Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Six Degrees of Li Ka Shing

Victor Li Tzar-kuoi (李澤鉅 1964-)
Richard Li Tzar-kai (李澤楷 1966-)


The Chongs
One would argue Superman Li might not have taken off without his wife and cousin Amy Chong Yuet-ming (1932-1990.1.1) and his uncle and father in law Chong Ching Um (莊静庵 1908-1995.10.13). The founder of Chung Nam Watch in 1935, Ching Um was a grand doyen in the watch and Chiu Chow business community which gave the young Li a lot of credibility with bankers and customers in his startup days. Yuet-ming being the HKU educated

Although only Kam Hing-lam works for Li, the Chongs are extremely close to the Lis, especially Victor and Richard who were very close to their mother.

Ching Um and his two wives, Yau Bick-Wan and Wong Wai-kwan (莊黃惠君, Richard Li donated $12 million to name the plaza at St Paul Co-Ed Primary School in her honor) have 3 sons and 3 other daughters:

Chong Hok-shan (莊學山): BS McGill, MBA Columbia. Eldest son and chairman of Chung Nam. Current chairman of Chiu Chow Chamber of Commerce and served as chairman of Federation of HK Watch Trade & Industries in the 1980s.

Bob Chong Hok-hoi (莊學海): Managing director of Chung Nam and chairman of HK Watch Manufacturers Association. Involved with TDC and Community Chest and nominated Li's nephew Sunny Chai for Young Industrialist Award in 2004. Serves on MPF Advisory board.

Charles Chong Hok-hei (莊學熹): deputy managing director of Chung Nam and runs ISA Watch, a Swiss quartz movement manufacturer they acquired.

Betty Chong Yuet-wah (莊月華) who is married to Peter Lam How-mun (see below)

Chong Yuet-ching (莊月清) who is married to Kam Hing-lam (甘慶林 1946-). Kam was a former manager at Johnson & Johnson who joined Hutchison as executive director in 1993 to help his brother in law running CK Infrastructure and CK Life Science. The Kam family is a Nam Pak Hong trading family and Hing-lam's sister is married to the brother of Lee Jark-pui SBS OBE JP (李澤培) a banker associated with the HK Chinese Bank (Lippo Group) who is active in civic services as chairman of the Social Services Council (83-85), Agency for Volunteer Service, Legco Councilor and many boards (Hospital Authority etc).

Catherine Chong Yuet-ngai (莊月霓): Single. HKU LLB 1973 PCLL 1974. Senior partner at the law firm Wilkinson & Grist (founded 1860). Committee member of groups which his brother and brother in law chairs.

The Lams

Extension from the Chongs are the Lams, which although might not be in the same league in terms of wealth but certainly not less in terms of influence and achievements. It is through the Lams that LKS would be connected to everyone else discussed in HK Six Degrees.

LKS' brother in law is Peter Lam How-mun (林孝文1947-), grandson of Lam Pong-cheung (林邦祥 1894-1964.2.17) who came from Chiu On (same part of Chiuchow LKS is from) and was an early leader of Nam Pak Hong and the Chiuchow business community. Although Peter was trained as a doctor (HKU MBBS 1972) like his brothers, he went into business by founding Qualipak, a watch packaging manufacturer which is periphery to his in law's business. In recent years, he aligned himself with Cheung Chung-kiu, "the Li Ka-shing of Chongqing" by selling gis firm to the latter and renamed CC Land (中渝置地) where he continues to serve as vice chairman. His siblings are:

Ignatius Lam How-mo (林孝武): HKU MBBS 1975. Internal medicine. Practice in Tak Shing Building. Both him and his sister in law Betty Chong were supporters of Regina Ip's campaign.

James Lam How-kit (林孝傑): Obstetrician. Practice in Melbourne Plaza. He is married to the daughter of low profile real estate billionaire Yeung Yiu-chung (楊耀松 1920-2003, 9 industrial buildings are named after him). Yeung's niece was married to Ronald Ho Yau-ho, a nephew of Stanley Ho which open up a wide range of connections to be covered in "Six Degrees of Stanley Ho"

Monica Lam Sin-ling : Stanford computer science professor since 1988 and is one of the top 50 most cited computer science researchers in the world. She is involved in startups such as Tensilica and moka5.


