Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#195 Jay Y Lee $7.92B

Random fact: Prosecutors sought a 12 year sentence for Lee in 2017 bribery case.

Overview

Lee is the son of Korean billionaire Lee Kun-Hee and vice chairman of Samsung Electronics. The publicly traded company had revenue of 201.9 trillion won ($174 billion) in 2016. Lee received a suspended two-and-a-half sentence in February 2018, half the original term given after he was convicted of bribery in August 2017.

As of April 26, 2018:
Last change -$81.2M (-1.0%)
YTD change +$464M (+6.2%)
Industry Diversified
Biggest asset 028260 KS Equity
Citizenship Korea, Republic of
Age 49
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Jay Y Lee's net worth of $7.92B can buy ...

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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of U.S. existing home sales
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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Lee's fortune is derived from a 17.2 percent stake in publicly traded Samsung C&T, the entity that was created following the September 2015 merger of Cheil Industries, the de facto holding company of the Samsung group, and its construction and trading arm. Lee holds the shares directly, according to the company's 2017 third-quarter report.

Lee also owns 9.2 percent of Samsung SDS, a publicly traded information technology services provider, 1.5 percent of Samsung Engineering, and less than 1 percent of publicly traded Samsung Electronics, Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance and Samsung Life, according to the companies' 2017 third-quarter reports. He holds shares in each of the companies directly.

He's collected more than 270 billion won ($250 million) in dividends through February 2018, according to company filings and an analysis of Bloomberg data. The value of his cash investments is based on these dividends, as well as market performance and taxes.

Kevin Cho, a spokesman for Samsung, declined to comment on Lee's net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 6/23/1968
Family: Divorced, 2 children
Education: Keio University, MBA Seoul National University, Bachelor's Degree, History Harvard Business School, PhD

Lee Jae-Yong is the son of Lee Kun-Hee, who transformed his father's fish exporter into Samsung Group, South Korea's largest conglomerate. The younger Lee studied in Seoul before completing his MBA at Tokyo's Keoi University and joining Samsung Electronics in 1991.

Lee helped oversee the unit's rise into the world's biggest maker of smartphones, accumulating a one-quarter stake in closely held Chiel Industries. Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries have been merged since September 2015. The all-stock merger makes Lee the biggest shareholder with an approximate 16.5 percent stake.

His father stepped down as chairman of Samsung after being convicted of tax evasion and breach of trust in 2008, and was indicted for causing losses at Samsung designed to help transfer control of group units to his son. He returned to head the group in 2010 after receiving a presidential pardon. Two years later, Lee's uncle and aunt sued his father to obtain $3.7 billion in Samsung Life and Samsung Electronics stock that they said they were entitled to since their father's death. The case was dismissed in February 2013.

Lee, who divorced in 2009, was made vice chairman of Samsung Electronics in 2012. He's led the company since his father suffered a heart attack in May 2014.

He was convicted in August 2017 and sentenced to five years in jail for crimes including bribery and embezzlement. Lee was accused of providing bribes to former South Korean President, Park Geun-hye. An appeals court allowed him to walk free from prison in February 2018 when it suspended and reduced his sentence.

Milestones
  • 1938 Grandfather sets up Samsung as a food exporter.
  • 1991 Joins Samsung Electronics as vice president of strategic planning.
  • 2008 Father convicted of tax evasion and resigns as chairman of Samsung Electronics.
  • 2009 Reaches out-of-court divorce settlement with Lim Se-Ryeong.
  • 2010 Father returns to Samsung after receiving presidential pardon.
  • 2012 California jury finds Samsung guilty of infringing Apple's patents.
  • 2012 Appointed vice chairman of Samsung Electronics.
  • 2014 Samsung Everland is renamed Cheil Industries.
  • 2017 Sentenced to five year's in prison after being convicted of bribery.