|Educado en||Universidad de Australia Occidental|
|Ocupación||Empresario, Filántropo, Médico|
|Patrimonio||US$2.4 billion (Septiembre 2016)|
Peter Lim (born 1953) is a Singaporean business magnate, entrepreneur, philanthropist and investor. Lim, who was one of Singapore's leading stockbrokers, is now a private investor. He is an astute and diversified investor who looks long-term and has invested in sectors ranging from palm oil to medicine. In 2019, Forbes ranked him as the 10th richest person in Singapore with a net worth of US$2.5 billion.
Lim was born in very modest circumstances. Despite his economic conditions and having to grow up in a difficult neighbourhood, he never made an excuse to work hard. Finding it hard to get into a respectable University because of his economic background, he put himself through the University of Western Australia, in Perth, by working as a taxi driver, cook and waiter, among other odd jobs, and eventually graduated with a degree in finance and accounting.
As a philanthropist, Lim focuses on education and sports. Remembering his own experiences growing up, he has made generous donations to help those who are capable and driven but lack the financial resources. To date, the most high profile project is the S$10 million scholarship fund under the Singapore Olympic Foundation (SOF) to nurture local sports talents in 2010. Many donations to numerous other charities have not been profiled.
Given Lim’s prominent background, wealth and involvement in philanthropy, he is known to fight at all cost to protect his credibility. Lim responds aggressively to clear false allegations and to stymie frivolous claims. In 2009, Lim won the biggest libel payout in Singaporean history in the Raffles Town Club saga.
Lim married Cherie Lim in 2003. He has two children with ex-wife Venus Teo Geok Fong.
The son of a fishmonger, Lim and his seven siblings grew up in a two-bedroom government flat in the Bukit Ho Swee public housing estate. Lim learnt a lot growing up in this neighbourhood, which was notorious for its lawlessness then. Lim completed his secondary school education at the Raffles Institution. After National Service, he went to Perth to study at the University of Western Australia. To fund his university education, Lim worked part-time doing odd jobs as a taxi driver, cook and waiter. It was one of these jobs – in the Australian fast-food chain Red Rooster – that opened his eyes to how business was done. Lim studied how they started, how they grew, and how they scaled up. In university, he further honed his instincts and skills as an investor. He graduated with a degree in accounting and finance and first worked as an accountant. He did some tax consultancy before going into stocks.
In the early 1990s, Lim invested about US$10 million in a start-up palm-oil company, Wilmar. By the second half of the decade, he had written off that investment. Then, the Indonesian currency fell from 2,500 rupiah against the US dollar (the exchange rate when he invested in Wilmar) to 16,000 rupiah. Due to the riots and instability in Indonesia at that time, there was no way of cashing out the assets. Stability was gradually restored in a few years. Businessman Robert Kuok decided to inject his Malaysian palm oil operations into Wilmar in 2007. In response to a 2006 FDA ruling mandating the labelling of trans fatty acids on the Nutrition Facts label, food manufacturers began eliminating trans fats from their products and began substituting them with palm oil. Imports to the United States alone increased by nearly 60%. The increased use of biofuels, during the period of high oil prices also contributed to demand. In 2010, Lim cashed out at the peak of commodity prices and sold his Wilmar shares for US$1.5 billion.
Known as the “Remisier King” due to his success in stocks, Lim explains that while there was an element of luck, it was also because he created a role for himself as a “one man merchant bank” in the M&A space in Indonesia in the late 80s. He became indispensable to both retail and high net worth investors.
Lim quit the broking business in 1996 and became a private investor. He was able to escape the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis as he had liquidated most of his stocks and was holding cash.
As a private investor, Lim has interests in sectors from . He invests for the long term and advises young investors to be patient. Lim says “You may not have a lot of money, but you have a lot of time”. The self-made mogul’s success has largely been down to a mixture of savvy investing and sheer grit.
When Singapore’s stock market plunged in 2007, it resulted in an erosion of more than $100 million of his stock’s value. Lim advised that “when you are holding stock, do not be too happy if it goes up; likewise, do not be too sad when it goes down. Otherwise, your life would also be fluctuating and you would die of a heart attack. You may drop out but do not drop dead! If you lose sleep over it, maybe the best way is to keep the money in the bank”.
