[THE INVESTOR] A recent study by The Investor and The Herald Business found that as of this year, 76 of the nation’s richest 100 people were second or third generation of the founding family of South Korea’s top conglomerates.
They were also the richer than their wealthy peers in the same age bracket.
Richest under 40: Koo Gwang-mo
Among South Korea‘s richest aged 40 years or younger, LG chairman’s grandson Koo Gwang-mo, 38, of LG Group is the wealthiest.
His net worth is estimated at 751.8 billion won (US$650.5 million).
LG Corp. vice president Koo Gwang-mo.
Koo is the grandson of LG’s founder, the late Koo In-hoe. He was born to Heesung Group chairman Koo Bong-neung, but was adopted by his uncle Koo Bon-moo, chairman of LG. Gwang-mo is currently a vice president of LG Corp. He was promoted to the executive level in 2014 after entering LG Electronics in 2006.
Koo has a 6.03 percent stake in LG Corp., the holding company of LG. His stocks were worth 676.6 billion won as of this May. He also has 32 billion won worth of LG International stocks.
Among unlisted stocks, Koo has a 7 percent stake in Pantos Logistics that was acquired for 43.2 billion won.
Richest 40-something: Lee Jae-yong
Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong, 48, is the richest South Korean in the age bracket of 40 to 49 years.
Lee, who is also South Korea’s third-wealthiest person, has a fortune worth 6.35 trillion won (US$548.82 billion) including listed stocks and real estate.
Samsung C&T shares made up the bulk of Lee’s assets. Following a merger between the firm and Cheil Industries in 2015, his stake in Samsung C&T stood at 17.8 percent worth 3.92 trillion won.
Lee also owns a 9.2 percent stake in Samsung SDS and a 0.58 percent stake in Samsung Electronics. Combined, the stocks are worth 2.36 trillion won.
Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong
His shares in Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, Samsung Life Insurance and Samsung Engineering are altogether worth 528.6 billion won.
Lee’s real estate assets are worth more than 12 billion won. For instance, his Itaewon-dong home has an appraised value of 7.32 billion won as of this year.
His second home, located in Hannam-dong, is priced at 4.68 billion won.
If placed on the market, these homes could fetch more, as their market values will be higher than the government-appraised prices.
Richest 50-something: Suh Kyung-bae
AmorePacific chairman Suh Kyung-bae, 53, is the richest in the age bracket of between 50 and 59 years.
He is also Korea’s second-wealthiest individual. Suh is one of the six children of the late Suh Sung-hwan, founder of AmorePacific. The junior Suh took over the firm in 1997.
Amore Pacific Group chairman Suh Kyung-bae
Suh’s assets are currently worth 9.9 trillion won. Among them are AmorePacific Group stocks, both ordinary and preferred stocks, which are worth 7.29 trillion won.
He also has 2.58 trillion won worth of AmorePacific Corp. shares. The firm is a subsidiary of AmorePacific Group.
Suh’s real estate is worth over 23.1 billion won. He purchased his 672.6 square-meter Hannam-dong home for 17.4 billion won in 2012.
His Itaewon-dong home -- currently under construction -- has an appraised value of 5.6 billion won.
Richest 60-something: Shin Chang-jae
Kyobo Life Insurance Group chairman Shin Chang-jae, 63, is the wealthiest among Koreans aged 60 to 69 years.
Formerly a gynecologist, Shin joined Kyobo Life Insurance on the urgings of his father who founded the firm.
Kyobo Life chairman Shin Chang-jae
His personal assets are seen to be worth 2.54 trillion won (US$2.2 billion). Most of them are in the form of unlisted Kyobo Life stocks.
He also own a 624 square meter home in Seongbuk-dong, which he bought for 5.8 billion won in 2014.
Richest 70-something: Lee Kun-hee
Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee is the wealthiest individual in the age bracket of 70 years and older.
He is also the richest person in South Korea.
Lee’s assets are estimated at 12.27 trillion won (US$10.6 billion). His stocks are worth 11.33 trillion won, including shares in Samsung Life amounting to a 20.76 percent stake, Samsung SDS and Samsung Electronics.
Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee
Lee’s real estate is worth 938.9 billion won. He currently has up to 10 pieces of property registered with the government. They total some 6,272 square meters. The chairman also has land in Gyeonggi Province spanning some 8,712 square meters.
Lee is currently recovering from a heart attack he suffered in 2014. His only son Jae-yong is managing the company in his absence.
By Kim Ji-hyun (email@example.com)