As might be expected, most of the wealthiest people residing on the island have amassed their wealth through property.
Other industries represented on our list of Singaporean financial elites include the usual suspects, such as banking and the hot technology sector, but there is even room for the not-as-sexy paint industry!
Without further ado, here is our list of 2016’s top 10 richest people in Singapore, in ascending order of wealth:
#10 Richard Chandler – US$2.3 billion
Born a New Zealander, 57-year old Richard Chandler relocated to Singapore about a decade ago in 2006. He is the Chairman of Clermont Group in the island-city.
The Singapore-based business group invests in public and private equity across a vast range of industries, including several energy companies, financial services and even Vietnam’s biggest healthcare provider, Hoan My Medical Corporation, in which Clermont Group acquired an 80% stake.
#9 Raj Kumar & Kishin RK – US$2.4billion
This father and son pair is one of Singapore’s biggest names in real estate. Raj Kumar is the owner of Royal Holdings , a property investment focused group with significant expertise in the development and management of properties.
Established in 1947, the Group has substantial interests in major shopping centres in Singapore, such as Lucky Plaza, Far East Plaza and Orchard Towers.
Kishin RK is the founder of RB Capital , one of the most dynamic real estate development companies in the country. He has acquired and developed big property names such as Holiday Inn Express Clarke Quay and Park Hotel Farrer Park.
#8 Kuok Khoon Hong – US$2.6billion
Kuok Khoon Hong is the nephew of sugar tycoon, Robert Kuok, who also is the richest man in Malaysia. The Kuok name carries much weight and wealth, but instead of resting on his laurels, Kuok Khoon Hong built up an empire of his own.
Since 1973, Kuok has been involved in the grains, edible oils and oilseeds businesses and today has completed many oil palm plantation projects throughout Asia and Africa.
He is also the founder of Wilmar International , one of the world’s biggest palm oil firms that started back in 1991.
Kuok has clearly inherited more than just financial wealth through his surname, as he seems to have also inherited a large dose of business acumen from the family.
#7 Wee Cho Yaw – US$4.8billion
Wee joined the board of directors of the UOB in 1958 (known back then as United Chinese Bank). In 1974, his father, Wee Kheng Chiang, the founder of United Chinese Bank, retired and Wee succeeded him as chairman till today. As chairman of one of the largest banks in Singapore, it is no surprise that he made the list.
#6 Kwee Family – US$4.9billion
The Kwee family consists of brothers Kwee Liong Keng, Kwee Liong Tek, Kwee Liong Seen and Kwee Liong Phing who are the owners of Pontiac Land Group , one of Singapore’s largest privately held property and hospitality company. They own luxury hotels such as the Regent, Ritz-Carlton and the Capella in Singapore.
The brothers are the sons of Indonesian textile trader and real estate developer, Henry Kwee, who emigrated to Singapore in 1958.
#5 Goh Cheng Liang – US$5.6billion
Goh Cheng Liang started off his entrepreneurial career by selling fishing nets during the World War II. Since then, he has become one of the biggest paint tycoons in Southeast Asia.
Goh is the owner of Wuthelam Group and also owns 39% of Japan’s Nippon Paint Holdings.
Goh’s only son, Goh Hup Jin, also runs the family's privately held paint and coatings maker NIPSEA Group, a joint venture with Nippon.
With all that wealth, Goh indulges in an interesting and expensive hobby of collecting luxury yachts and catamarans.
#4 Khoo Family – US$6.2billion
The Khoo family comes from a long line of bankers, including Khoo Teck Puat, the founder of Maybank. Yes, the hospital in Yishun is named after that Khoo Teck Puat, due to the family’s large donation towards funding the hospital.
At one point in time, the Khoo family were the biggest shareholders in Standard Chartered Bank. But after selling their share in Standard Chartered for US$4billion, the family has since been focusing on philanthropy and the Goodwood Group of Hotels that they own.
Mavis Khoo-Oei, daughter of Khoo Teck Puat now oversees the flagship Goodwood Park Hotel, which was built in 1900.
#3 Eduardo Saverin – US$7.2billion
So, okay, we had to include at least one tech person, right? Eduardo Saverin of Facebook fame has made the list since he has made Singapore his home.
Along with Mark Zuckerberg and three others, Saverin founded Facebook — the social network giant that has won the attention of more than half the world.
He moved to Singapore in 2009 and gave up his American citizenship. He is married to Indonesian-Chinese Elaine Andriejanss.
Saverin is also active in the tech startup funding scene via his investments in, among others, last-mile logistics firm
, tech media
Tech in Asia
, car rental service
and online property search portal
#2 Kwek Leng Beng – US$7.6billion
As the Chairman of Hong Leong Group Singapore , Kwek Leng Beng and his family are Singapore’s second richest.
His father, Kwek Hong Png, who came from Fujian in China, was the founder of Hong Leong Group Singapore.
Kwek oversees the Singaporean operations of the Hong Leong Group, while his cousin and fellow billionaire Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan oversees the Malaysian operations.
Although Kwek was trained as a lawyer, he joined the family business after graduating and also pursued real estate whereby he is also Chairman of City Developments Limited (CDL) , an international property and hotel conglomerate and the leading real estate developer in Singapore.
#1 Robert & Philip Ng – US$8.4billion
Brothers Robert and Philip Ng control Singapore’s largest Private Property Developer, Far East Organisation .
The Ng family also own Hong Kong’s Sino Group, which was founded by the siblings' father, Ng Teng Fong. The group focuses on developing residential, office, industrial and retail properties for sale and investment purposes.
The brothers have even expanded to Australia and snatched up prized real estate assets such as the Westin Sydney Hotel.