Tan Sri Dato' Lee Shin Cheng is a Malaysian business magnate who's heavily involved in the plantation industry.
Tan Sri now heads IOI Group, one of the world's leading operators of palm oil plantations, refineries and related manufacturing activities. His Rotterdam refinery is the largest palm oil refinery in Europe. His plants produce specialty oils, metallic stearates and fats that are used in soaps, detergents, cosmetics and food additives. Lee Shin Cheng is also a leading real estate developer in Malaysia: projects include townships, shopping malls and resorts.
He grew up northeast of Kuala Lumpur on a rubber plantation, where his father ran a small Chinese food shop. He left school when he was 11 to help support his family, selling ice cream on a bicycle for four years before returning to finish high school. He interviewed with one palm oil plantation for a supervisory job, but wasn't hired because he didn't speak English--important then because Europeans still ran most of the plantations. (Some 20 years later he took over that company; Dunlop Estate) Instead, at 22 he became a field supervisor at another palm oil company. That is when he started to develop his hands-on managerial style and home in on what it took to maximize yields. In those days palm oil was used in detergent as well as for cooking.
By 1982 Lee Shin Cheng was in control of a small company and used it to buy a listed gas outfit, Industrial Oxygen Inc. Two years later he set out to create the palm oil industry's blue-chip player. In 1995 he changed the name to IOI and today he and his family--he's married and has six children--own 40%. That's helped make him Malaysia's 4th richest and world's 349th richest person; FORBES ASIA puts his net worth at $3.9 billion. His two sons and four daughters all work in the business, with his eldest son, 40-year-old Dato' Lee Yeow Chor, serving as an executive director.
In recognition of Lee Shin Cheng's immense contributions to the evolving needs and aspirations of the property industry in Malaysia, he was bestowed the singular honour of FIABCI Malaysia Property Man of the Year 2001 Award. In February 2002, he was conferred the Honorary Doctorate Degree in Agriculture by Universiti Putra Malaysia in recognition of his contributions to the palm oil industry. He is also active in providing his advice and guidance to a large number of industry groupings, associations and social organisations. He serves as, among others, a Board Member of Universiti Putra Malaysia, the Adviser to the KL & Selangor Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a Council Member of Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA), a member of Malaysia-China Business Council, the Honorary President of Association of Eng Choon Societies of Malaysia and Federation of Hokkien Association of Malaysia. In addition, he also provides scholarships and educations grants to outstanding and bright young students via Yayasan Tan Sri Dato’ Lee Shin Cheng.
2008 World Billionaires Lee Shin Cheng
Rank 173 Name Lee Shin Cheng Citizenship Malaysia Age 68 Net Worth USD ($billion) 5.7 Residence Malaysia
Former plantation-field supervisor heads IOI Group, one of world's biggest palm oil groups. In September 2007 made first foray into Indonesian plantations via two JVs. In March agreed to pay $135 million to acquire stakes in several plantation companies in Sarawak, Malaysia's largest state. Real estate developer also building shopping malls, resorts in Malaysia.
Tan Sri Dato’ Lee Shin Cheng was first appointed to the Board on 21 July 1981. As Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, he actively oversees the operations of the Group. He is an entrepreneur with considerable experience in the plantation and property development industries. In recognition of Tan Sri’s immense contributions to the evolving needs and aspirations of the property industry in Malaysia, Tan Sri was bestowed the singular honour of FIABCI Malaysia Property Man of the Year 2001 Award. In February 2002, Tan Sri was conferred the Honorary Doctorate Degree in Agriculture by Universiti Putra Malaysia in recognition of his contributions to the palm oil industry. Tan Sri is also active in providing his advice and guidance to a large number of industry groupings, associations and social organisations. He serves as, among others, a Board Member of Universiti Putra Malaysia and the Adviser to the KL & Selangor Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Lee Shin Cheng is a member of Remuneration Committee of the Company. He is also the Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IOI Properties Berhad.
Tan Sri is the father of Dato’ Lee Yeow Chor and Lee Yeow Seng, and the brother of Lee Cheng Leang, all Executive Directors of the Company.
Tan Sri is deemed in conflict of interest with the Company by virtue of his interest in certain privately-owned companies which are also involved in property development business. However, these privately-owned companies are not in direct competition with the business of the Company due to the different locality of the developments. Except for certain recurrent related party transactions of a revenue or trading nature which are necessary for day-to-day operations of the Company and its subsidiaries and for which Tan Sri is deemed to be interested as disclosed under Other Information section of the Annual Report, there are no other business arrangements with the Company in which he has personal interests.