SM Group founder and Southeast Asia's richest man, Henry Sy Sr., dead at 94

by Hannah Lazatin
Jan 19, 2019
<p>"It is with sadness to announce my father, Henry Sy Sr., passed away peacefully in his sleep early Saturday morning," his son Hans Sy said.</p>
PHOTO/S: Courtesy of Sy Family

Henry Sy Sr., founder of the SM Group, has passed away today at the age of 94.

"It is with sadness to announce my father, Henry Sy Sr., passed away peacefully in his sleep early Saturday morning," his son Hans Sy said.

He was chairman emeritus of SM Prime Holdings, Inc., Highlands Prime, Inc., BDO Unibank, Inc., and was honorary chairman of China Banking Corporation.

Sy, a self-made billionaire, has left a legacy built on hard work and grit. His was a true "rags to riches" life: Hailing from Xiamen, China, his family moved to the Philippines when World War II ravaged the country. His father maintained a sari-sari store in Quaipo. When it was time for his family to return to their homeland, Sy opted to stay, with only 10 centavos in his pockets. After earning his degree in commercial studies from the Far Eastern University, he established a shoe business, the first ShoeMart store in 1958. The SM Group celebrated its 60th anniversary last year.

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In 2018, Forbes proclaimed Sy the richest man in Southeast Asia, with a net worth of $20 billion, up from $12.7 billion in 2017.

Read Town&Country story: SM Group Founder and Southeast Asia's Richest Man, Henry Sy Sr., Dead at 94

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<p>"It is with sadness to announce my father, Henry Sy Sr., passed away peacefully in his sleep early Saturday morning," his son Hans Sy said.</p>
PHOTO/S: Courtesy of Sy Family
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