Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#198 Jay Y Lee $7.55B

Random fact: Samsung Group sales equivalent to about a fifth of South Korea's GDP.


Lee is the son of Korean billionaire Lee Kun-Hee and vice chairman of Samsung Electronics. The publicly traded maker of televisions, personal computers and mobile phones had revenue of 201.9 trillion won ($174 billion) in 2016. He's also the largest shareholder of Samsung C&T, the holding company that controls the Samsung Group conglomerate.

As of July 24, 2017:
Last change +$83.4M (+1.1%)
YTD change +$1.85B (+32.5%)
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 $7.55B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Lee's fortune is derived from his 16.5 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 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' 2016 semi-annual reports. He holds shares in each of the companies directly.

Lee's cash and other assets are based on an analysis of dividends, insider transactions, taxes and market performance. It includes his share of the $400 million in proceeds from the sale of closely held investment manager Samsung Asset Management to Samsung Life in May 2014, a transaction disclosed in Korean stock exchange filings.

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


Birthdate: 6/23/1968
Family: Divorced, 2 children
Education: Keio University, MBA Seoul National University, History, Bachelor's Degree 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. To prepare for the succession, Samsung is undergoing a restructuring, including a public listing of Samsung SDS in November 2014.

  • 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 Meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Seoul.
  • 2014 Samsung Everland is renamed Cheil Industries.
  • 2014 Cheil Industries issues price range for shares in IPO.