Forbes has named the Chinese Filipino businessman Henry Sy the richest man in the Philippines in 2012 for the second year in a row. The net worth of Henry Sy is currently $9.1 billion. Henry Sy has earned his money through various business interests, such as education in health care, banking, mining, hospitality, and the founding of SM Malls, for which he is the SM Prime Holdings chairman.
Coming from a poor Chinese family, Henry Sy started working as a shoe salesman, selling overrun and rejected shoes in the Philippines, where he also studied at the Chiang Kai ShekCollege. Once completing his degree in Commercial Studies, Henry Sy ventured into the shoe store business. The modest shoe store expanded to become a department store.
Henry Sy is married with 6 children and is currently 88 years of age; he will be turning 89 on the 25th of December. There have been almost 50 SM Malls built and the business is constantly expanding. Henry Sy appears to believe in avoiding corruption to be caused by wealth. His quote, "when you do well, do not change your good ways", which he stated in 2009, shows that Henry Sy feels it is important to hold onto moral principals regardless of what can easily be forgotten with the gain of fortune.
The billionaire's philanthropy includes a charity named SM Foundation, offering scholarship programs and providing funds for education, health, medical research and religious projects. Henry Sy shows that wealth does not always corrupt a person's sense of community.
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