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45. Ong Beng Seng

ong beng seng
Age 79
Occupation Hotel Properties, Rights owner of the Singapore Grand Prix
Nationality Malaysian
Position Last Year New

Dato’ Ong Beng Seng is a Singapore-based Malaysian billionaire businessman and husband of Christina Ong. He founded Hotel Properties in Singapore and is a shareholder in several other companies. Forbes estimates the net worth of Ong and his wife at $1.8 billion (as of July 2014), making them the 15th wealthiest people in Singapore.

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Ong Beng seng was born in January 1946 in Malaysia. When he was four years old, his family relocated to Singapore. His career began when he joined an insurance firm for ships. In 1975, he joined Kuo International, which was started by a businessman named Peter Fu Yun Siak. There, he met Christina, who would later become his wife.

After beginning his trading career at Kuo International, Ong founded his firm, Hotel Properties Limited. Today, he controls many businesses, including a few based on Bond Street in London, and his investments are worth tens of millions of dollars. He is a well-established hotelier, having bought and built many hotels worldwide. Ong is credited as one of the few who brought the Singapore Grand Prix to the country, the first Formula One night race.

A “glitzy figure in Singapore and abroad”, Ong is married to Christina Ong (née Fu), the daughter of a businessman. They have two children, a daughter and a son. Hilary Clarke of The Independent described Ong as “media-shy” and “notoriously secretive”. Despite that, he is known to be well-acquainted with many Hollywood celebrities.

Ong’s business approach is to “[buy when rents and properties are cheap and sell when they are not.” As of July 2012, the Ong family, comprising Ong and his wife, is worth $1.6 billion, based on estimates by Forbes, making the couple Singapore’s 10th richest persons.

The lion city has been hosting the Singapore Grand Prix for the last 12 seasons, and the races here have seen a massive headcount of over 550,000 international visitors. The F1 GP is one of Singapore’s biggest tourism highlights and has generated over $1.5 billion in revenues since its debut in 2008.

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