Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 85 Peter Woo $19.0B

Random fact: Unsuccessfully bid to be Hong Kong's first chief executive.


Woo is the largest shareholder of Wharf Real Estate Investment, a developer of commercial and residential property. The Hong Kong-based company had revenue of HK$16 billion ($2.1 billion) in 2021. Woo owns the shares through Wheelock & Co., the real estate group that delisted from the stock market in 2020.

As of :
Last change -$5.02M ( -0.0%)
YTD change +$77.2M ( +0.4%)
Biggest asset 1997 HK Equity
Country / Region Hong Kong
Age 76
Industry Real Estate
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Peter Woo's net worth of $19.0B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Woo's fortune is derived from investments associated with Wheelock & Co., a Hong Kong-based real estate group. It owns property directly and through stakes in publicly traded subsidiaries Wharf Holdings and Wharf Real Estate Investment.

Wheelock was delisted from the Hong Kong stock exchange on July 23, 2020, and his net worth calculation was adjusted on that date to reflect the terms of the delisting. Woo proposed taking Wheelock private in February 2020 and offered investors one share in each of Wharf Real Estate Investment and Wharf Holdings as well as HK$12 cash for each Wheelock share they held.

Woo owns 49% of Wharf Real Estate Investment and 60% of Wharf Holdings through Wheelock, based on the privatization agreement. His full ownership of the delisted Wheelock is valued based on the delisting price of HK$12 per share.

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of dividends, insider transactions, taxes and market performance.

He retains a 6% stake in the Italian shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo, and has a 7% stake in Beijing-based developer Longfor Group. These are held through various investment companies registered in the British Virgin Islands. 

Agnes Hui, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for Wheelock, said that the billionaire declined to comment on his net worth.


Family: Married, 3 children

Woo has born in Shanghai in 1946, the only child of an architect and his wife. At age 4, he moved with his family to Hong Kong, which was undergoing a post-war construction boom. Woo attended St. Stephens College Preparatory School, where he played basketball, volleyball and hockey.

His father encouraged him to attend the University of Cincinnati, which had a prestigious architecture school. Woo majored in mathematics and physics, and was elected senior class president. He graduated valedictorian and enrolled in Columbia University's MBA program, where he met his future wife, Bessie Pao, the second of four daughters of Hong Kong shipping magnate Sir Yue-kong Pao. The couple was married in 1973, and Woo took a job at Chase Manhattan Bank.

Pao invited Woo to work for him at World-Wide Shipping Group. His father-in-law shared ownership of Hong Kong & Kowloon Wharf & Godown Co. with the British trading house Jardine Matheson, and outbid his former partner for control in a hostile takeover. He later named it Wharf Holdings. Pao acquired Kowloon waterfront land, the Hong Kong Tramway and the Star Ferry as part of the takeover. He promoted Woo to be chief operating officer of Wharf and vice chairman of Worldwide Shipping in 1982.

Pao took over another British trading house, Wheelock Marden, three years later in a corporate raid that included prime real estate in Hong Kong's Central business district plus the Lane Crawford department store. Pao retired in 1986 and named Woo chief executive officer of Wheelock and Wharf. Woo structured Wheelock as the group's parent company and Wharf as the main subsidiary, and further diversified into cable TV, telecommunications and broadband internet in Hong Kong, and into property development in Singapore and China. Pao died in 1991.

Woo's flagship properties -- Harbour City in Kowloon and Times Square in central Hong Kong -- combined attract 9% of Hong Kong's retail sales. The two malls represent almost half of his group's business assets.

The billionaire retired as chairman of Wheelock and Wharf on May 19, 2015, according to a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange dated Feb. 16, 2015. He was replaced by his son, Douglas Woo Chun-kuen.

  • 1946 Woo is born in Shanghai.
  • 1950 Family moves to Hong Kong.
  • 1970 Graduates from University of Cincinnati in math and physics.
  • 1971 Earns MBA from Columbia University, hired by Chase Manhattan.
  • 1973 Marries Bessie Pao, daughter of shipping magnate Yue-kong Pao.
  • 1975 Father-in-law offers him a job at World Wide Shipping.
  • 1986 Woo takes over property development business after Pao retires.
  • 2000 Appointed chairman of Hong Kong's Trade Development Council.
  • 2007 Steps down from Trade Development Council to run Wharf.
  • 2015 Son Douglas takes over as chairman of Wheelock.