Andy Ong Siew Kwee (6 August 1970) is a Singaporean entrepreneur, author and property investor. He was a self-made millionaire by the age of 26 making him one of the youngest such in Singapore. Ong oversees businesses in education, training, print media and property investments which post an annual turnover of S$100 million.
Ong is currently[when?] the CEO of the ERC group of companies; its subsidiaries include Entrepreneur's Resource Centre and ERC Institute. The ERC Group recently[when?] made headlines by acquiring real estate now worth over $300 million in Singapore. He was the founder of the Asia Financial Planning Journal. He is currently[when?] invested in 15 entrepreneurial start ups and sits on the board of 20 private and public listed companies including Sakae Holdings. He is chairman of Stock Exchange of Thailand listed Shun Thai Corporation. He is also a Certified Financial Planner, the founding president of the Financial Planning Association of Singapore, a member of the Financial Planning Association (America) and the Education and Public Awareness committees of the International CFP Council. ERC now has a presence in various countries such as Singapore, Thailand and China and an ERC Institute campus in Vietnam.
Background and education
Ong was educated at Raffles Institution, St Andrew's Junior College and the National University of Singapore. From the age of 15 – 24, he worked as a helper at a kitchen in Holland village restaurant where he chopped vegetables from 6pm – 11pm daily after school.
On 4 February 2013, Andy Ong Siew Kwee, a non-executive director of Sakae, which owns the Sakae Sushi chain, has been asked to resign from its board. In a filing with the Singapore Exchange last night, Sakae revealed that Mr Ong, who managed Griffin Real Estate Investment Holdings, had been identified as the person responsible for "various undisclosed irregular financial transactions . . . undertaken in (Griffin)" that may be in breach of the Companies Act.
The board has asked Mr Ong to tender his resignation within seven days from 1 Feb. If it does not receive his resignation in 14 days, it will convene an extraordinary general meeting to remove him from his position, Sakae said. (http://news.asiaone.com/A1Business/News/Story/A1Story20130204-399804.html) (Business Time 4 February 2013)
In a statement on Tuesday (19 Feb 2013), Mr Ong rejected the allegations, and said that he has appointed Rajah & Tann to represent him. He also offered an explanation of the use of the $34 million in question. According to Mr Ong, Mr Foo approved the $4 million injection for a 24.69 per cent stake in Griffin using Sakae's funds in March 2010 before receiving shareholder approval, which came only in October 2010. Mr Ong alleges Mr Foo failed to disclose to Sakae's board that Sakae was actually offered a higher stake of 30.86 per cent in Griffin. Instead, Mr Foo separately injected $1 million into Griffin via his family investment vehicle, KPM Holdings, for the additional 6.17 per cent stake.
Mr Ong said he sold his stake of 1.804 million shares last Friday as a sign of protest. (http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Business/Story/A1Story20130220-403327.html) (The Straits Time 22 February 2013)
On 3 May 2013, Sakae withdrew two of the four applications: one to appoint receivers to preserve and secure Griffin's assets, and another to sue Mr Ong and Mr Ho Yew Kong, both former directors of Griffin, on behalf of Griffin. Following the withdrawal, Sakae was ordered by the court to pay the costs incurred for the dropped suits. The Straits Times understands that of the costs awarded yesterday, $90,000 was for Mr Ong's legal fees and $7,000 was for costs relating to a witness cross-examination. Another $16,000 was for disbursements, which are other out-of-pocket expenses, while the remaining amount was for costs incurred by Griffin. In his statement, Mr Ong said he felt "vindicated" by the "substantial amount" of costs he had been awarded by the High Court. (http://business.asiaone.com/news/sakae-pay-over-100000-legal-costs) (The Straits Time 12 May 2013)
Consultancy and investment work
Ong is a management consultant, and is currently[when?] assisting in several initial public offering consultancy projects on a smaller scale. He once assisted an ailing quick service food company that was on the verge of closing down because of cash flow problems due to over-expansion. It was at this time that Ong entered as a consultant and purchased a stake in the company and reformatted the food chain's entire marketing plan. In just 3 weeks, with an adjustment in awareness campaigns and budget, they made a profit.
He also invests in residential and commercial property as well as in individual entrepreneurs. He began his property investments with the purchase of two shop houses at Circular Road and Telok Ayer, each of which he sold at a profit. He owns and rents a total of three properties including the Prime Centre at Middle Road which was initially appraised at $103 million by realtors Knight Frank.
However, his other property venture, Bugis Cube is on the opposite end. His company,Griffin Real Estate Investment Holdings, has sold retail units in Bugis Cube to investor since 2012 at prices ranging from $3000 to $6000+ psf. However, the building has currently suffered from lack of pedestrian traffic and the sorry state of the building can be seen from the uncompleted top level of the building which has since remain vacant.
Ong is the author or co-author of several books in Singapore and Malaysia which include:
- A Singapore Guide to Personal Financial Planning, 1999, ISBN 981-04-1263-0
- Unit Trust in Singapore, 2000, ISBN 981-04-2689-5
- Financial Sutra for Malaysians, ISBN 981-04-7756-2
- Investing in Unit Trusts, 1997, ISBN 981-00-9923-1
- Planning for your Financial Life, 2002, ISBN 981-04-0680-0
- Personal Financial Planning in Malaysia, ISBN 983-40670-0-3
- Directory of Personal Investment 1998, ISBN 981-00-9613-5
- Maniac!, 2004, ISBN 981-05-2370-X
He is also the lead author and editor in chief of Singapore's only financial planning textbook, a project entitled A Singapore Guide to Personal Financial Planning (1999, ISBN 981-04-1263-0), which was published by Financial Perspectives and co-published by RMIT University. This project involved academics and practitioners of finance in Singapore. He has also contributed articles to various business and personal finance magazines.
- Eye on Business – Inspiring Business Success Archived 30 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Aiming for the stars in education". Today. 2 June 2011.
- ERC Holdings
- "ERC Institute". ERC Institute. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- Andy Ong, Managing Editor of Asia Financial Planning Journal[permanent dead link]
- Sakae Holdings – About Us Archived 21 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- Andy Ong, Chairman of Shun Thai Corporation
- ERC Institute Vietnam Archived 30 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Making the best of bad times". Today. 30 December 2008.
- Andy Ong Lends a hand to Businesses
- ERC Snaps Up Prime Center