Peter's uncle Lam Bun-din (林本典1918-) - like Chong Ching Um, was another doyen of the Chiu Chow business community as a long time director of the Chiu Chow Chamber of Commerce, co founder of the HK Real Estate Developers Association and was active in gold and securities dealing in the 1970s and early 1980s. He and his wife Chan Po-shun (陳寶璇 daughter of Chan Ngai-chuen 陳藝川) have children:

Lam Sin-yee (林倩儀) - eldest daughter married on 1965.7.17 in Boston to Chan Yau-yu (陳有瑜), the fourth son of Chan Wing-yum (陳永欽), a fellow director of Chiu Chow Chamber of Commerce of his father. Wing-yum is the eldest son of Chan Ping-nam (陳炳南 1891-1975.4.30), the founder of Chan Man Cheong Bank (陳萬昌銀號) in Sheung-wan in 1921 and one of the last three traditional Chinese banks licensed with the HK government. Ping-nam's second son Wing-tung (陳永桐) is married to Lam Man-lan (林文蘭), the daughter of Lin Kuo-chang (林國長 d.1977) a prominent Thai Chinese businessmen with substantial business interests in Taiwan and Hong Kong. In Taiwan, he was most famous for his Mandarina Crown Hotel (中泰賓館, originally known as the Mandarin Hotel) which was in business for four decades before its closure in 2005. He was also involved in the Chiao Thai Shing Flour Mill and China Sports & Cultural Centre. In Hong Kong he was the founder and chairman of Kowloon Flour Mills, one of the big three flour mills in the territory (other being Hongkong Flour founded by the Sun family and Far East Flour controlled by Deacon Chiu) which he started with fellow Thai Chinese businessman Chin Sophonpanich (father of Robin Chan). Lin's sons and grandchildren has been engaging in multiple feuds over his estate since his death three decades ago. Chan Ping-nam's grand daughter Chan Yau-ling is married to Chen Hsuan-you, the son of Chen Ling-chong, the managing director of Chekiang First Bank and brother of private banker Frank Chen Ching-you (陳睛佑)

Dennis Lam Haw-shun J.P. (林孝信) BSEE U. Washington MBA UCLA. 30 years securities market veteran who was first vice chairman of the Stock Exchange and serves as senior adviser at Mizuho Securities and board member of China Travel, Qin Jia Yuan (Anita Leung's publishing vehicle) and Asia Financial (controlled by fellow Chiuchow banker the Chan/Sophonpanich family)

Judy Tsui Lam Sin Lai (徐林倩麗 1955-): accounting professor and Dean of Faculty of Business of HK PolyU. First Accounting PhD in HK and also Cheung Kong Chair Professor from Ministry of Education (Li connection) Serves on the board of CLP and China Vanke. Married to Andrew Tsui Pui-yan (徐佩恩 1952- CPA), chairman of Korn Ferry's Southern China operations and top headhunter thanks to his extensive family connections. Andrew and his brother John Tsui Pui-lun(1946- famous student leader) are sons of Paul Tsui Ka-cheung, the first Chinese cadet and highest ranking Chinese official in the 1960s (and mentor to most of the senior officials who are in power right now) and grandsons of Peter Tsui Yan-sau, the founder of Wah Yan College which counts Donald Tsang among its notable alumni. Andrew's maternal grandfather Lin Yin-hung 练演雄 was a Republican era general in Kwangtung who fought alongside Hung Le (uncle of Mrs. Pong Ding-yuen)

Bernardine Lam Sin-yu: HKU LLB 1982 PCLL 1983. Group general counsel for Hutchison Whampoa (Li Ka-shing is her cousin's brother in law)

The Wangs/Wongs

Victor's wife Cynthia Wong Fu-shun (王富信) hails from an old money Chiuchow family with long history in the lapiedery business in Swatow under the name of Tak-cheung. Her father Wong Wah-sui's older brother James Wang Wah-cheung (1921-) was nicknamed "Crazy Six" and was thrown into labor camps with my maternal grandfather during the purges of the early 1950s. Like my grandpa he was able to escape to Hong Kong where his wife Beatrice Chen Ping-chun (who was the really astute businesswoman) established Sterling Products in 1955, which specialized in the lucrative niche of children's clothing and turned into a powerhouse via its alliance with Mamiye Brothers, a leading American children's apparel firm. They have two sons: Kenneth Wang Kuk-kei MBE (1947-)who is a doctor by training at Guy's Hospital in the UK but was called to help out the family business and Calvin Wang Kuk-seng (王克承) who has been a dentist since 1971. Kenneth is perhaps best known among DBS old boys as former DSOBA president and served on a number of garment industry groups and chairman of Clothing Industry Training Authority and his daughter Janice managed sister company Alvanon, a maker of precision mannequin:

Richard have a son Ethan in 2009 with Cantopop actress and singer Isabelle Leong (梁洛施 1988- Original name: Luisa Isabella Nolasco da Silva 梁樂瑤). Isabella is a descendant of the prominent Nolasco family (殷理基) in Macau most famous for H. Nolasco & Co which was founded in 1920 and now controlled by the family of former Macau Legco chair Susanna Chou (曹其真).

The Chais

Li's sister Li So-wah (李素華) and her late husband Chai Man-chung (查文宗) worked for him in the plastic business but struck out on their own in 1963 and assisted by their sons John Chai Yat-chiu (查逸超 BBS HKU 1986 MS Northwestern JD Loyola, director of Science Park and Northwestern dentistry professor) and Sunny Chai Ngai-chiu (查毅超 B.S. Rochester 1988) built their Fook Tin Technologies into the world's largest scale manufacturer acquiring leading European brands such as Terraillon, Scaime and Hanson in 2000-02.

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