Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#113 Peter Woo $12.3B

Random fact: Founded and developed Hong Kong's first cable-TV system.

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. The publicly traded group had revenue of HK$71 billion ($9.1 billion) in 2017. He also has investments in cable television, telecommunications and port facilities.

As of April 21, 2018:
Last change -$49.2M (-0.4%)
YTD change +$437M (+3.7%)
Industry Real Estate
Biggest asset 20 HK Equity
Citizenship Hong Kong
Age 71
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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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
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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 subsidiaries Wharf Holdings and Wheelock Properties Singapore. Wharf owns the Harbour City and Times Square malls in Hong Kong, as well as office complexes and the city’s cable TV operator. 

Woo owns 62 percent of Wheelock, according to a 2017 annual report and company filings with the Hong Kong exchange in December 2017. His shares are held through trusts and more than 10 holding companies registered in the British Virgin Islands.

He's collected more than $HK10 billion ($1.3 billion) from dividends through December 2017, based on an analysis of company filings and Bloomberg data. The value of his cash investments is based on these proceeds, as well as insider transactions, taxes and market performance.

He retains a 6 percent stake in the Italian shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo, and has stakes in Chongqing-based developer Longfor Properties and Hong Kong-based retailer Joyce Boutique. These are held through various investment companies registered in the British Virgin Islands. 

Agnes Hui, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for Wheelock, said in December 2017 that 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.

Pao took over another British trading house, Wheelock Marden, three years later in a corporate raid that included 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 the group's 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 Woo is born in Shanghai.
  • 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.
  • 2007 Steps down from Trade Development Council to run Wharf.
  • 2015 Son Douglas takes over as chairman of Wheelock.