HONG KONG — With the passing of jewelry billionaire Cheng Yu Tung in September, Hong Kong is witnessing a changing of the guard among its richest.
Cheng, who built Chow Tai Fook into the world’s largest jewelry retailer and had accumulated a fortune of over $16 billion, was part of an aging set of business magnates who made their fortune in the city’s boom years of the Sixties and Seventies. He was 91.
For years, rankings of the city’s top billionaires have been heavily weighted with octogenarians, including Hong Kong’s reigning tycoon Li Ka-shing, age 88.
But that’s changing, and at an ever quickening pace. When it comes to fashion’s next leaders, below are a few faces to keep an eye on:
ADRIAN CHENG is the heir-apparent to the Chow Tai Fook business. He is an executive director at the jewelry firm where he helps his father, company chairman Henry Cheng. He also serves as executive vice chairman at New World Development Company Ltd, the Cheng family’s property development firm. A well-known art collector, he founded K11 malls which add a museum component to retail.
His sister SONIA CHENG, while not in fashion, works on expanding the family’s hotel portfolio which includes The Carlyle, Rosewood Hotel Group, New World Hotels and Pentahotels.
SPENCER FUNG became chief executive officer of global trading and sourcing company Li & Fung in July 2014, taking over the reins from his father Victor and uncle William. The two elder Fungs are estimated to be worth $3.7 billion, according to Forbes.
Spencer’s sister SABRINA FUNG is spearheading Macy’s push into China, which is a joint venture with Fung Retailing.
JENNIFER WOO, daughter of Peter Woo (an estimated $10.3 billion net worth, Forbes estimates) is chairwoman and chief executive officer of Lane Crawford Joyce Group.
Since January 2014, her brother DOUGLAS WOO has overseen Wheelock and Company Ltd., the Woo’s property development firm.
VERONICA CHOU is the oldest daughter of Novel Enterprises Ltd’s Silas Chou ($2.3 billion net worth, according to Forbes), who made his fortune through textiles and investments in Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors. Veronica recently sold her business Iconix China, which helped launch U.S. brands in the Chinese market, and is looking at investment opportunities within fashion with her younger sister Vivian.
Recent college graduate VIVIAN CHOU became executive chair at Thakoon after it was acquired through her family’s investment vehicle Bright Fame Fashion.