By Marjaleen Ramos
The heirs of late retail tycoon Henry Sy Sr. emerged as the wealthiest in the country according to Forbes magazine’s 2019 Philippines Rich List.
The second-generation Sys — Teresita, Elizabeth, Henry Jr., Hans, Herbert and Harley — made it to the list for the first time this year at number one with a combined net worth of $17.2 billion, stemming largely from the family’s SM group.
The elder Sy passed away last Jan. 19 at the age of 94.
Former Senate President Manny Villar ranked second with a net worth of $6.6 billion.
Joining Sy and Villar in the top five were JG Summit’s John Gokongwei, Jr. at number three with $5.3 billion; International Container Terminal Services’ Enrique Razon, Jr. at number four ($5.1 billion); and Ayala Group’s Jaime Zobel de Ayala at number five ($3.7 billion).
Other Filipino tycoons who made it to the Forbes’ richest list were tobacco king Lucio Tan who ranked number six ($3.6 billion); fast food chain Jollibee founder Tony Tan Caktiong at number seven ($3.4 billion); and San Miguel Corporation Ramon Ang at number eight ($2.8 billion).
Another newcomer to the list were the Ty siblings of GT Capital Holdings — Arthur, Alfred, Alesandra and Anjanette — who ranked number nine, jointly amassing a net income of $2.6 billion.
Completing the list was gaming and real-estate developer Andrew Tan at number 10 with an estimated net worth of $2.55 billion.
Meanwhile, the Campos siblings, Jocelyn, Joselito and Jeffrey, also debuted on the list at no. 23, succeeding the late family matriarch, Beatrice Campos. Their combined net worth of $650 million comes from the country’s pharmaceutical giant Unilab.
Aside from Sy, Ty, and Campos siblings, three self-made entrepreneurs were also on the list: Dennis Uy, ranking 22nd ($660 million); Delfin Wenceslao at no.25 ($500 million); and Antonio Lee Tiu at no. 49 ($135 million).
There were also five returnees this year: Tomas Alcantara (No. 33, $300 million) of Alsons Consolidated Resources; Eusebio Tanco (No. 41, $205 million) of STI Education Systems; Erramon Aboitiz (No. 43, $165 million) of Aboitiz Equity Ventures; Philip Ang (No. 44, $160 million) of Nickel Asia and Bienvenido Tantoco (No. 48, $140 million) of SSI Group.
Forbes said the list was compiled using information from the individuals, stock exchanges, analysts, private databases, government agencies and other sources. Net worths were based on stock prices and exchange rates as of the close of markets on September 6.
Private companies were valued by using financial ratios and other comparisons with similar publicly traded companies.
Since 2017, the list no longer includes families in which the founder of the business has died, unless the successors are wealthy enough to make the cut off individually; in these cases, inherited fortunes are combined.
The complete list can be found at www.forbes.com/philippines. (With a report from James Loyola)