MANILA, Philippines – SM Group Founder Henry Sy Sr. passed away on Saturday morning, January 19.
“With deep sadness, I would like to inform the group of our beloved Chairman Tatang, Mr. Henry Sy Sr, passed away peacefully in his sleep Saturday morning. Please pray for the eternal repose of his soul,” Steven Tan, SM Supermalls COO said in a statement.
Sy has an estimated net worth of $19 billion according to Forbes magazine and has been the Philippines’ richest man since 2005.
His life was a classic ‘rags to riches’ story. Sy put up the Shoemart footwear shop in downtown Manila in 1958.
Eventually, his footwear shop expanded to more branches located in Rizal Avenue, Carriedo Street in Manila, Makati, Cubao, and Quezon City.
Decades later, his humble shop has grown into a household brand and a multi-sector empire that had stakes in property, banking, education, health care, mining, etc.
He was also a philanthropist and was named as one of the region’s top donors by Forbes Asia in 2013. Sy gave nearly $120 million to schools, including De La Salle University, and foundations.
“He was a happy man knowing that he left our world a better place to live in,” SM Investment Corp. chair Jose Sio said.
Photo from ABS-CBN News