Thursday, February 24, 2022

Billionaire Peter Lim to set up top British school Wellington College in Singapore

FEBRUARY 23, 2022


SINGAPORE - Top British public school Wellington College will be setting up a school in Singapore in a few years' time, backed by Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim.

The school, which will cater to students from the ages of three to 18, will join a network of campuses in other countries belonging to Wellington College International (WCI), the overseas arm of the school.

WCI Regional Management, Mr Lim's company, announced on Wednesday (Feb 23) that it has signed a master licence agreement to set up three WCI schools in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The target is to open at least one of the campuses by 2025, subject to regulatory approvals from the authorities.

Fees will be similar to those charged by high-end international schools — hovering around $30,000 a year or more.

The plan is to take in up to 2,000 students in each school, which will offer early years, preparatory and senior school programmes following the national curriculum in Britain and culminate in the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma.

These schools will join the current 5,000 students in the WCI family of schools in China and Thailand, and another in India opening in 2023.

In a statement, WCI said the upcoming schools will meet rising demand by expatriates and local families who seek quality education for their children without having to send them thousands of miles away from home.

Wellington College was founded in 1853 as a memorial to the first Duke of Wellington, one of the commanders who led and ended the Napoleonic Wars.

The school in Britain occupies 162ha of land in a small town, Crowthorne, about an hour's drive from London.

It is one of the top 10 schools in Britain for its IB diploma results, and is also renowned for its achievements in the performing arts and sports, including hockey and rugby.

Notable alumni include novelist George Orwell, actor Christopher Lee, architect Nicholas Grimshaw and Formula 1 champion James Hunt.

Commenting on its latest partnership, which was inked in January, Mr Lim said: "We are delighted to partner Wellington College to offer expatriates and parents in Asia the opportunity to provide the very best of British education to their children at campuses in Southeast Asia.

"Wellington College is an ideal choice. We believe the Wellingtonian values of courage, respect, integrity, kindness and responsibility are well suited for Asia. It is vital that we equip our youth with skills that extend beyond the classroom to help them reach their full potential and prepare them for the future."

WCI's international director Scott Bryan said: "We are thrilled to team up with Peter Lim to launch a network of outstanding schools in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. The region is growing fast, spurring demand for international schools like Wellington that offer well-rounded academic experiences and unrivalled opportunities."

Speaking to The Straits Times, Mr Bryan said that Wellington College is heavily involved in the setting up of its international schools, including designing curricula and appointing senior leadership, to ensure the quality of education delivered is up to par with the parent school.

Representatives from the British school will be on the schools' boards of governors and annual inspections will be conducted.

Said Mr Bryan: "It's not just having the Wellington name across the door. The schools will have continued support, involvement and visits from Wellington staff and help to appoint teachers."

He added that students will also have the chance to interact with peers overseas, and perhaps have exchange stints. Teachers likewise will also have the opportunity to work across schools in sharing best practices.

Ms Wong Li Lin, the spokesman for WCI Regional Management, said: "The international school area is a new area for us. What's critical in all our investments and endeavours is youth development… and in a way this is also a part of that.

"Mr Lim has always believed in education opening up a lot of opportunities for the young. This will be a passion project and international school education is an exciting growth market particularly in this part of the world."

Despite border restrictions brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, international school enrolment in Singapore has not been majorly affected and premium schools continue to draw interest.

When it opens, Wellington will join the ranks of several prestigious international schools in Singapore, like United World College of Southeast Asia and Dulwich College (Singapore).

Singapore has about 30 international schools catering largely to the expatriate community. Previously reported figures show that there are about 40,000 students in these schools.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Tycoon pledges another $10M for sports scholarship

Tycoon Peter Lim pledges another $10M for his sports scholarship, $20M for new community project

Chia Han Keong
Yahoo News Singapore
3 July 2019

SINGAPORE — Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim has pledged another $10 million to continue the Singapore Olympic Foundation (SOF)-Peter Lim Scholarship for student athletes, which he started back in 2010.

This new investment adds to the original $10 million he pledged when he inaugurated the scholarship, a donation that made him the largest individual donor to a sports scholarship in Singapore. It will also extend the scholarship’s support for another 10 years, from 2021 to 2030.

The 66-year-old tycoon – who also owns Spanish La Liga club Valencia – is also set to donate a separate $20 million to start a new community project focused on helping children from less-privileged backgrounds reach their potential. Details of the project will be announced in the near future.

