4. Wee Cho Yaw, $5.8B
88-year-old Wee Cho Yaw is the chairman emeritus of United Overseas Bank (UOB), which was co-founded by his father, the late Wee Kheng Chiang.
He started his working life at Kheng Leong, a family-owned business that traded commodities, all the while staying close to his father to learn about business and tapping into the older Wee’s network of contacts. In 1958, he joined the bank and became the youngest director on the board.
After his father stepped down as managing director in 1960, the younger Wee took over, and he steered the bank into foreign exchange and international trade financing – growing the bank’s assets nearly nine-fold since taking over.
Under his leadership, the bank expanded its network and services over the years, and was listed on the Hong Kong exchange in 1972. UOB currently has 68 branches in Singapore and more than 500 offices in 19 countries and territories in Asia Pacific, Western Europe and North America.