Evan Kwee (Singapore Businessman)

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Evan Kwee
Evan Kwee profile.jpg
Born1977
EducationBachelor of Business Administration and Management
Alma materBabson College
Spouse(s)Claudia Sondakh (m. 2014)

Evan Kwee (born 1977) is the Vice President and Head of Design and Hospitality at the Pontiac Land Group, and the Vice Chairman and Director of Capella Hotel Group Asia.[1] As the only son of Kwee Liong Tek, Evan Kwee is the third-generation scion of the real estate development company, Pontiac Land Group; along with his three sisters, Stephanie, Alison and Melissa Kwee.[2]

Background[edit | edit source]

Family[edit | edit source]

Evan Kwee was born in 1977 to a Japanese-American mother, Donna Kwee (née Aratani) and a Singaporean-Chinese father, Kwee Liong Tek, the Chairman of Pontiac Land Group.[2] He is the third-born of four children and is the younger brother of the social activist, Melissa Kwee. He has two other sisters, Stephanie and Alison.[3][4] Evan Kwee's maternal grandfather is George Aratani, the founder of Kenwood Electronics and Mikasa Chinaware.[5] His paternal grandfather is Henry Kwee, the founder of Pontiac Land Group.[2]

Education[edit | edit source]

Evan Kwee was a student of United World College South East Asia (UWCSEA). From 1998 to 2002, Evan Kwee studied at Babson College in the United States where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration and Management.[6]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Evan Kwee's wife, Claudia Sondakh. Photo from source.

In 2013,[2] Evan Kwee married the restaurateur, Claudia Sondakh who is the daughter of the Indonesian businessman and owner of Rajawali Corporation, Peter Sondakh.[7][8] Evan Kwee and Claudia Sondakh have a son, Lucas who was born in 2017.[9][10] Evan Kwee is also an avid cyclist.[11]

Career[edit | edit source]

Since September 2002, Evan Kwee has been a part of family-owned real estate company Pontiac Land Group where he is currently the Vice President and Director.[2][6] Evan is also the Vice Chairman and Director of the Pontiac-owned luxury hotel chain, Capella Hotel Group Asia, which owns hotels such as Regent and the Ritz Carlton.[12]

Pontiac Land Group (September 2002 - current)[edit | edit source]

After graduating from Babson College in 2002, Evan’s father, Kwee Liong Tek, requested for his return to Singapore to work for the Pontiac Land Group. Evan Kwee has been the Head of Design and Hospitality at Pontiac since September 2002 and has taken on other positions over the years.[13] Speaking to Forbes Asia about joining the family business of hoteliers, Evan was quoted to have said:

“I always knew I wanted to join the family business. I was fascinated by construction and design. I still remember peering over our balcony at the old Westwood apartment (in Singapore) every night watching them construct the Regent as a young boy. Hotels are in my blood.”[2]

The facade of Regent Singapore.

As part of Pontiac, Evan Kwee provided the ownership backing for Regent Hotel’s Manhattan Bar and was integral to its founding.[14] In October 2018, Manhattan Bar was named the third best bar in the world according to World’s 50 Best Bars and the "Best Bar in Asia" for two consecutive years by Asia’s 50 Best Bars.[15]

Capella Hotel Group Asia ( - current)[edit | edit source]

Presently, Evan Kwee is the Vice Chairman and Executive Director of Capella Hotel Group Asia where he oversees product development and works with architects and clients to create profitable products for the company.[16] Evan spearheaded the building of Capella Singapore, a luxury resort situated in Sentosa which opened in March 2009.[17][18] In an interview that was published on Forbes, he was quoted to have said:

“This [Capella Singapore] was my baby. I was there on site with the contractor, with the hard hat and boots every day.”[2]

In June 2018, Capella Singapore was selected as the venue for the historic Trump-Kim summit.[19][20] According to a report by TODAY, analysts speculated that the hotel was chosen for its relatively secluded location away from mainland Singapore and for its "historical significance".[21] As a part of Capella Hotel Group Asia, Evan has also been involved in overseas large-scale projects such as the formation of Patina Hotels & Resorts, Maldives’ first integrated luxury resort that is set to open in the fourth quarter of 2020.[14][22] Evan is currently leading the Capella Sydney project where Australia’s first sandstone buildings are being repurposed into a luxury hotel. The project is set to open in 2022.[14][23]

Board appointments[edit | edit source]

Evan Kwee (far right) with three other Pontiac Land executives in 2015. Photo from source.

