Country Garden Founder’s Daughter to Take on Larger Role
Country Garden, China’s biggest property developer by sales, on Friday appointed Yang Huiyan, the daughter of its founder, Yeung Kwok-keung, as co-chairman.
The company, the latest in a string of Chinese property developers appointing the younger generation to senior roles, informed the Hong Kong stock exchange in a filing of Yang’s new designation. The 37-year-old was previously a vice-chairman at the developer. Yeung, 64, who founded Country Garden in 1992, will remain as its chairman.
According to the filing, Yang will help her father in the day-to-day work of the group and will be “responsible for the group’s strategic investments and new business exploration based on existing business, such as new retail business, contributing to the company’s sustainable development”.
Yan Yuejin, an analyst at Shanghai-based real estate services company E-House China R&D Institute, said: “Most of the founders of China’s developers started their businesses in 1990s, in their 30s or 40s, and now have reached a certain age, which is usually regarded as an age for retirement in the country.
“A majority of China’s property companies are family businesses, and passing [the control of these companies] to children is a common practice.”
Yang, who is worth $18.6 billion, is currently ranked as the sixth wealthiest person and the richest woman in China by Forbes.
In 2007, her father transferred his controlling stake to her “due to his intention to train Yang Huiyan as the successor of his family’s interest” in the group, Country Garden said. She currently holds 12.388 billion shares, or a 57.23% stake, in the company.
Other Chinese companies appointing the younger generation to senior roles, with the idea of them taking over the reins eventually, include Longfor Group Holdings, another top 10 developer in China, which on November 22 said its chairwoman, Wu Yajun, 54, had transferred the whole of her 43.9% stake in the company to her daughter, Cai Xinyi. Dexing Group, Hopson Development, and Shanghai Shimao Construction have also made similar appointments.
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