The Sys of the SM Investments Group ranked 13th in Forbes’ list of wealthiest families in Asia with an estimated net worth of $12.3B (P564.7T), making the family the richest business conglomerate in the Philippines.
The inaugural list, which acknowledges the region’s Top 50 business dynasties, is included in the October 2015 issue of Forbes Asia.
Forbes noted that the the Henry Sy, Sr.-led company giant roots back from its humble beginnings as a small shoe store in Manila that later expanded as SM Prime Holdings Inc., now with over 50 malls nationwide.
“Henry Sy worked at a young age for his family’s convenience store. He later started a small shoe store in Manila and built it into SM Prime, the country’s largest mall developer,” according to Forbes, adding that the family business now ventures in banking, retail, and real estate development.
SM Prime is one of the largest conglomerates in Southeast Asia.
The family also has stakes in the privately held electricity firm National Grid Corp., which supplies power in the entire country.
Following the Sys are the Zobels and the Aboitizes, ranking 35th and 44th respectively.
The Zobel-owned Ayala Corp., the country’s oldest property conglomerate, is now being run by the Zobel family’s seventh generation.
Home to several subsidiaries such as Ayala Land, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Globe Telecom, and Manila Water, the Zobels have an estimated net worth of $4.2B (P192.8B).
On the other hand, the Aboitizes of the Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) trace their origins way back in the 1800s, kicking off as an abacca-trading and general-merchandising business in the Visayas ran by founder Paulino Aboitiz.
Now, the Cebu-based conglomerate houses various investments in banking, food, power, property and transportation across the region. AEV is now being operated by the Aboitizes’ fourth and fifth generations and has an estimated net worth of $3.6B (P165.3B).
Meanwhile, Forbes has listed South Korea-based Lee family, who runs mobile company giant Samsung, as Asia’s wealthiest business dynasty with an estimated net worth of $26.6B.
Most of the families included in the list are of Chinese descent.
To qualify, a family must have at least a $2.9B net worth that extends to at least three generations.