Apart from his commitments to the Kwee hotel business, Evan Kwee is also a Director at PT Brewin Mesa Development, a Singapore-based real estate and investment company focused on the Indonesian real estate market.[24] Brewin Mesa is a joint venture between Brewin Properties and MESA Investment, the latter of which is owned by the Kwee family.[25] Evan represents his family’s interests in the company and advises on project development, asset management and human resource development. The following is a list of the board positions that Evan Kwee has held over the years.

Year Organisation Role Refs,
- current Capella Hotel Group Asia Vice Chairman [16]
Director
- current Brewin Mesa Director [24]
- current Pontiac Land Group Vice President [2]
Director
2002 - current Head of Design and Hospitality

References/ Citations[edit | edit source]

  1. Evan Kwee. LinkedIn. n.d. Accessed on 23 September 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.linkedin.com/in/evan-kwee-58a34913a/
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Next Tycoons: Singaporean Evan Kwee's Passion For Design”. Forbes. December 2013. Accessed on 24 September 2020.
  3. "Keeping meaningful traditions alive [ARTICLE + ILLUSTRATION]". The Business Times. December 21, 2001. Accessed on 28 September 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  4. Melissa Kwee”. Her World. 2007. Accessed on 25 September 2020.
  5. Life's Calling”. Forbes. March 6, 2009. Accessed on 24 September 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Evan Kwee. LinkedIn. n.d. Accessed on 23 September 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.linkedin.com/in/evan-kwee-58a34913a/
  7. Zhuang, Zara. “Claudia Sondakh: Consumed By Passion”. Prestige Singapore. February 24, 2017. Accessed on 24 September 2020.
  8. Chan, Tristan Jinwei. "What Singapore’s real crazy rich Asians spend their money on: the houses they buy, restaurants they eat at and holidays they take". South China Morning Post. August 6, 2018. Accessed on 28 September 2020. Retrieved from Yahoo!News.
  9. Striking It Out With Serial Entrepreneur - Claudia Sondakh, Plentyfull Singapore”. The Busy Woman Project. July 30, 2018. Accessed on 24 September 2020.
  10. ekwee. "My Baby Boy Lucas!!". Instagram. June 24, 2017. Accessed on 24 September 2020.
  11. Goh, Alison. "Evan Kwee: Old school man, new age hotelier". CNN Travel. January 13, 2010. Accessed on 27 October 2020.
  12. About”. Capella Hotel Group. n.d. Accessed on 24 September 2020.
  13. Goh, Alison. “Evan Kwee: Old school man, new age hotelier”. CNN Travel. January 13, 2010. Accessed on 24 September 2020.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Evan Kwee, head of design and hospitality, Pontiac Land Group”. Robb Report Singapore. November 1, 2019. Accessed on 24 September 2020. Retrieved from PressReader.
  15. Raguraman, Anjali. “Singapore's Manhattan ranked No. 3 on World's 50 Best Bars; Atlas breaks into top 10”. The Straits Times. October 4, 2018. Accessed on 24 September 2020.
  16. 16.0 16.1 About”. Capella Hotel Group. n.d. Accessed on 24 September 2020.
  17. Sufian Suderman. "Six-star Capella to find it's heart and soul". TODAY. January 10, 2009. Accessed on 30 September 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  18. "Capella Singapore, a Hotel of Distinction on Sentosa Island, Welcomes its First Guests". Hospitality Net. April 3, 2009. Accessed on 27 October 2020.
  19. Gollan, Doug. “The Trump-Kim Singapore Summit Yields Unexpected Benefits”. Forbes. December 16, 2019. Accessed on 24 September 2020.
  20. "Trump-Kim summit: An up-close look from inside Capella". The Straits Times. June 12, 2018. Accessed on 30 September 2020.
  21. Ng, Kelly. "Capella Hotel chosen for security and symbolic reasons: Experts". TODAY. June 6, 2018. Accessed on 27 October 2020.
  22. Meetings and Conventions Asia. “New brand for Capella Hotel Group”. Meetings and Conventions Asia. March 11, 2020. Accessed on 24 September 2020.
  23. Capella Sydney”. Capella Hotels and Resorts. n.d. Accessed on 25 September 2020.
  24. 24.0 24.1 The Key Figures”. Brewin Mesa. n.d. Accessed on 25 September 2020.
  25. "About”. Brewin Mesa. n.d. Accessed on 25 September 2020.