Real estate titans are Singapore’s richest

If you’re thinking – how on earth did they get so rich and successful?  –  hopefully this article would spur you on to chase your dreams and eventually become one of Singapore’s richest too.

Meet Singapore’s richest duo, 63-year-old Robert and 56-year-old Philip Ng. The brothers are sons of real estate tycoon Ng Teng Fong, who inherited their father’s real estate empire and continued to bring it to greater heights.

There are different routes to success, and although their wealth might not be entirely self-made, their story is still nonetheless impressive. They’ve made their mark not only in Singapore, but also Hong Kong and even as far as Australia.

They are now ranked #131 richest on a worldwide scale by Forbes, with a combined net worth of $9.6 billion.


Not sure how much that is? Well, Peter Lim x 4.8 = Robert + Philip Ng:



This means that whatever Peter Lim owns, Robert and Philip Ng can buy nearly 5 times of that. Well, except for Kim Lim, of course.

What is their success formula? We try to dissect the Ng brothers’ life story into 10 steps in a (feeble) attempt to become the next billionaire.

1. Have a successful father


Of course, we’re not saying that the Ng brothers deserve no credit, but the road ahead is always made easier if the foundation was laid for you. Their late father, Ng Teng Fong, had already developed Far East Organization into a conglomerate with over 700 malls, hotels and condos in Singapore and Hong Kong worth over $6 billion in value. After their father’s demise in 2010 due to cerebral hemorrhage, the brothers worked together to grow the business.

2. Dabble in real estate in land scarce Singapore


Real estate is king. One in six houses in Singapore today is built by the Ng family. These guys are basically the HDB of condominiums.

3. Share the workload


The Ng family owns developmental organisations Far East Organization and Sino Group. However, the bulk of their fortune is from Tsim Sha Tsui properties based in Hong Kong. While elder brother Robert manages the Hong Kong company, younger brother Philip takes care of the business in Singapore.

4. Acquire other skills

Y’know, in case this real estate thing doesn’t work out.

Robert Ng is not only a property tycoon, but also a trained lawyer. His brother, Philip, has a degree in city planning, as well as civil and geotechnical engineering.

5. Expand the portfolio


In 2012, Philip launched Far East Hospitality, Singapore’s largest hospitality portfolio by asset value. Far East Hospitality made its first acquisition after the IPO when Rendezvous Grand Hotel was purchased for $210 million. It now has a market capitalization of $1.42 billion.

6. Leave footprints islandwide



You might not know it, but nearly everything you do is associated with the brothers. From purchasing a packet of Yeo’s wintermelon tea to eating ice cream at Cold Stone creamery to a staycation at Quincy Hotel, you’re indirectly contributing to their wealth. That’s how much control the brothers have over various industries in Singapore. Find out more here.

7. Diversify investments

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 3.28.34 pm
Clocktower Square in Sydney’s Rocks district that the Ng brothers bought over.

When the real estate market in Singapore and Hong Kong got sluggish, the Ng brothers remained unfazed despite their revenues from Far East Organization and Sino Group dipping by nearly $1 billion to $4.6 billion.

They proceeded to purchase a $142 million office tower in Sydney and a $6 million island in New South Wales, before turning their focus back to the Singapore market.

Under Far East Organization, Philip intends to pump in $328 million in erecting two new hotels on Sentosa’s conservation site.

8. Harmony breeds prosperity


You know what happens in a typical drama serial – two brothers fight over inheritance and neglects the company business. In the end, they may even have to declare bankruptcy.

Too far fetched a story? Definitely not.

Take Yeo Hiap Seng (or better known as Yeo’s) for instance; in 1935, the homegrown beverage company started as a soya sauce firm but fizzled out in 1994 as a result of a family feud. Today, Yeo’s is owned by Far East Organization and is one of Singapore’s largest food and drink producers with approximately $945.31 million in market value.

Seems like the Ng brothers are unbeatable when they join forces.

9. Have faith

Philip Ng is a Christian and believes in involving Christ in the workplace and practising Christ-centered leadership.

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 4.49.23 pmSource

10. Don’t forget your roots


In 2011, the Jurong General Hospital was renamed as Ng Teng Fong Hospital after the Ng brothers donated $125 million to the hospital. Philip Ng said “the gift served to give back to the Singapore community as well as leave a lasting memory of his father”.

Who wants to be can be a billionaire?

Not everyone is born with a silver spoon – some might be luckier than others.

Take Ng Teng Fong for example, who made it from zero to hero, the epitome of a rags to riches tale. He had no rich father, no degree, but made it with determination, hard work and foresight. When he unfortunately passed on, he left behind a legacy succeeded by his sons, who helped expand the business.

Moral of the story? Never be afraid to dream big – who knows? You might just be the next billionaire in Singapore.

But if you don’t dream, you’d never know.

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Featured image via Wealth Mastery
With reference to Singapore Estate Planning, Forbes, Asia One, Business Insider, AsiaOne, Vantage Point, World’s Rich People, Yahoo