Stanley Ho

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The Honourable
Dr. Stanley Ho Hung Sun
何鴻燊

GBM, GLM, GBS, GML, OBE
Stanleyho2006.jpg
Born (1921-11-25) 25 November 1921 (age 92)
British Hong Kong
Occupation Entrepreneur
Net worth Increase$US2 billion(2011)[1]
Spouse(s) Clementina Leitão
(1942-2004)
Lucina Laam King Ying
(1957-present)
Ina Chan Un Chan
(1977-present)
Angela Leong On Kei
(1988-present)
Children By his 1st wife:
- Jane Ho Chiu Ying
- Robert Ho Yau Kwong†
- Angela Ho Chiu Yin
- Deborah Ho Chiu Hung
by his 2nd wife:
- Pansy Ho Chiu King
- Daisy Ho Chiu Fung
- Maisy Ho Chiu Ha
- Josie Ho Chiu Yi
- Lawrence Ho Yau Lung
by his 3rd wife:
- Florinda Ho Chiu Wan
- Laurinda Ho Chiu Lin
- Orlando Ho Yau Kai
by his 4th wife:
- Sabrina Ho Chiu Ying
- Arnaldo Ho Yau Heng
- Mario Ho Yau Kwan
- Ho Yau Kai
- Alice Ho Chiu Yan
Parents Ho Sai Kwong
Flora Sin
Stanley Ho
Traditional Chinese 何鴻燊
Simplified Chinese 何鸿燊

Stanley Ho GBM GLM GBS GML OBE (born 25 November 1921), also known as Ho Hung Sun, Stanley Ho Hung Sun, is a Hong Kong and Macanese business magnate. Ho has been nicknamed "The King of Gambling", reflecting the government-granted monopoly he held on the Macau gambling industry for 40 years. In 2011 he was the 13th richest man in Hong Kong with a net worth of US$2 billion.[1] He is also Macau's wealthiest person and amongst the wealthiest in Asia. He owns many properties in both Hong Kong and Macau and has taken part in many kinds of business including entertainment, tourism, shipping, real estate, banking, and air transport. It is also estimated that his enterprises employ almost one fourth of the workforce of Macau.

Apart from Hong Kong and Macau, he has also invested in mainland China, Portugal, North Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Mozambique and East Timor.

Ho is also an industrialist and entrepreneur in Asia and has held a number of important positions in many firms in Hong Kong and Macau. His opinions and statements on Hong Kong's real estate and commercial development have considerable sway on the market. In the past few years he has been involved in litigation with his own sister, Winnie Ho, concerning the ownership of the Macau casino. Having suffered a stroke in July 2009, followed by a long period of recovery, Ho began steps in late 2010, subsequently hotly disputed and in confusing circumstances (January 2011), to devolve his grip on his financial empire to his various wives and children.

Early life[edit]

Ho Fook (何福), Stanley Ho's grandfather, was the step brother of Robert Hotung. Ho Sai Kwong (何世光), one of Ho Fook's sons, had 13 children, of which Stanley was the 9th child.

Although his family was very wealthy, he started his business on his own.[citation needed]

Education[edit]

Ho studied at Queen's College, Hong Kong, at which he attended Class D - the lowest class level in the then Hong Kong Class System - owing to unsatisfactory academic results. After realizing that studying assiduously was the only way to improve his social status, his hard work paid off and earned him a scholarship to the University of Hong Kong.[2] He became the first student from Class D to be granted a university scholarship. His university studies were cut short by the outbreak of World War II. In 1942, he fled from the Japanese and settled in Macau.

Career[edit]

Ho began clerical work at a Japanese-owned import-export firm in Macau. With his talents and command of four languages, he won the trust of his employers and quickly became a partner of the firm, at the age of 22.[citation needed]

Ho made his first fortune smuggling luxury goods across the Chinese border from Macau during World War II.[3]

In 1943, he set up a kerosene company and established a construction company with his money. As the construction industry in Hong Kong was experiencing a period of rapid growth, Ho profited greatly.[citation needed]

Ho, along with partners, including Hong Kong tycoon the late Henry Fok, renowned Macau gambler the late Yip Hon and his brother-in-law the late Teddy Yip, bid for Macau franchises. By bidding high and promising to promote tourism and to develop infrastructure, they won the public tender for Macau's gaming monopoly at a cost of approximately (US?)$410,000[clarification needed], defeating the longtime Macau casino barons, the Fu family. In 1961, the company was renamed Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau, S.A.R.L. (STDM). Business at its flagship Lisboa Casino Hotel blossomed, the hotel later to become well-known internationally.

In the same year, Ho also set up Shun Tak Holdings Ltd, which was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Through a subsidiary, TurboJET, it owns one of the world's largest fleets of high-speed jetfoils, which ferries passengers between Hong Kong and Macau.

