Henry Sy

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Henry Sy
Native name Sy Chi Sieng
Born (1924-12-25) December 25, 1924 (age 91)
Amoy, Republic of China
Residence Manila, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Education Far Eastern University
Occupation Chairman and CEO of SM Investments Corporation
SM Prime Holdings
SM Development Corporation and Highlands Prime Holdings
Banco de Oro Chairman Emeritus
China Banking Corporation Honorary Chairman
Known for Founder of SM Group
Net worth Increase US$ 15.7 billion (2015)[1]
Title Henry Sy & family
Spouse(s) Felicidad Tan
Children Teresita
Henry Jr.
Parent(s) Henry H. Sy
Tan O Sia

Henry Sy, Sr. (Chinese: ; pinyin: Shī Zhìchéng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Si Chì-sêng; born December 25, 1924) is a Chinese-Filipino business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is involved in the industries of real estate, hospitality, banking, mining, education, and health care. He is responsible for the establishment of SM Malls, anchored by Shoemart Department Store and Supermarket. He is the chairman of SM Prime in , Inc., the holding corporation for all his business interests in his vast business empire. In 2011, Forbes Magazine listed him as the richest man in the Philippines.

Early life[edit]

Henry Sy was born to a poor family in Jinjiang, China on December 25, 1924. He is the son of Henry H. Sy and Tan O Sia.[2]

He completed his secondary education in a school now known as Chiang Kai Shek College [3] and earned his Associate of Arts degree in Commercial Studies at Far Eastern University in 1950.[4]


In 1958, Sy established a small shoe store in Quiapo, Manila that marked the establishment of SM Prime Holdings.[5] In November 1972, the small shoe store became SM Quiapo, SM's first standalone department store.

On November 25, 1985, he established his first SM Supermalls, SM City North EDSA.[6]

He is the Philippines' richest man, gaining $5 billion in 2010, amid the global financial crisis. The huge gain was due to his holding company, SM Investments Corporation, which has interests in Banco de Oro, inter alia. Forbes magazine's 2008 list of 40 wealthiest Filipinos, revealed the Sy family's net worth was $6.2 billion. Earlier, he was the second wealthiest individual in the Philippines, next to Lucio Tan, and (as of 2010) 201st in the world.

Sy is considered a tai-pan. The Sy group is the operator of Banco de Oro and owner of Chinabank. In 2006, he bought the remaining 66% of Equitable PCI Bank, the Philippines third largest lender, in which he already had a 34% stake, and merged it with Banco de Oro in 2007. The merger created the Philippines' second largest financial institution with resources of close to $17 billion.

In August 2005, Sy's stake in the San Miguel Corporation, Southeast Asia's largest food and beverage conglomerate, reached 11%.[7] He sold that stake in October 2007[8] for $680 million.

Henry Sy, Sr., was named "Management Man of the Year" by the Makati Business Club in 1999 and was conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Business Management by De La Salle University in January of that year. He organized the SM Foundation Inc., which helps underprivileged and promising young Filipinos. Several of his children hold senior management positions in his companies, although he has groomed daughter Teresita Sy-Coson and his grandchildren Hailey Sy-Coson, Darcie Sy, Lance Harold Sy, Cheska Sy, Sarita Sy, Samantha Ong-Sy and Josiah Sy as his successors. Sy's holding company, SM Investments Corporation, has consistently been cited as one of the Philippines best-managed companies. On May 20, 2006, the SM Mall of Asia, built in the reclamation area of Pasay City, was opened to the public. It is the third-largest mall in the world as of 2012.

He has six children.[9]

Business interests[edit]

  • Leisure
    • Belle Corporation - is a leading Philippine developer of high-end residential and leisure properties.
    • Highlands Prime, Inc. - engages in developing leisure properties in the Philippines.


  • Management Man of the Year" by the Makati Business Club – 1999
  • Honorary Doctorate in Business Management by De La Salle University in January 1999
  • 40 Richest Filipinos of 2008
  • Forbes magazine Heroes of Philanthropy 2009
  • 1st Chinese-Filipino recipient of the PCE Big Brother of Filipino Entrepreneurs award (2006)
  • 1st Chinese-Filipino recipient of the PRA President's Award (2005)