Preserving the family wealth
Emmanuel Samarathisa | 02 Nov 2018 00:30
It is no secret that most Chinese business families subscribe to the truism that old money does not last more than three generations. The cliché goes like this: the first generation builds the business, the second runs it while the third destroys it.

They don’t call it the “third-generation curse” for nothing. To be sure, family feuds are common in the heady world of business, and closer to home, it was only a couple of years ago that eight daughters of the late property tycoon Loong Yoke Phin sued their brother and his two sons and a sister over four family-owned companies worth roughly RM208 mil.

But construction steel manufacturer Ann Joo Resources Bhd (AJR) is confident of making it to the fourth and even fifth generations. “AJR is a very rare example of a family business that can grow to the fourth generation,” group managing director Datuk Lim Hong Thye tells FocusM. Hong Thye represents the third generation.

What’s the secret of the company’s longevity? Its corporatisation strategy. “In 2005, we organised a family meeting to discuss the future of the business. We asked ourselves where do we want Ann Joo to be in the near future?” says Hong Thye, adding that it was during this internal discussion that he mooted the idea to corporatise AJR. 

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