Ho's investments in Macau are diverse. In 1989, after STDM took full control of the Macau Jockey Club, Ho became its chairman and chief executive officer. In 1998, Ho became the first living Macanese resident to have a local street named after him. He also launched Asia's first football and basketball lottery called SLOT. Ho also launched the DrHo888.com web site, an online casino operated in partnership with Vancouver-based eyeball.com.[citation needed]

Ho was also named by the Canadian Government, citing the Manila Standard newspaper, as having a link to the Kung Lok Triad (Chinese mafia) and as being linked to 'several illegal activities'.[4] during the period 1999–2002. Ho's ties to Chinese organized crime have also been reported by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, citing a U.S. Senate committee and several government agencies, when the state investigated his ties to American casino operator MGM Mirage.[5]

Current positions (as of 2011)[edit]

Business[edit]

  • Chairman of the Shun Tak Group (信德集團)
  • Director of Shun Tak Shipping Company, Limited
  • Chairman of iAsia Technology Limited (亞洲網上交易科技有限公司)
  • Chairman of the Chinese Recreation Club in Hong Kong (CRC)

Community[edit]

Politics[edit]

In 1987, Portugal agreed to return Macau to China in 1999. Ho took part in the joint advisory committee. He is a Standing Committee member of the 9th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Personal life[edit]

Ho has 17 children born to four women. He refers to his children's mothers as his wives.[6] Polygamy remained legal in Hong Kong until 1971.[7]

In 1942, Ho married his first wife, Clementina Leitão, a woman from a prestigious Portuguese family – her grandfather was a lawyer and was Macau's only notary public at the time. They had four children. In the late 1950s, Ho met Lucina Laam King-ying, whom he legally married in Hong Kong, in 1962. Leitão was involved in a motor vehicle accident in 1973, and suffered partial memory loss as a result. Following her car accident, Leitão needed constant nursing care; Ina Chan, who became Ho's third 'wife' in 1985 and with whom Ho has had three children ( an elder daughter and twins), was one of the nurses brought in to look after Leitão. In 1981, Ho's and Leitão's son Robert and daughter-in-law, Melanie Susan Potier ("Suki"), died in a car accident. Leitão died in 2004. Fourth 'wife' Angela Leong On-kei, with whom Ho has had five children, met Ho in 1988 at a private ball.[7]

Ho handed over the reins of STDM to daughter Pansy Ho, who is also a 50 percent partner in MGM Macau; son Lawrence HoLawrence Ho is the CEO of Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd, another Macau-based casino company. Josie Ho (何超儀) is a rock singer and award-winning actress. His grandchildren are a perennial subject of local social columns and paparazzi.

Over the years, dancing has been one of Ho's favourite hobbies, achieving excellence in tango, cha-cha-cha, and waltz. He often danced for televised charity fundraisers and has sponsored numerous dance performances in Hong Kong and Macau, including the Hong Kong Arts Festival and the Macau Arts Festival, promoting the art of dance. He has also invited internationally renowned dancing groups, such as the National Ballet of China, to perform in Hong Kong and Macau. Ho is a patron of the Hong Kong Ballet, the International Dance Teachers Association and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Dance.

A thoroughbred racehorse owner, one of Ho's runners, Viva Pataca, named after the currency of Macau, won several top Hong Kong races in 2006 and 2007.

Ho suffered a fall late in July 2009 at his home and required brain surgery as a result. For seven months Ho was confined to the Hong Kong Adventist Hospital and, later, the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital, making only one public appearance on 20 December 2009, when he travelled to Macau to meet Chinese president Hu Jintao on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Macau's return to Chinese sovereignty. Ho was discharged from the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital on 6 March 2010 and has since used a wheelchair.[8]

Family[edit]

wives *Clementina Leitão
(1923–2004)
*Lucina Laam
(b. 1943)
*Ina Chan
(b. 1953)
*Angela Leong
(b. 1961)
children** grandchildren*** **Jane Ho (b. 1947) married to Siu Pak-sing **Pansy Ho, (b. 1962) married to Julian Hui (divorced) **Florinda Ho, (b. 1989) **Sabrina Ho, (b. 1989)
***Ringo Siu **Daisy Ho (b. 1964) married to Simon Ho **Laurinda Ho, (b. 1991, twin) **Arnaldo Ho (b. 1993)
**Robert Ho (1948–1981) married to Melanie Susan Potier **Maisy Ho (b. 1967) **Orlando Ho, (b. 1991, twin) **Mario Ho (b. 1995)
***Faye Ho (b. 1975) **Josie Ho, (b. 1974) married to Conroy Chan   **Orlando Ho (b. 1997)
***Sarah Ho (b. 1978) **Lawrence Ho (b. 1976) married to Sharen Law   **Alice Ho, (b. 1999)
**Angela Ho married to Peter Kjaer ***Ho Hoi Chi (b. 2006)    
***Stanley Willers (b. 1987)      
***Ariel Ho-Kjaer (b. 1993)      
**Deborah Ho      

Non-linear relations[edit]

  • Ambassador Eric Hotung, a grandson of Sir Robert Hotung, is a second cousin of Ho.
  • One of Ho's sisters, Susie Ho, is the widow of one of his then partners, Teddy Yip.
  • According to available records, Bruce Lee and Stanley Ho are second cousins through Lee's mother, Grace Ho (何爱瑜). Her father, Ho Kom Tong (何甘棠), and Ho's grandfather, Ho Fook, were brothers.

