Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#101 Peter Woo $12.3B

Random fact: Studied math and physics at the University of Cincinnati.

Overview

Woo is the largest shareholder and former chairman of Wheelock & Co., a Hong Kong-based holding company with real estate operations in China, Singapore and the U.K. It also has investments in cable television, telecommunications and port facilities. The publicly traded group had revenue of $7.8 billion in 2016.

As of July 26, 2017:
Last change +$67.2M (+0.6%)
YTD change +$3.07B (+33.2%)
Industry Real Estate
Biggest asset 20 HK Equity
Citizenship Hong Kong
Age 70
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Peter Woo's net worth of $12.3B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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barrels of crude oil

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

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Woo's fortune is derived from his majority stake in Hong Kong property developer Wheelock & Co., which owns shares in its subsidiaries Wharf Holdings and Wheelock Properties Singapore. Wharf owns Hong Kong’s largest malls -- the Harbour City and Times Square -- as well as the city’s cable TV operator and office complexes. Woo owns 61 percent of Wheelock, according to a September 2015 Hong Kong stock exchange filing and the 2015 annual report, which disclosed his full shareholding before he stepped down from his position as chairman. His shares are held through trusts and more than 10 holding companies registered in the British Virgin Islands.

Cash and other investable assets are based on an analysis of dividends, insider transactions, taxes and market performance, and include proceeds from the sale of 3.4 million shares of Salvatore Ferragamo in July 2011. He retains a 6 percent stake in the Italian shoemaker, as well as smaller stakes in Chongqing-based developer Longfor Properties, Hong Kong-based retailer Joyce Boutique and Sun Hung Kai Properties. These are held through various investment companies registered in the British Virgin Islands.

Agnes Hui, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for Wheelock and Wharf, said the billionaire declined to comment on his net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 9/5/1946
Family: Married, 3 children
Education: 1972, Columbia University, MBA

Woo has born in Shanghai in 1946, the only child of an architect and his wife. At age 4, he moved with his family to Hong Kong, which was undergoing a post-war construction boom. Woo attended St. Stephens College Preparatory School, where he played basketball, volleyball and hockey.

His father encouraged him to attend the University of Cincinnati, which had a prestigious architecture school. Woo majored in mathematics and physics, and was elected senior class president. He graduated valedictorian and enrolled in Columbia University's MBA program, where he met his future wife, Bessie Pao, the second of four daughters of Hong Kong shipping magnate Sir Yue-kong Pao. The couple was married in 1973, and Woo took a job at Chase Manhattan Bank.

Pao invited Woo to work for him at World-Wide Shipping Group. His father-in-law shared ownership of Hong Kong & Kowloon Wharf & Godown Co. with the British trading house Jardine Matheson, and outbid his former partner for control in a hostile takeover. He later named it Wharf Holdings. Pao acquired Kowloon waterfront land, the Hong Kong Tramway and the Star Ferry as part of the takeover. He promoted Woo to be chief operating officer of Wharf and vice chairman of Worldwide Shipping in 1982.

Three years later, Pao took over another British trading house, Wheelock Marden, in a corporate raid, acquiring prime real estate in Hong Kong's Central business district plus the Lane Crawford department store. Pao retired in 1986, and named Woo chief executive officer of Wheelock and Wharf. Woo structured Wheelock as his parent company and Wharf as the main subsidiary, and further diversified into cable TV, telecommunications and broadband internet in Hong Kong, and property development in Singapore and China. Pao died in 1991.

Woo's flagship properties -- Harbour City in Kowloon and Times Square in central Hong Kong -- combined attract 9 percent of Hong Kong's retail sales. The two malls represent almost half of his group's business assets.

The billionaire retired as chairman of Wheelock and Wharf on May 19, 2015, according to a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange dated Feb. 16, 2015. He was replaced by his son, Douglas Woo Chun-kuen.

Milestones
  • 1946 Born in Shanghai, the only child of an architect and his wife.
  • 1950 Family moves to Hong Kong.
  • 1970 Graduates from University of Cincinnati in math and physics.
  • 1971 Earns MBA from Columbia University, hired by Chase Manhattan.
  • 1973 Marries Bessie Pao, daughter of shipping magnate Yue-Kong Pao.
  • 1975 Father-in-law offers him a job at World Wide Shipping.
  • 1986 Woo takes over property development business after Pao retires.
  • 2000 Appointed chairman of Hong Kong's Trade Development Council.
  • 2008 Steps down from Trade Development Council to run Wharf.
  • 2014 Son Douglas takes over as chairman of Wheelock.