Hong Kong’s Richest Man Retires

Commenting on Li Ka-shing’s retirement, Prof. Joseph Fan told Financial Times “no one can replace him, and it remains to be observed how his retirement will affect the productivity and value of Li’s global empire.”

Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong’s richest man, is formally passing the reins of his US$100 billion retail, infrastructure and property empire to Victor Li, his elder son, after announcing his retirement on 16 March 2018. Li Ka-shing is known in Hong Kong as “Superman” for his dealmaking prowess.

A test of a succession plan that has been decades in the making, Li’s resignation is also a symbolic turning point for Hong Kong, where the economy has long been dominated by a coterie of tycoons.

“No one can replace Li Ka-shing,” said Joseph Fan, Professor of School of Accountancy and Department of Finance at The Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School, commenting on the tycoon’s retirement in an interview with Financial Times. “It remains to be observed how his retirement will affect the productivity and value of the Li empire.”

Victor Li, who studied engineering at Stanford University, has long been groomed to take over and like all second-generation tycoons, he will struggle to emerge from his father’s shadow.

Prof. Fan said part of the reason Li has rebalanced his investments from China and Hong Kong into more developed markets — a move that was criticised by Chinese state media as unpatriotic — is to lay the groundwork for the succession.

“Victor has always done much better in developed markets, where relationships are less important and property rights are better protected,” added Prof. Fan… Read More (PDF)

This article was also translated into Chinese and published in the Financial Times Chinese channel. Please click here (PDFs in simplified and traditional Chinese) to read the story.

The Financial Times story was widely reprinted/picked up by media publications around the world including La Repubblica (PDF) from Italy; Dagens Industri (PDF) from Sweden; and CafeF (PDF) from Vietnam.

Source: Financial Times
Date published: 16 March, 2018

Photo: Bloomberg