Peter Lim

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Peter Lim
Recent photo of Peter Lim
Peter Lim in 2016
Native name林榮福
EducationUniversity of Western Australia
OccupationBusinessman, Investor[1]
Net worthIncreaseUS$2.6 billion (October 2018)[2]
Cherie Lim (m. 2003)
Children2 (with ex-wife Venus Teo Geok Fong)

Peter Lim (born 1953) is a Singaporean business magnate, entrepreneur, philanthropist and investor. Lim, who was one of Singapore's leading stockbrokers, is now a private investor in sectors ranging from palm oil to medicine. In 2016, Forbes ranked him as the 11th richest person in Singapore with a net worth of US$2.4 billion.[3]

As a philanthropist, Lim focuses on education and sports, his most high-profile project being a $10 million scholarship fund to nurture local sports talents.[4]

Lim married Cherie Lim in 2003. He has two children with ex-wife Venus Teo Geok Fong.[3]

Early life[edit]

The son of a fishmonger[5], Lim and his seven siblings grew up in a two-bedroom government flat in the Bukit Ho Swee public housing estate. Lim completed his secondary school education at the Raffles Institution. After National Service, he went to Perth to study[5] at the University of Western Australia. To fund his university education, Lim worked part-time doing odd jobs as a taxi driver, cook and waiter. He graduated with a degree in accounting and finance and first worked as an accountant. He did some tax consultancy before going into stocks.

Early career[edit]

Lim was a stockbroker, providing investment advisory to high net worth clients, in particular Malaysian royalty. He is akin to a private banker, in an era of low competition during a time when Singapore's private banking industry was not well developed.

In the midst of his prolonged divorce, Lim quit the broking business in 1996 and became a private investor. His exposure during the 1997 Asian financial crisis was minimal, as he had liquidated most of his clients' positions and debt exposure. On his divorce with Venus Teo, Lim reached a settlement of S$50 million with her.

In the early 1990s, Lim got involved in a start-up Indonesian palm-oil company, Wilmar. By the second half of the decade, he had written off that investment. The Indonesian economy was weakening from the mid-90s and then the Indonesian currency fell from 2,500 rupiah against the US dollar to 16,000 rupiah. In 2000, Lim restructured his stake in Wilmar with a US$10 million investment. Wilmar did a Reverse Take Over (RTO) in 2006. Businessman Robert Kuok decided to inject his Malaysian palm oil operations into Wilmar in 2007. In response to a 2006 FDA ruling mandating the labeling of trans fatty acids on the Nutrition Facts label, food manufacturers began eliminating trans fats from their products and began substituting them with palm oil. Imports to the United States alone increased by nearly 60%. The increased use of biofuels, during the period of high oil prices also contributed to demand.[6] In 2010, Lim cashed out at the peak of commodity prices and sold his Wilmar shares for US$1.5 billion.


As a private investor, Lim has interests in sectors from palm oil to medical.[7]

Lim owns a controlling stake (82.3%) in Spanish La Liga club Valencia CF, 50% stake in Salford City F.C with former Manchester United players Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt holding the other 50%, and stakes in British supercar maker McLaren Automotive and Hotel Football next to Old Trafford in Manchester. Lim also owns Mint Media which owns the image rights of Cristiano Ronaldo.

His portfolio of investments include property developer Rowsley, security provider Secura Group and Singapore architectural firm RSP.

In 2010, Lim took Singapore’s first women’s hospital, Thomson Medical, private for S$522 million.[8]

Lim has also stepped up plans to transform part of the land he owns in Iskandar Malaysia into a medical hub, Thomson Iskandar. TMC LifeSciences, a Malaysia-listed firm which he controls, has bought a health complex in the area for RM400 million (S$153 million). 70% is owned by Lim, with Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Idris holding the other 30%. Thomson International, a subsidiary of Thomson Medical, will manage the complex.

Lim also has two major projects in the southern Malaysian state of Johor. A medical hub project at Vantage Bay in Johor Bahru town and in FASTrack Autosports, an integrated sports hub in Malaysia.

Raffles Town Club[edit]

Lim, a former consultant to Raffles Town Club, launched a libel suit against Mr Lin Jian Wei and Ms Margaret Tung — who took over the club in 2001 — for defamatory remarks they had made in a statement to settle a separate lawsuit brought by unhappy club members. In the statement sent out late in 2005, Mr. Lin and Ms. Tung suggested that the club’s financial difficulties were due to mismanagement by the original directors and management, one of whom was Lim. Although the High Court dismissed the defamation lawsuit, Lim did not relent and appealed. The appellate court ruled in Lim’s favour and ordered the biggest libel payout in Singaporean history. He doubled the $220,000 award he received and donated it to an educational charity.[9]


  1. ^ Jetley, Neerja. "How Singapore Billionaire Peter Lim Makes Money From Thin Air".
  2. ^ "Peter Lim".
  3. ^ a b "Singapore Billionaires 2016".
  4. ^ "SOF-Peter Lim Scholarship". 21 October 2013.
  5. ^ a b Hee, Jolene (2015-06-05). "8 Wise Lessons On Wealth That Singapore's Self-Made Tycoon Peter Lim Can Teach Us". Vulcan Post. Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  6. ^ "World Palm oil prices | R.E.A. Holdings plc". Retrieved 2016-10-07.
  7. ^ Ying Tan (28 November 2012). The Way of the VC: Having Top Venture Capitalists on Your Board. John Wiley & Sons. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-118-57998-5.
  8. ^[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ starone. "$420,000 for ST pocket money fund".

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