Wee Cho Yaw was a Singaporean billionaire businessman, served as chairman emeritus and honorary adviser of the United Overseas Bank. Additionally, he held the position of chairman at the UOL Group. Wee became a member of the board of directors at the United Chinese Bank in 1958.
Age- 95 years
Born- 10 January 1929
Died- 3 February 2024
Birthplace- Kinmen Islands, Taiwan
Spouse- Chuang Yong Eng
Profession- Businessman, Chairman of the board of directors of UOL Group Limited
Cause of Death
Billionaire Wee Cho Yaw, esteemed chairman emeritus and honorary adviser of UOB, has passed away at the age of 95. The bank announced his death on February 3 via a statement on Facebook. The cause of death is not known, described by UOB as a visionary, exceptional banker, community stalwart, and pioneering figure, Mr. Wee led the UOB Group for over 60 years until his retirement in April 2018.
“My father has left an indelible mark in Singapore and the region. He has been a source of inspiration for me in all aspects of my life. Much will be said about his business acumen and dealmaking, but it will be the values of honor, enterprise, unity and commitment that will be the legacy he leaves us at UOB.
“Whether it is thorough thinking for the long-term, the importance of deep relationships, doing the right thing or giving a helping hand to those in need, the influence of my father and his values will endure at UOB,” said his son, UOB Group Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Wee Ee Cheong.
His parents was Wee Tee Yah and Song Kim Keow . Fleeing the Sino-Japanese War, Wee and his family sought refuge in Kuching, Borneo. His mother was his father’s second wife.
He was married to Chuang Yong Eng. They had five children together: Wee Ee Cheong, Wee Wei Ling, Ee-chao Wee, Ee Lim Wee, and Wee Wei Chi.
His education was interrupted by the Japanese invasion of Singapore and Malaya. During most of the Japanese Occupation, Wee and his family resided in Karimun, Indonesia. Afterward, he resumed his studies at Chung Cheng High School in Singapore. Engaged in anti-colonial politics, he attracted British scrutiny, leading his father to withdraw him from school.
Wee Kee Hiam had a successful career in banking and business in Singapore. He started working at his family’s commodity trading business after graduating. In 1958, he became the youngest director of United Chinese Bank (UCB), which was founded by his father.
He gained international experience by spending time at a bank in London. In 1960, Wee took over as managing director of UCB and expanded its operations into foreign exchange and trade financing.
The bank was later renamed United Overseas Bank (UOB) as it expanded to Hong Kong. Under Wee’s leadership, UOB grew significantly and diversified into many other financial services. It acquired other banks like Chung Khiaw Bank, becoming the second largest bank in Singapore and Malaysia.
Wee helmed UOB’s continued expansion across Asia for decades and it became Singapore’s largest bank under his chairmanship until he stepped down in 2007. Wee made many contributions to business and community organizations in Singapore over his career.
Wee’s wealth was approximated at $10.4 billion.