There was a time when the Khoo family was the wealthiest family in Singapore. Today Forbes has ranked Khoo family at #3 in the list of the Singapore’s 50 richest people with a net worth of $6.7 Billion as of August 2013.
Khoo Teck Puat was the man who laid the foundation of Singapore’s third richest family. He studied up to eighth standard and married at an early age of 17. In 1933, he joined Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation as an apprentice bank clerk.
In 1959, he left the bank and founded Maybank in 1960. The bank grew by leaps and bounds and within three years he managed to open more than 150 branches. It was during this time that Khoo purchased Goodwood Park Hotel – the most precious possession of the Khoo family.
However, in 1965 the government of Malaysia ousted Khoo from Maybank due to some ulterior motives of then Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak. Though distorted with what the Malaysian government did to him, he didn’t give up his Malaysian citizenship and bought Maybank’s Singapore properties.
In 1986, he acquired a 5% stake in the Standard Chartered bank and gradually increased his stake to 15% and became the single largest shareholder of the bank. In 2003, Forbes ranked him the richest businessman in Singapore.
The Khoo family has donated the bulk of their wealth to Duke University. Goodwood Group of Hotels is the most valuable possession of the family, which is chaired by Khoo Tech Puat’s daughter Mavis Oei.