Kwee Liong Tek (Singapore Billionaire)

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Kwee Liong Tek
Kwee Liong Tek.jpg
Born1946
Spouse(s)Donna Aratani (m. 1970)
ChildrenMelissa Kwee, Alison Kwee, Stephanie Kwee, Evan Kwee

Kwee Liong Tek (born 1946) is the Chairman of the real estate development company, Pontiac Land Group and the co-founder of Capella Hotel Group Asia.[1] He is the second son of Pontiac Land Group’s founder, Henry Kwee. In 2020, Kwee Liong Tek was featured in Tatler Singapore’s ‘300 List’, a compilation of the most powerful and influential people in Singapore.[2] His four children, Evan Kwee, Melissa Kwee, Alison Kwee and Stephanie Kwee are the third-generation scions of Pontiac Land.

Background[edit | edit source]

Kwee Liong Tek pictured in 2015. Photo credit to Singapore Tatler.

In 2020, Kwee Liong Tek and his three brothers, Liong Keng, Liong Seen and Liong Phing ranked ninth place on Forbes’ Singapore’s 50 Richest list.[3] Over the years, they have received significant media coverage for their wealth. Speaking to The Business Times in 2009, he reportedly said:

"We're just stewards of what was given to us by our father (Henry Kwee Hian Liong) and we hope we continue to honour his legacy".[4]

Henry Kwee passed away in 1988.[5] Kwee Liong Tek has also been recognised for his generous donations to Singaporean charities and non-profit organisations such as the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS).[6][7]

Early life & family[edit | edit source]

Kwee Liong Tek was born in 1946 in Bandung, Indonesia to Kho Lang Sit and Henry Kwee Hian Liong.[8][9] According to several reports, the family emigrated to Singapore in 1958.[9][10][11] Kwee Liong Tek is the second eldest of four brothers; all of whom hold senior executive and board positions in the company as of 2020.[12] His older brother, Kwee Liong Keng is the Managing Director of the Pontiac Land Group.

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Kwee Liong Tek has been married to Donna Kwee (nee Aratani) since 1970.[13] His father-in-law was the late George Aratani, a Japanese-American businessman who founded Kenwood Electronics and Mikasa Chinaware.[14] Kwee Liong Tek has four children with Donna; Melissa, Evan, Alison and Stephanie. Their eldest daughter, Melissa is a prominent social activist in Singapore and their only son, Evan is the vice president of Pontiac Land Group.[15][16] Married to Evan Kwee is Claudia Sondakh, the daughter of the Indonesian businessman, Peter Sondakh who owns the Rajawali Corporation.[17] Kwee Liong Tek is also an avid art collector.[4][18]

Career[edit | edit source]

As of September 2020, Kwee Liong Tek is the Chairman of the Pontiac Land Group. Under his stewardship, the company has since grown to be worth an estimated $5.4 billion, according to Forbes in September 2020.[3]

Contributions to Capella Hotel Group[edit | edit source]

Kwee Liong Tek (far left) at the opening ceremony of Capella Singapore in 2009. Photo from source.

In 2006, Kwee Liong Tek and the renowned German hotelier, Horst Schulze created a joint venture to expand the latter's Capella Hotel Group footprint in the Asia Pacific region.[19][20] Kwee then co-founded Capella Hotel Group Asia, a luxury hotel chain that owns hotels and resorts in several countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Maldives and Indonesia.[21] After Horst Schulze sold the Capella Hotel Group to the Kwee family in 2017, the company relocated its headquarters from Atlanta, Georgia to Singapore.[22][23][24] In January 2019, Capella Hotel Group Asia became the managing brand of Regent Singapore, a five-star hotel that houses the multi-award-winning, Manhattan Bar.[25]

Pontiac Land Group (Portfolio)[edit | edit source]

The following are some of the major development projects that had been undertaken by Pontiac Land Group during Kwee Liong Tek's tenure as the company's Chairman.

Major projects in Singapore[edit | edit source]

In 2010, Pua Seck Guan's Perennial Real Estate and the Pontiac Land Group bought the Capitol Theatre, Capitol Building, Stamford House and Capitol Centre for S$250 million.[26] The Kwee's Pontiac Land Group was involved in the commercial and residential redevelopment of the said buildings which were re-opened in May 2015.[27]

Major overseas projects[edit | edit source]

In October 2013, Pontiac Land Group invested a $300 million equity stake to kickstart the development of 53 West 53 (53W53), a luxury skyscraper in Manhattan, New York next to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).[28] Through this project, the Pontiac Land Group was the first-ever Singaporean real estate developer to embark into America.[29] In a statement to the press, Kwee Liong Tek said:

