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#136 Seo Jung-Jin $10.6B

Random fact: Lost his job as an auto industry executive during Asian financial crisis.


Seo is the founder and chairman of Celltrion, a South Korean manufacturer of generic medical products made from living cells. The Incheon-based company is publicly traded and had revenue of 670.6 billion won ($578.3 million) in 2016. One of Celltrion's most successful drugs is Remsima, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

As of March 21, 2018:
Last change +$338M (+3.3%)
YTD change +$1.93B (+22.3%)
Industry Health Care
Biggest asset 068270 KS Equity
Citizenship Korea, Republic of
Age 60
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Seo Jung-Jin's net worth of $10.6B 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

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Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Seo's fortune is derived from Celltrion, a publicly traded manufacturer and distributor of biological pharmaceuticals based in Incheon, South Korea. The company reported revenue of 670.6 billion won ($578.3 million) in 2016, according to its 2016 annual report. 

Seo owns 20 percent stake of the business through two holding companies, Celltrion Holdings and Celltrion Skincure, in which he controls 93.9 percent and 69.7 percent stakes, respectively, according to a September 2017 filing submitted by the company. Pledged shares held through the two holding companies are removed from the net worth calculation.

He also has a 37 percent stake in Celltrion Healthcare, which markets, sells and distributes drugs made by Celltrion, directly and through Celltrion Skincure, according to the company's November 2017 filing.

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of dividends, insider transactions, taxes and market performance.

A Celltrion Inc. spokesman declined to comment on Seo's net worth.


Birthdate: 10/23/1957
Family: Married, 2 children
Education: Konkuk University Master's Degree, Business Administration, Konkuk University

Seo was born in Chungju in South Korea's North Chungchung Province in 1957 and graduated with a degree in industrial engineering from Konkuk University in Seoul in 1983.

Seo worked at two South Korean chaebols, Samsung and Daewoo, before starting his own business. He lost his job as a strategic adviser at Daewoo Motor in 1999 during the Asian financial crisis.

After leaving Daewoo, Seo flew to San Francisco seeking inspiration for a new business. During his stay at a $70-a-night hotel, he chanced upon a discussion on biosimilars, a term used to describe generic copies of biological drugs, according to the Financial Times. He subsequently decided to enter the industry.

Seo set up Celltrion in 2002 in a joint venture with San Francisco-based Vax Gen. Other initial investors included Nexol Corp., Korean Tobacco and Ginseng. Its first manufacturing plant was completed in 2005. The closely held business became a listed one the the following year when it took over publicly-traded ORChem.

Celltrion had a breakthrough in July 2013, when its rheumatoid arthritis treatment, Remsima, a copycat of Merck's Remicade, got approval from the European Medicines Agency.

Seo stepped down as chief executive of Celltrion in 2013 and remains the company's chairman.

  • 1986 Emplyed at Korean Productivity center as a consultant.
  • 2002 Seo founds Celltrion.
  • 2008 Celltrion goes public on the Kosdaq market.
  • 2010 Draws investment from Singapore state fund Temasek Holdings.
  • 2013 Celltrion's biosimilar drug Remsima gets approved by the EMA.
  • 2013 European sales of Remsima commence.
  • 2017 Celltrion Healthcare goes public with an IPO.
  • 2017 Celltrion decides moving to the main bourse Kospi from the Kosdaq.