One of Singapore's richest men, UOB chairman Wee Cho Yaw, dies aged 95

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 — The former chairman and chief executive officer of Singapore bank UOB, Wee Cho Yaw, has died today at the age of 95 years old.

According to a report by CNA, UOB in its official announcement of Wee’s passing, had described him as a “visionary banker, celebrated businessman and community pillar” who was “pivotal to UOB’s development as a leading bank in Asia”.

Wee had led the UOB Group for more than 60 years before he retired in 2018 but he had stayed on as its chairman emeritus and honorary adviser.

UOB is Singapore’s third-largest bank.

He was also the chairman of real estate developer, UOL Group.

He was touted to be one of Singapore’s wealthiest men and regularly made the Forbes’ rich list.

With a net worth of US$7.1 billion, he was eighth on the Forbes list of Singapore’s 50th richest people in 2023.

Wee became a director on the board of United Chinese Bank at the age of 28.

The bank, which was later renamed United Overseas Bank (UOB), was co-founded by his father Wee Kheng Chiang in 1935.

The bank expanded from a single branch to a regional bank with branches in 19 countries and territories under Cho Yaw’s leadership.

Cho Yaw’s eldest son and current deputy chairman CEO of UOB, Wee Ee Cheong, said his father 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 honour, enterprise, unity and commitment that will be the legacy he leaves us at UOB,” he reportedly said.

He said his father’s influence and values in always thinking of the long term, the importance of deep relationships and doing the right thing to help those in need will endure in UOB.