In the past, children of ultra-wealthy families could expect a substantial part of their parent’s fortune to eventually pass to them. Now 21st-century attitudes to wealth transfer are changing, and parents are thinking about how the money will impact their children’s lives.
A generous inheritance has never been a possibility for billionaire Hong Kong property mogul Wing-Ching Shih’s three children.
Wing-Ching’s 30-year-old son Alex Shih revealed in a recent media interview that he will see little of his father’s wealth after the 70-year-old decided to give away his entire 45 percent stake in the family business, estimated to be worth about $400 million, to charity.
Wing-Ching founded property giant Centaline Group, which handles two out of every five property transactions in Hong Kong and reported a profit of $191 million last year.
The money from that the business was gifted to the family’s Shih Wing-Ching Foundation in 2008. The foundation supports community work in society, with particular focus on the improvement of livelihood, education, and healthcare in rural China.
Shih, who is vice chairman of Centaline Group, said he accepted his father’s decision to keep his children humble and teach them the value of money. “He [Wing-Ching] told us when we were very young and we did not have a choice,” Shih told Bloomberg.