The richest woman in China, Yang Huiyan, has plumped her gaudy profile even further, becoming co-chair of Hong Kong-listed Country Garden Holdings alongside her father, self-made tycoon Yang Guoqiang, or Yeung Kwok Keung as he is known in Hong Kong.
Yang, 37, who owns 57 percent of the shares in the top three mainland developer, was elevated from the role of vice chairman on Friday, according to a filing the company made with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. She will be focused on running the day-to-day operations of Country Garden with her 64-year-old father, as well as overseeing strategic investments and new business exploration, the company said.
Her father, the statement said, would continue to be responsible for “providing leadership to and overseeing the operation of” the homebuilder’s board.
Quick Rise Up Corporate Ladder, and Rich List
Yang started with the company in 2005 after graduating from Ohio State University and inheriting her father’s majority stake in the firm, and she became vice chairman in March 2012. Her fortunes only registered her on the list of the world’s seriously wealthy in April 2007, when Country Garden raised $1.65 billion in a Hong Kong IPO.
Yang has occupied the top spot on the Hurun Richest Woman in China list for six years running, and her wealth was estimated at RMB 150 billion, or about $21.8 billion, in the middle of this year. The heiress-executive made news at the start of the year when her wealth climbed by $2 billion after the company’s Hong Kong-listed shares surged as high as HK$19.16 per share. Since that time, however, the company’s share priced has halved, and currently sits just above HK$9.00 per share.
The real estate princess ranks sixth on the Forbes list of richest people in China, although Forbes said her wealth only totaled $17.1 billion. She was No. 4 on the publication’s overall China Rich List released in October.
‘Highly Recognized’ by Board
Country Garden’s statement said Yang’s elevation to co-chair “is conducive to the effective operation of the board,” and that the board “highly recognized her ability and performance.”
In its statement to the Hong Kong exchange, the company said Yang’s primary responsibility with Country Garden is the formulation of development strategies. It said she is also the director and board chairperson of Bright Scholar Education Holdings, and education affiliate of Country Garden which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Her salary with the company is RMB 15 million a year and comes with a management bonus determined by the board.