Donations announced by DPM Heng
The two major donations were announced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat during his speech at the SOF-Peter Lim Scholarship award ceremony at Temasek Polytechnic on Wednesday (3 July).

“Mr Lim’s continued generosity will enable the foundation and other stakeholders to support more young aspiring athletes and fund new programmes,” said Heng.

“More importantly, Mr Lim’s donation is a vote of confidence and belief in our young athletes. I hope that Mr Lim’s generosity can encourage and inspire others in the community to step forward in various ways to support our Team Singapore athletes and the development of sports in Singapore.”

For his contributions, Lim was awarded on Wednesday the International Olympic Committee Trophy, which was jointly handed to him by DPM Heng, SOF chairman Ng Ser Miang and Tan Chuan-Jin, Singapore National Olympic Council president and Speaker of Parliament.

Australia’s four-time Olympic swimming champion Libby Trickett was also in attendance as a special guest and gave a short talk on how she overcame obstacles such as depression to emerge triumphant at the highest level.

2,642 scholarships given out so far
This is the ninth year in which the SOF-Peter Lim Scholarship has been handed out. Since its inception, 2,642 scholarships worth $7.2 million have been disbursed in four categories: Primary ($1,000), Secondary ($2,000), Tertiary ($3,000) and High Performance Under-18 ($5,000).

Some of the former recipients who went on to earn international honours for Singapore include Joseph Schooling (swimming), Amita Berthier (fencing), Shanti Pereira (athletics) and Martina Veloso (shooting).

There were 280 student-athletes from 44 sports who received the scholarships this year – totalling $781,000 in cash awarded – with a record 53 athletes in the High Performance U-18 category.

They included silat world champion Muhammad Hazim Mohd Yusli, Youth Olympic Games swimmer Christie Chue, and Mas Ridzwan Mohamad Ali, the first cyclist to receive the High Performance U-18 award.

Scholarships help in many ways
Rhythmic gymnast Avryl Tan, 18, was the only recipient of the top scholarship in her sport this year. The Ngee Ann Polytechnic student told Yahoo News Singapore that the scholarship will help defray costs of her apparatus, costumes and participation in overseas competitions.

“I need to constantly change my apparatus in order for it to be in good condition. Also, my costumes can be quite costly, as they have to be tailor-made in China. So the scholarship will give me a little peace of mind as I prepare for the upcoming SEA Games,” said the six-time scholarship recipient.

For brothers Jireh, 7, and Jonathan Dillon, 10, it was the first and second time respectively that the young wrestlers received the scholarships. According to their mother Jin, the scholarships will help pay for their overseas training camps and training attire.

“Wrestling is very fun. We get to learn new moves and play fun games in every training. I feel very fortunate to get this scholarship for a second time,” said Jonathan.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Singapore’s Home-Grown Billionaire Investor Has 4 Strategies That Everyone Can Follow

Sudhan P.
September 18, 2018

Peter Lim, who is among the wealthiest people in Singapore, is a self-made billionaire who made his riches through investments in Wilmar International Limited (SGX: F34), properties, healthcare businesses and sports.

According to Forbes Singapore’s 50 Richest list, Lim had a net worth of S$2.5 billion (as of 25 July 2018), having cashed out on Wilmar eight years ago.

In 2007, the billionaire gave two separate interviews to The Business Times and The New Paper. From those interviews, I picked out some interesting pointers that investors should keep in mind when it comes to investing in stocks.

Keep emotions in check

The stock market can be extremely volatile.

For instance, last Friday, Singapore’s Straits Times Index (SGX: ^STI) rose around 30 points. Yesterday, the index was down 20 points, erasing much of the gains made last Friday. The same goes for stocks we own. One day, our shares may be down 1%, and the next day, they can rise 2%. We should neither be sad nor happy when such things happen, according to Lim:

“I used to say to my friends, ‘When you are holding stocks, if it goes up, don’t be too happy; when it goes down, don’t be too sad’.

‘Otherwise, how? Your life will also be fluctuating and you’ll die of a heart attack. If you really lose sleep over it, maybe the best way is to keep the money in the bank.’”

An excellent way to keep emotions out of investing is to write down the reasons for buying a stock. If the fundamentals of the company have not changed, but the stock price is coming down for reasons not related to the business, it could be an opportunity to buy more of the company.

Lim also does not track the daily ups and downs of the stocks that he owns. Such “inaction” can also help us shift our focus to the business — and not the stock price.

Assess the management

Lim likes to look at the person running the company when investing. To assess the management of a firm, one has to look at whether the person is honest, and if he or she is an expert in their trade. Lim commented:

“It works. It’s a tested method of assessing companies.”

