense of empathy and a commitment to helping others.
Lee Shau Kee’s Siblings
Lee Shau Kee was born into a family of five children, including himself. While little is known about his siblings, here is what we do know:
- Lee Cheung Tee, Lee’s elder brother, was a successful businessman in Hong Kong and was the founder of the Cheung Kong Group. Lee Cheung Tee passed away in 1995.
- Lee Tat Man, Lee’s younger brother, is a successful businessman and was a co-founder of Sun Hung Kai Properties alongside Lee Shau Kee. He served as the deputy chairman of the company until his retirement in 2008.
- Lee Wai Man, Lee’s younger sister, is the chairperson of the Lee Kum Kee Family Foundation and has been recognized for her contributions to social welfare and education.
Little is known about Lee’s other siblings, including his second elder brother and his second younger sister.
Lee Shau Kee’s Wife (Partner)
Lee Shau Kee has been married to his wife, Lau Wai-kuen, for over 60 years until she died in 1985. The couple has four children and several grandchildren. Here is what we know about Lee Shau Kee’s family life.
Lee Shau Kee and Lau Wai-kuen met in Hong Kong in the 1950s and were married in 1958. Wong was a kindergarten teacher at the time, and their marriage marked the beginning of a long and successful partnership.
Lee has often credited his wife for her support and guidance throughout their marriage, particularly during the early years of his career. He has described her as a loving and caring partner who has played an important role in his personal and professional success.
Despite their busy schedules and professional commitments, Lee and Wong have remained committed to their family life. They have often spoken of the importance of family values and have worked to instill those values in their children and grandchildren.
Lee and Wong have also been active in philanthropic causes throughout their marriage. They have established several charitable foundations, including the Lee Shau Kee Foundation and the Tung Lin Kok Yuen Foundation, which support a range of educational, cultural, and social welfare initiatives in Hong Kong and China.
Lee Shau Kee’s marriage and family life have played an important role in shaping his values and priorities. His partnership with his wife and their commitment to family and philanthropy have helped create a legacy of success and social responsibility that continues to inspire future generations.
Lee Shau Kee Children
Lee Shau-kee has four children, two sons and two daughters.
Martin Lee Ka-shing
Martin Lee is the eldest son of Lee Shau-kee. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School.
Martin is the chairman and CEO of Henderson Land Development Company, which is one of Hong Kong’s largest property developers. He is also the chairman of The Hong Kong and China Gas Company Limited and a non-executive director of numerous other companies.
Peter Lee Ka-kit
Peter Lee is the second son of Lee Shau Kee and is also a successful businessman. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern California and a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School.
Peter is the vice-chairman of Henderson Land Development Company and serves as the chairman of several other companies, including The Hong Kong Ferry (Holdings) Company Limited and Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited.
However, Little is known about Lee Shau Kee’s two daughters, as they tend to keep a low profile. It is believed that they have also pursued successful careers in business and finance.
Lee Shau Kee’s Challenges and Obstacles
Throughout his life and career, Lee Shau Kee has faced numerous challenges and obstacles that have tested his resilience and determination.
- Poverty: Lee Shau Kee grew up in a poor family in Guangdong, China. His father died when he was just three years old, and his mother struggled to make ends meet. Lee had to drop out of school at the age of 12 to help support his family.
- Political Turmoil: During the Chinese Civil War, Lee and his family fled to Hong Kong as refugees. They faced many hardships, including a lack of food and shelter. Lee started working odd jobs, including selling food on the streets, to support his family.
- Early Business Failures: Lee Shau Kee faced several setbacks in his early business ventures. He lost money in a textile trading company he started in the 1950s, and he also struggled with a trading business that specialized in imports and exports.
- Legal Issues: In 2014, Lee Shau Kee was embroiled in a legal battle with his former business partner, Raymond Kwok, over the ownership of Sun Hung Kai Properties. The case was eventually settled out of court, but it caused some upheaval in the company and raised questions about Lee’s leadership and succession planning.
Despite these challenges, Lee Shau Kee has remained focused and resilient, continuing to build his business empire. His success story is a testament to the power of hard work, perseverance, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
Lee Shau Kee Accomplishments
Lee Shau Kee has achieved numerous accomplishments throughout his life and career.
- Co-Founding Sun Hung Kai Properties: In 1963, Lee Shau Kee co-founded Sun Hung Kai Properties, which has since become one of the largest property development companies in Hong Kong. The company has developed many iconic buildings and landmarks, including the International Commerce Centre, the tallest building in Hong Kong.
- Philanthropic Contributions: Lee Shau Kee is a well-known philanthropist who has donated millions of dollars to support education, medical research, and social welfare initiatives in Hong Kong and China. He has established several charitable foundations, including the Lee Shau Kee Foundation and the Tung Lin Kok Yuen Foundation.
- Business Ventures: In addition to Sun Hung Kai Properties, Lee Shau Kee has been involved in numerous other business ventures throughout his career. He has invested in finance, energy, and infrastructure companies, among others.
- Leadership Roles: Lee Shau Kee has served as a leader and mentor to many businesspeople and entrepreneurs in Hong Kong and beyond. He has been a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a political advisory body in China, and he has held leadership positions in numerous business and community organizations.
Lee Shau-kee’s accomplishments are a testament to his entrepreneurial spirit, business acumen, and commitment to social responsibility. His legacy will continue to inspire future generations of leaders and innovators.
Lee Shau Kee Recognition and Awards
Lee Shau Kee has received numerous honors and awards throughout his career, recognizing his contributions to business, philanthropy, and society.
- Asia Game Changer Lifetime Achievement Award (2016): Recognized for his contributions to business and philanthropy in Asia.
- Global CSR Summit Lifetime Achievement Award (2015): Recognized for his contributions to corporate social responsibility in Asia.
- Honorary Doctorate, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (2011): Awarded for his contributions to business and philanthropy.
- Honorary Doctorate, Chinese University of Hong Kong (2011): Awarded for his contributions to education and philanthropy.
- Honorary Doctorate, University of Hong Kong (2010): Awarded for his contributions to business and philanthropy.
- Honorary Fellow, Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (2009): Awarded for his contributions to medical education and research.
- Grand Bauhinia Medal (2008): The highest honor in Hong Kong, awarded to individuals for their significant contributions to the city.
- Gold Bauhinia Star (1998): Awarded for his contributions to the development of Hong Kong.
- Order of the British Empire (1998): Awarded for his contributions to Hong Kong and the UK.
- Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (1997): Recognized for his achievements as an entrepreneur in Hong Kong.
- World Chinese Business Leaders Awards (multiple years): Recognized for his achievements in business and leadership.
Lee Shau Kee’s life story is one that inspires and entertains. From his humble beginnings to his incredible success in business, he has proven to be a true game-changer.
Lee Shau Kee has made an indelible mark on the world, and his legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.
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