Friday, May 31, 2013
Fong Yun Wah, the 88-year-old billionaire ranked No. 21 on the Forbes Hong Kong Rich List, has quietly implemented the succession of his property investment company, Hip Shing Hong, in a place where succession plans don’t always work out.
Yun Wah has handed off much of the management of the Hong Kong family-controlled business to his 55-year-old son, David. Part of this successful succession was the “incremental additions of responsibility by the father to the son and careful attention to unspoken signals between the son and father.”
When it was time for David to take care of the family business, he noticed that business was good, but the company was outdated. His father let him implement his own business plans without talking too much about succession strategy. The father would only correct his son if he sensed he was heading in the wrong direction.
Yun Wah was also willing to discuss what should happen upon his death, an uneasy subject in their culture. Because of his openness, there is a rough framework for how his wealth will be distributed as well as a framework for the management of Hip Shing Hong going forward.
See Russell Flannery, One Hong Kong Billionaire’s Succession Approach: Skip the “Blah, Blah, Blah”, Forbes, May 27, 2013.