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Friday, April 3, 2009

Henry Sy Sr.

Henry Sy Sr.
Born: December 25, 1923

Henry Sy, Sr. (born December 25, 1923) is the founder and chairman of SM Prime Holdings, the largest retailer in the Philippines. He earned his Associate of Arts degree in Commercial Studies at Far Eastern University in 1950. Acknowledged as the country’s "Retail King," he has come a long way from the modest shoe store he set up in Quiapo in 1946, to become Asia's biggest shopping mall operator with 30 malls throughout the Philippines.


He is the Philippines' richest man, gaining 1.4 billion dollars in 2007, amid the global financial crisis. The huge gain was due to his holding company, SM Investments Corp., which has interests in Banco de Oro Universal Bank, inter alia. Forbes magazine's 2008 list of 40 wealthiest Filipinos, revealed the Sy family's net worth was 3.1 billion dollars. Earlier, he was the 2nd wealthiest individual in the Philippines, next to Lucio Tan and (as of 2008) 843rd in the world.[Sy is considered a Tai-Pan or tycoon of Asia. As of 2006, Forbes magazine ranked him as the 14th richest person in Southeast Asia; "Henry Sy and family" is ranked the 74th richest in the "Asia and Australia" region, and 512th richest in the world. (In the absence of evidence to support such higher claims, the Forbes numbers should taken as a "best-guess" estimate for the time being.)

Sy is the owner of Banco de Oro Universal Bank and China Banking Corporation. In 2006, he bought the remaining 66% of Equitable PCI Bank, the Philippines 3rd largest lender, in which he already had a 34% stake, and merged it with Banco de Oro Universal Bank in 2007. The merger created the Philippines's second largest financial institution with resources of close to $17billion dollars. The Sy family has a personal stake of $4 billion in these 3 banks.[citation needed] Mr. Sy has recently sold his 11% stake in San Miguel Corporation, Southeast Asia's largest food and beverage conglomerate for $680 million.

Henry Sy, Sr., was named "Management Man of the Year" by the Makati Business Club and was conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Business Management by De La Salle University-Manila in January 1999. He organized the SM Foundation Inc., which helps underprivileged but promising young Filipinos.

Sy's retail chain is SM Prime Holdings, known as "Shoe Mart" or simply "SM". Several of his children now hold senior management positions in his companies, although he has groomed daughter Teresita Sy-Coson and his grandchildren Hailey Sy-Coson, Darcie Sy and Josiah Sy as his successors.

Sy's holding company, SM Investments Corp., has consistently been cited as one of the Philippines best-managed companies. On May 20, 2006, The SM Mall of Asia, built in the reclamation area of Pasay City, was opened to the public. It is the sixth-largest mall in the world.