In the sports sector, Lim owns a controlling stake (83%) in Spanish La Liga club Valencia CF, a 40% stake in Salford City F.C (with former Manchester United players Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and David Beckham holding the other 60%), and stakes in British supercar maker McLaren Automotive and Hotel Football next to Old Trafford stadium in Manchester.Lim also owns Mint Media, which owns the image rights of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.
His portfolio of investments includes property developer Rowsley, security provider Secura Group and Singapore’s leading architectural firm RSP.
In 2010, Lim took Singapore's first women's hospital, Thomson Medical, private for . Given the growing population and affluence in the region and consequent increase in demand for private healthcare services, Thomson Medical aims to be a leading healthcare service provider for obstetrics, gynaecology and paediatric services.
Lim has also stepped up plans to transform part of the land he owns in Iskandar Malaysia into a medical hub, Thomson Iskandar. TMC LifeSciences, a Malaysia-listed firm which he controls, has bought a health complex in the area for RM400 million (S$153 million). 70% is owned by Lim, with Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Idris holding the other 30%. Thomson International, a subsidiary of Thomson Medical, will manage the complex.
Lim also has two major projects in the southern Malaysian state of Johor. A medical hub project at Vantage Bay in Johor Bahru town and in FASTrack Autosports, an integrated sports hub in Malaysia.
Born and bred in Singapore, and bolstered by the opportunities afforded to him by Singapore’s meritocratic system, Lim has made it one of his life missions to give back to society. As a philanthropist, Lim focuses on education and sports to help those who are capable and driven, but lack the financial resources. Lim says “Education must be cheap and accessible to anyone. For me, I was the son of a fishmonger, but I could still go to the best school. I had the opportunity to make money”. Lim has been discreet about his charitable contributions over the years and much of it was anonymous.
The most profiled donation was in June 2010 when the Singapore Olympic Foundation (SOF) set up the SOF-Peter Lim Scholarship with a S$10 million donation from Lim. The gift remains the single largest donation in Singapore from an individual towards sports development. The driving force behind the Scholarship is the desire to ensure that no promising young athlete, committed to pursuing his sporting dreams, should be hampered by financial considerations. To date, more than 2930 scholarships, worth a total of more than S$8 million, have been disbursed to young athletes across 54 sports.
Lim also endowed Nanyang Technological University with S$3 million in 2014 to fund a professorship in peace studies at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies to protect and promote harmony in Singapore.
Apart from monetary donations, Lim also takes it upon himself to deliver food to needy families in one-room flats and old folks’ homes. Separately, Lim also uses his wide network of sports superstars to benefit the youth in Singapore schools. Cristiano Ronaldo, Lewis Hamilton, Jose Mourinho, among others, have visited schools like Crest Secondary and Northlight School for kids with learning difficulties to engage the children and encourage them.
Lim, by principle, will not be taken advantage of by individuals who are out for his money. He has spent vast amounts in legal fees to clear false allegations and thwart frivolous claims in order to protect his credibility at all cost. The most prominent case was the Raffles Town Club saga.
Lim, a former consultant to Raffles Town Club, launched a libel suit against Mr Lin Jian Wei and Ms Margaret Tung – who took over the club in 2001 – for defamatory remarks they had made in a statement to settle a separate lawsuit brought by unhappy club members. In the statement sent out late in 2005, Mr. Lin and Ms. Tung suggested that the club's financial difficulties were due to mismanagement by the original directors and management, one of whom was Lim. Although the High Court dismissed the defamation lawsuit, Lim did not relent and appealed. The appellate court subsequently ruled in Lim's favour and ordered the biggest libel payout in Singaporean history. He doubled the $220,000 award he received and donated it to the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund – an educational charity.
On separate occasions in August 2016 and October 2017, Lim filed police reports over several scams that misused his name. These include get-rich quick scams (in programmes and cryptocurrency etc.) with his purported “endorsement”, as well as several fake Facebook accounts claiming to be Lim’s official account.
- «Peter Lim». forbes.com.