Warren Buffett, one of the world’s best investors, also likes to access the management of a company before investing in it. The Oracle of Omaha favours company leaders who are honest and competent.

Ride the trend

Lim’s secret to successful investing is “prospect” – he takes a top-down approach and invests in sectors if they have good prospects. He mentioned:

“Like if I think solar is good, I go into solar; if I think palm oil is good, then palm oil.

Share prices go up because the sector grows. So if I think this sector is going to be good in the next 10 years, then I’ll just invest in it.”

It is much easier to ride the wave than go against it.

Have patience

A key ingredient to Lim’s success is patience. He does not like to trade – which is to buy one day and sell the next to lock in profits. He said that “people who get rich are those who buy a company, build it, run it”.

In The New Paper interview, he had advice for young investors (which could also apply to all):

“You have to invest with a longer-term mindset. You buy a good stock, leave it there for 10 years. Come 10 years, this dollar can be many, many multiples.

I think the trick is really to think long-term.

You may not have a lot of money, but you have a lot of time.

The minimum length of my investments are five to six years, if not 10 to 12 years.”

It takes time for businesses to grow; they certainly do not flourish overnight. Warren Buffett once remarked that we should only buy something that we would be perfectly happy to hold if the stock market was shut down for the next 10 years.

The Foolish takeaway

Peter Lim made his wealth through patient, long-term investing. He did not worry about the short-term fluctuations of the stock market. In fact, a week before the interview with The New Paper, Singapore’s stock market took a sharp dive, wiping out more than $100 million of his stock’s value. However, Lim was unruffled. Having been through many crashes and financial crises, he knew that things would turn out fine after all, and it did.

During our investing journey, we, too, would be hit by many stock market ups and downs. However, if we focus on the right things, we would do just fine as well.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Rowsley to buy Thomson Medical businesses for $1.6b

By Marissa Lee
Published 19.12.2017
The Straits Times

Billionaire Peter Lim is injecting the privately held Thomson Medical Group and other healthcare assets into the Singapore-listed real estate firm Rowsley for $1.6 billion.

The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year. Rowsley will then be renamed Thomson Medical Group to reflect its change in focus to healthcare.

Rowsley will acquire Thomson Medical, the provider of healthcare services for women and children in Singapore which Mr Lim privatised for around $513 million in 2010.

It will also acquire a 70.36 per cent stake in Malaysia-listed TMC Life Sciences (TMCLS), which has a market cap of RM1.47 billion (S$485.5 million).

TMCLS owns the 200-bed Tropicana Medical Centre in Klang Valley, Kuala Lumpur, and plans to add 400 more beds at the end of 2020.

TMCLS also plans to complete Thomson Iskandar Medical Hub in Rowsley's Vantage Bay Healthcare City in 2021.

After paying for the purchase by issuing 21.3 billion new shares to Mr Lim at 7.5 cents apiece, Rowsley's market cap would swell to $2.13 billion. That would make Rowsley larger than rival hospital player Raffles Medical Group, which has a market cap of $1.93 billion, Rowsley told a briefing at the Goodwood Park Hotel yesterday.

Rowsley shares surged 2.5 cents, or 22.52 per cent, to 13.6 cents yesterday after the deal was announced, and was the top active counter with 305.8 million shares changing hands.

Rowsley announced plans in July to spend up to $1.9 billion to buy Mr Lim's healthcare assets and acquire one or more other medical practices. These other acquisitions did not pan out, it said yesterday.

After Mr Lim's asset injection, roughly two-thirds of Rowsley's revenue will come from healthcare, said Thomson Medical executive chairman Roy Quek.

Thomson Medical and Mr Lim's share of TMCLS raked in $199.4 million in revenue in the 12 months to Aug 31, up from $193.3 million in the same period a year earlier.

These assets generated a net profit of $32.8 million, up from $26.7 million in the year before.

Rowsley plans to undertake a strategic review of its non-healthcare assets, including real estate, consultancy and hospitality operations, once shareholders approve the deal.

Healthcare is a hot sector in Singapore as its population ages.

Dr Beng Teck Liang, chief executive of Catalist-listed clinic operator Singapore Medical Group, welcomed the entrance of a new listed healthcare player in the local market. He told The Straits Times: "It's good because it raises the profile of all healthcare companies, when it's such a large listing.

"Hopefully we can do a bit more to raise Singapore's profile in the region, so that we can attract more medical tourism. A lot of growth is coming from the region."