Saturday, January 19, 2019

SM's founder Henry Sy Sr. passes away at 94: "Henry Sy's life was a true "rags to riches" story."

Mr. Henry Sy Sr, founder of SM. Image credit to Bilyonaryo

Forbes magazine named Henry Sy Sr as the Philippines richest man passed away at age 94-years old. 

The life story of Mr.Henry Sy Sr is really a "rags to riches" story after he opened the first Shoemart in 1958 after he had saved enough from selling surplus G.I. boots, 60 years ago. 

According to  Steven Tan, COO of SM Supermalls, Mr. Henry Sy Sr peacefully passed away in his sleep early Saturday morning. 

"With deep sadness, I would like to inform the group that our beloved Chairman Tatang, Mr. Henry Sy Sr, passed away peacefully in his sleep early Saturday morning. Please pray for the eternal repose of his soul," Tan said in a statement. 

Life of Henry Sy Sr

The Chinese born Henry Sy Sr and his familt moved to the Philippines from Xiamen in hopes for a better life. His father owned a simple sari-sari store in Echague Street in Quiapo but it was ravaged when the Second World War came along. 

Henry Sy's father moved back to China while he stayed in Manila determined to become successful. 

With only 10 centavos to his name during that time, Sy worked hard day and night in order to survive, learning English and Tagalog, attending to school and facing obstacles all by himself. 

Young Hnery Sy Sr. Image credit to Esquire

After graduating from Far Eastern University, Sy entered the shoe business and sold surplus G.I. boots which led him to open his first Shoemart. 

Sy married Felicidad Tan, a lace vendor, and he thought of venturing into other products such as childrenswear. That's the time when Shoemart was officially named to SM  Department Store.

In 1967, Sy bought Acme Savings Bank (Banco de Oro) and in 2006, SM acquired and merged Equitable PCI Bank with BDO.

In 1985, Sy opened SM North EDSA consecutively opening other SM malls the following years: SM City Sta. Mesa in 1990, SM Megamall in 1991, and SM City Cebu in 1993. 

In 1994, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. was incorporated and became public. This increased SM Prime's funding capabilities and, in turn, fueled further development of SM malls and shopping centers.

Mr. Henry Sy and wife Felicidad Tan. Image credit to Rappler

SM began its expansion in the Philippines and today, SM Prime has six malls in Xiamen, Jinjiang, Chengdu, Suzhou, Chongqing, and Zibo.

Never one to settle, Sy bought SMDC, the property developer of SM launched its maiden project, a condominium named Chateau Elysée, in Paranaque in 2003. It currently has projects in numerous districts and areas including Makati, Mandaluyong, Manila, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Quezon City, Taguig, and Tagaytay, with plans to expand in key cities in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Henry Sy Sr's successor in the SM group

The 94-year-old founder of the SM group tapped a long-time associate, Jose Sio, to succeed him as chairman of SM Investments. His eldest daughter Teresita Sy-Coson and son Henry Sy Jr remain as co-vice chairpersons at SM Investments, where Harley Sy is also executive director.

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Daily Pilipinas Source: ABS-CBNEsquire

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