Adrian Cheng

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Adrian Cheng
Born1979 (age 42–43)
Alma materHarvard University
OccupationBusiness executive
Years active2000s-present
Known forFounder of K11 & K11 Art Foundation
TitleCEO & Executive Vice-Chairman of New World Development
Parent(s)Cheng Yu-tung (grandfather)
Henry Cheng (father)
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese鄭志剛
Simplified Chinese郑志刚

Adrian Cheng Chi-kong (Chinese: 鄭志剛, born 1979) is a Hong Kong entrepreneur and business executive.[1][2][3] He is the CEO and executive vice-chairman of the Hong Kong-listed New World Development,[4] and executive director of jewelry company Chow Tai Fook.[5] He is also the founder of K11, which has a portfolio of commercial, cultural and residential projects.[6][7][8] He is the son of property developer Henry Cheng and grandson of Cheng Yu-tung.

Early life and education[edit]

Cheng was born to Katherine Ip and Henry Cheng in 1979. He has two younger siblings, Sonia Cheng and Brian Cheng.[9] Cheng is also the grandson of property developer, Cheng Yu-tung.[10][11]

Cheng was educated in his teenage years in the United States, when he attended Taft School in Connecticut.[12] Following his time at Taft, Cheng enrolled at Harvard University. Cheng graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts (Cum Laude) honours degree.[13] Cheng later went to Japan to study Japanese culture for a year.[14]

He received an honorary Doctorate from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and in 2014 an Honorary Fellowship from Lingnan University.[15]

Business career[edit]

Early in his career, Cheng was a banker at Goldman Sachs and UBS.[2] In 2002, Cheng left UBS AG Cheng to join his family's business Chow Tai Fook Holdings.[6][11] In 2002, he became executive director of the listed Chow Tai Fook Jewelry Group.[6][14][7]

In March 2007, Cheng became executive director and a board member at New World Development,[16][11][10] a Hong Kong-listed company.[11][10][17][18][19] In 2012, he became joint general manager of New World Development and was also recognised by the World Economic Forum in the same year as a Young Global Leader.[20][21] He later became executive vice-chairman of NWD in 2015.[22]

In 2008, Cheng founded K11, a concept focused on "museum-retail".[21] Cheng's first K11 museum-retail mall opened in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong in 2009. It later opened a branch in Shanghai. Since then, other branches have been opened in Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenyang, and Wuhan.[23][24] He founded the K11 Art Foundation (KAF) in 2010, which focuses on promoting and supporting Chinese artists and their works.[25] He initiated collaborations between internationally recognised museums and art institutions such as Palais de Tokyo in Paris,[26] and Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London,[27] showcasing Chinese artists. The foundation also has an art village in Wuhan.[21] In 2012, Cheng featured in Fortune magazine's 40 Under 40 list.[28] His work with K11 led him to be included in the ArtReview Power100 list several times since 2014, most recently in 2021.[29][30][31][32]

In 2017, Cheng led the Victoria Dockside redevelopment of land held by New World since the 1970s, at a cost of $2.6 billion.[23][24][33] As different phases of the development completed, new K11 ventures opened. This included K11 ARTUS, a luxury waterside residence that opened in the second half of 2019.[34] The development also included the flagship K11 ATELIER, a Grade A office building.[35]

His philanthropic work led him to be featured in the 2017 edition of Asia's Heroes Of Philanthropy, published by Forbes magazine.[36] He also launched C Ventures (rebranded as C Capital in September 2022), an investment fund investing in fashion, media and lifestyle start-ups.[37][38] In 2018, Cheng founded the K11 Craft and Guild Foundation, a non-profit organisation to identify fast-disappearing crafts and offer public initiatives.[39]

In June 2019, he was named the "first global ambassador" of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).[40] In September 2019, Cheng presided over the announcement that New World would donate 3 million square feet of agricultural land to the government for public housing and related facilities, NGOs and to charities to develop social or transitional housing. Up to a third of the land was to be donated to an affordable social housing project.[41]

In 2019, Cheng was rewarded by the French government with Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.[42] It was following K11's collaboration with Cannes Film Festival, which hosted its first ever film week in Hong Kong the same year.[43] In October 2019, he became executive director of NWS Holdings, New World Development's infrastructure arm.[44] On February 13, 2020, Cheng was named the executive chair of the New World subsidiary New World China Land, while keeping his role as executive vice-chairman of New World Development.[45] As of 2020, he runs two private Hong Kong investment ventures: C Ventures and K11 Investment.[46] Leaving his position as general manager, he was promoted to CEO of New World Development in May 2020.[5] In October 2020, Cheng oversaw NWD's acquisition of the State Theatre Building in Hong Kong for redevelopment.[47] A team of conversation consultants were setup to preserve the 68-year old building, which is a Grade 1 historical building.[47] Towards the end of the same year, Cheng first mentioned his and New World Developments vision for improving environmental, social, and corporate governance in Hong Kong. Creating Shared Value, abbreviated to CSV, was Cheng's proposal which he defined as "a connection between social progress and business success." The first project he believed this could be delivered on was the State Theatre site.[48]

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Cheng launched Lovewithoutborders. The movement aimed to provide international assistance to those that required help. The project subsequently donated over 1.5 million masks to Europe in early 2020.[49] Donations were also made to low-income families in Hong Kong and a large shipment of over 1 million masks went to mainland China.[50] In September 2021, Cheng announced the establishment of a new non-profit organisation, New World Build for Good.[51] It aims to alleviate the housing shortage in Hong Kong.[52] In November 2021, Cheng announced that he would build virtual land in The Sandbox’s metaverse.[53]

In 2022, Cheng led an initiative to help underprivileged Hongkongers. The crowd-donation platform, Share for Good, allows for donations of goods and supplies from donors.[54] Shortly after its launch, donations of essential supplies were made by the private sector on the platform, to assist those affected by coronavirus epidemic.[55] 11 SKIES was announced as another concept developed by Cheng, which is to be located near Hong Kong International Airport. The announcement came in May 2022, and focuses on providing retail, dining and entertainment without the need to travel into the city.[56] In June 2022, Cheng spoke about the expansion of subsidiary Humansa's health and wellness facilities in the Greater Bay Area. This followed a number of partnerships and acquisitions by the healthcare firm.[57] In July 2022, it was announced K11 would be launching K11 ECOAST, the first of its kind in mainland China. The $1.4 billion development is to be constructed in Shenzhen on its waterfront.[58]

In July 2022, Cheng was part of the Hong Kong honours list, when he received the Silver Bauhinia Star. The recognition came following his efforts to improve the city of Hong Kong.[59] In October 2022, Cheng was a recipient of the Ordre national du Mérite from the French government. During the presentation of the award, Consul General of France Christile Drulhe, stated Cheng "has been working tirelessly to foster stronger relations between France and Hong Kong."[60] During the same month, he also received an Honorary University Fellowship in The University of Hong Kong.[61]

Boards and committees[edit]

He is on the boards of companies such as New World Development, Giordano International, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, and New Century Healthcare Holding Company, among others. He is chairman of the China Young Leaders Foundation.[16]

Cheng holds a number of art-focused board positions including,[62] Visiting Committee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art,[62] Member of TATE’s Asia Pacific Acquisitions Committee,[62] and Member of International Circle of Centre Pompidou.[62]

Personal life[edit]

Cheng is married to Jennifer Yu.[63][64] He is known as a collector of contemporary art.[21]

Cheng has two younger siblings, Sonia Cheng and Brian Cheng.[8][10]


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External links[edit]