"We are delighted to partner with Hines and Goldman Sachs on this landmark project. We have long admired MoMA's contribution to the city and the world, and we are pleased that this project will expand its galleries and enhance the visitor experience".[18][30]

Designed by the renowned French architect, Jean Nouvel, the building houses a private condominium apartment complex and other amenities such a 65-foot indoor lap pool and a golf simulator, among others.[31]

References/ Citations[edit | edit source]

  1. Leadership”. Shenning Investments. n.d. Accessed on 28 September 2020.
  2. Kwee Liong Tek”. Tatler Singapore. n.d. Accessed on 28 September 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 #9 Kwee brothers”. Forbes. n.d. Accessed on 28 September 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Lee, Jamie. "S'pore tycoons rise and fall in roller-coaster ride". The Business Times. September 11, 2009. Accessed on 27 October 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  5. "CONDOLENCES". The Straits Times. April 19, 1988. Accessed on 27 October 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  6. "Straight from the Heart: The First Beat". Singapore Tatler. May 27, 2015. Accessed on 27 October 2020.
  7. Siau Ming En. "Over $960000 raised for TODAY Enable Fund and iC2 prephouse". Mediacorp. August 25, 2018. Accessed on 27 October 2020.
  8. Here are the 10 richest people in Singapore”. The New Paper. July 23, 2015. Accessed on 28 September 2020.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Banjarnahor, Donald. "Dari Bandung, Keluarga Ini Jadi Konglomerat Properti Dunia". CNBC Indonesia. June 17, 2018. Accessed on 27 October 2020.
  10. "Liong Phing Kwee". Cornell University. Accessed on 27 October 2020.
  11. Chan, Melissa. "The 18 richest people in Singapore right now, and how they amassed their fortunes". Vulcan Post. July 13, 2017. Accessed on 27 October 2020. Retrieved from AsiaOne.
  12. "Pontiac Land Pte Ltd". Bloomberg. Accessed on 27 October 2020.
  13. "Keeping meaningful traditions alive". The Business Times. December 21, 2001. Accessed on 27 October 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  14. Life's Calling”. Forbes. March 6, 2009. Accessed on 24 September 2020.
  15. MELISSA ARATANI KWEE”. TODAY. March 20, 2010. Accessed on 24 September 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  16. Evan Kwee. LinkedIn. n.d. Accessed on 23 September 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.linkedin.com/in/evan-kwee-58a34913a/
  17. Zhuang, Zara. “Claudia Sondakh: Consumed By Passion”. Prestige Singapore. February 24, 2017. Accessed on 29 September 2020.
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Pontiac Land secures inaugural U.S. investment with New York’s 53W53 MoMA project". Pontiac Land. October 30, 2013. Accessed on 27 October 2020.
  19. Horst Schulze sells Capella Hotels to Singapore family Kwee”. Business of Luxury. October 24, 2017. Accessed on 28 September 2020.
  20. Chan, Fiona. "Pontiac Land's Kwee family in luxury hotel tie-up". The Straits Times. October 5, 2006. Accessed on 27 October 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  21. Capella Hotels and Resorts”. Capella. n.d. Accessed on 28 September 2020.
  22. "Horst Schulze sells Capella Hotels to Singapore family Kwee". CPP Luxury. October 24, 2017. Accessed on 27 October 2020.
  23. Raini Hamdi. "Making his own mark at Capella Hotel Group". TTG Asia. November 13, 2017. Accessed on 27 October 2020.
  24. "Capella CEO Nicholas Clayton: We have big plans for Asia". The Peak Magazine. November 30, 2017. Accessed on 27 October 2020.
  25. Four Seasons will cease management of Regent Singapore”. Travel Weekly Asia. July 2, 2018. Accessed on 28 September 2020.
  26. Lee, Meixian., Mak, Elizabeth. “The resurrection of Capitol Theatre”. Business Times. May 16, 2015. Accessed on 28 September 2020.
  27. Zachariah, Natasha Ann. "STAR OF THE SHOW". The Straits Times. May 16, 2015. Accessed on 27 October 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  28. Chan, Melissa. “The 18 richest people in Singapore right now, and how they amassed their fortunes”. AsiaOne. July 13, 2017. Accessed on 28 September 2020.
  29. Pontiac Land makes its mark in US with style”. The Straits Times. May 13, 2015. Accessed on 28 September 2020.
  30. Tan, Melissa. "S'pore developer in NY tower deal". The Straits Times. October 31, 2013. Accessed on 27 October 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  31. "Amenities”. 53 West 53. n.d. Accessed on 28 September 2020.