31. DATUK SERI CHEAH CHENG HYE
Flagship: Value Partners Group
Net worth: RM1.65bil
CHEAH’S wealth is derived from a direct 9.3% in Value Partners Group, and an indirect 21.8% via Cheah Capital Management Inc. Value Partners is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
For most in the investment community, the history of Value Partners and its iconic founder has been a tale told many times. It has been an inspiring story, especially because its founder Cheah was once a journalist from Star Media Group who now owns one of the largest asset-management companies in Asia.
For the uninitiated, Cheah was born in Penang in 1954 and started working in The Star at the age of 17 as a newspaper folder before subsequently becoming a reporter. He left Malaysia for Hong Kong in 1974.
He was a journalist for 17 years, including in The Star, Asiaweek, The Far Eastern Economic Review and The Wall Street Journal (Asian Edition).
It was while he was a financial journalist that Cheah realised that he had a passion for investment. He taught himself accounting and investment through books.
Cheah felt that being good in finance was a necessity to perform well in his job as a financial journalist.
He changed his career in 1989, joining Morgan Grenfell in Hong Kong as head of research in Hong Kong and China.
In 1993, he started his own business by founding Value Partners in Hong Kong with his partner V-Nee Yeh, with less than US$5mil (RM22.12mil) under management. Today, Value Partners is one of Hong Kong’s biggest success stories.
Today, Value Partners has assets under management worth US$16bil to date. Under the leadership of co-chief investment officers Cheah and Louis So, the company has transformed from a boutique firm to one of Asia’s most respected asset managers. In addition to its Hong Kong headquarters and new office in Kuala Lumpur, Value Partners operates offices in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore, London and Boston.
Value Partners Malaysia is also finally open for business. Last October, the Value Partners Malaysia office was launched after receiving an approval in principle from the Securities Commission for a capital market services licence for fund management.
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