Henry Sy (Mr. ShoeMart)
Henry Sy (seated) with his childern Tessie and Hans in SM Megamall
Henry Sy, Sr. (born on December 25, 1924) is the founder and chairman of SM Prime Holdings, the largest retailing corporation in the Philippines. He earned his Associate of Arts degree in Commercial Studies at Far Eastern University in 1950. Acknowledged as the countryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s "Retail King," he has come a long way from the modest shoe store he set up in Quiapo in 1946, to become the owner of the PhilippinesÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s biggest chain of shopping malls.
Henry Sy is the wealthiest individual in the Philippines and (as of 2007) 349th in the world. Forbes magazine estimates his wealth at $2.6 billion, but some[attribution needed] estimate Sy's assets to total US$5 billion. Others[attribution needed] estimate that he controls 40-60% of companies worth more than US$15 billion.
Sy is considered a Tai-Pan or tycoon of Asia. As of 2006, Forbes magazine ranked him as the 14th richest person in Southeast Asia; "Henry Sy and family" is ranked the 74th richest in the "Asia and Australia" region, and 512th richest in the world. (In the absence of evidence to support such higher claims, the Forbes numbers should taken as a "best-guess" estimate for the time being.)
Sy controls the Banco de Oro, Universal Bank, and China Banking Corporation. In 2007, he bought the remaining 66% of Equitable PCI Bank, the Philippines 3rd largest lender, in which he already had a 34% stake, and will soon merge it to Banco de Oro Universal Bank. This merger would create the Philippines's largest financial institution. The Sy family has a personal stake of $2.6 billion in these 3 banks. Mr. Sy also owns 12% of San Miguel Corporation, Southeast Asia's biggest food and beverage conglomerate at an estimated worth of $500 million.
Henry Sy, Sr., was named "Management Man of the Year" by the Makati Business Club and was conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Business Management by De La Salle University-Manila in January 1999. He organized the SM Foundation Inc., which helps underprivileged but promising young Filipinos.
Sy's retail chain is SM Prime Holdings, known as "Shoe Mart" or simply "SM". Several of his children now hold senior management positions in his companies, although he has groomed daughter Teresita Sy-Coson as his successor.
Sy's holding company, SM Investments Corp., 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 sixth-largest mall in the world.