Philanthropy[edit]

Qing relic[edit]

On 21 September 2007, Ho donated to the Chinese government a Qing dynasty bronze sculpture of a horse's head originally taken from the Old Summer Palace. Ho had reportedly just purchased it from a Taiwanese businessman for US$8.84 million.[9]

Lanceford dispute[edit]

In late January 2011, a dispute erupted among his wives and children involving the transfer of ownership of his private holding company, Lanceford.[10] On 27 December Lanceford allotted 9,998 new shares, representing 99.98 per cent of its enlarged share capital, to two British Virgin Islands companies: Action Winner Holdings Ltd, wholly owned by third wife, Ina, holding 50.55 per cent and Ranillo Investments Ltd, equally held by each of Laam's five children, holding the balance. The allotment document filed with the Registrar of Companies was signed by Laam's daughter Daisy.[11]

Ho, represented by Messrs. Oldham, Li & Nie, issued proceedings in the High Court, naming its directors – 11 defendants, including his second and third wives, and children Pansy and Lawrence Ho, alleging the group "improperly and/or illegally" acted in changing the share structure. The writ sought an injunction restraining the defendants from selling or disposing any of the 9,998 new shares in the company. The two British Virgin Islands companies were also named in the writ. Ho said his intention from the outset was to divide his assets equally among his families and that the actions of the directors of Lanceford effectively eliminated this possibility, according to a statement issued by Gordon Oldham.[12]

Amidst confusion caused by conflicting statements from Ho and his wives and children about the state of the dispute, Ho, through Oldman – who had been allegedly sacked and rehired within the space of a few days - said he had been pressured to make public statements and sign legal documents without him being fully apprised of their contents.[12] What was to become a saga of soap-opera proportions ensued including official video postings of statements on YouTube.

Honors[edit]

In 1984 Ho was awarded an honorary doctorate of social sciences from the University of Macau in 1984.

In the New Year Honours 1990 Ho was appointed as Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) For services to the community in Hong Kong[13]

In 1995, the Portuguese government appointed Ho to the Grã-Cruz da Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique (Great Cross of the Order of Prince Henrique), the highest honor for any civilian, for his contributions to society. In 1998, Dr Stanley Ho Avenue in Macau was named, which made Ho the first Chinese person in Macau history to receive this honor during his lifetime.

In 2003, Ho received the Gold Bauhinia Star from the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Tung Chee Hwa, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the community, in promoting education, sports and other community services for youth.

In 2008, Ho received the Medal for Business Entrepreneurialism from the city of Cascais and the street running adjacent to the Estoril Casino was renamed as Avenida Stanley Ho. It was the first road in Portugal to be named after a living Chinese citizen.[14]

In June 2009 he received the Visionary award at the G2E Asia conference, organised by the American Gaming Association; the award was delivered by Macau SAR Chief Executive Edmund Ho.

In November 2010, Ho was awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal the highest under the Hong Kong honors and awards system, reserved for those making a lifelong and highly significant contribution to the well-being of Hong Kong.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Stanley Ho and family - Forbes, Forbes.com. Accessed May 2011.
  2. ^ "Asia's Wealth Club: Who's Really Who in Business – The Top 100 Billionaires in Asia" ISBN 1-85788-162-1 – Geoff Hiscock.
  3. ^ "Billionaire Stanley Ho's struggles to adapt to new Macau", Channel News Asia, 14 July 2008
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "N.J. Says Casino Magnate Has Mob Ties in China". The New York Times. [dead link]
  6. ^ Oster, Shai; O'Keeffe, Kate (27 January 2011). "Stanley Ho confirms share transfer to wives, daughter Angela shocked". The Australian. 
  7. ^ a b Ng Yuk-hang & Wong, Martin (27 January 2011). "Ho the daddy of them all when it comes to his hectic love life", South China Morning Post
  8. ^ http://mytv.tvb.com/news/newsat730/105320/1025#page-1
  9. ^ WSJ: In Macau, Moguls Bet Big on Donated Art
  10. ^ "Family Feud Grips Stanley Ho Casino Empire - WSJ.com". The Wall Street Journal (New York: Dow Jones). ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  11. ^ Gough, Neil (27 January 2011). "What Ho did when he found out he was poor", South China Morning Post
  12. ^ a b Wong, Natalie (28 January 2011). "See you in court"
  13. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 51981. p. 16. 30 December 1989.
  14. ^ "Cascais honours Stanley Ho", Algarve Resident, 9 Oct 2008

External links[edit]

Business
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Edward Leong
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal
Hong Kong order of precedence
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal
Succeeded by
Victor Fung
Recipient of the Grand Bauhinia Medal