Former chairman; Founding patron, Wheelock; Project WeCan
The former chairman of the Wheelock group, Peter Woo believes deeply in the future of Hong Kong
While the past year has seen investors fleeing Hong Kong due to its strict covid-related restrictions, Peter Woo is standing firm.
In September, the billionaire released an article urging the government to end inbound travel restrictions in a bid to revive the city’s sluggish tourism. When the open letter was published, visitors to Hong Kong still had to undergo three nights of quarantine along with four days of self-monitoring when much of the world had scrapped similar measures. Woo was one of a few powerful voices speaking up for the city and its need to regain its competitiveness, and within two weeks of the letter’s publication, the government announced that the “3+4” arrangement would be shortened to “0+3”.
Woo was the long-time head of Wheelock & Company and its principal subsidiary, The Wharf Holdings, until stepping down in 2015. He remains the executive chairman of World International Capital Group Limited (“WICG”), the family group company covering all interests of its principal subsidiaries The Wharf Real Estate Investment Company and The Wharf Holdings.
Woo’s son Douglas is now the chairman and managing director of Wheelock & Co, and managing director of its subsidiary Wheelock Properties, which is building a HK$20 billion project in Kowloon Bay along with investing in projects in Kai Tak, Happy Valley and Wong Chuk Hang. Among the group’s holdings are Times Square and Harbour City in Hong Kong, while its many other holdings include Marco Polo Hotels, i-Cable Communications, Wharf New T&T and the Lane Crawford department stores. In addition to owning the high-end fashion retail and brand group the Lane Crawford Joyce Group, the group is also a six per cent owner of Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A.
These days, Peter is heavily focused on his philanthropic initiative Project WeCan, which taps into the community of business professionals to help underprivileged children. A member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, he has been chairman of the Hong Kong Hospital Authority and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, as well as chairman of the council of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and was the founding chairman of the Hong Kong Environment and Conservation Fund Committee.
He was awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal in 2012. With his wife, Bessie, he has three children: Jacqueline, Jennifer and Douglas, the latter of whom has taken over the reins of the family companies.
Grand Bauhinia Medal
Did You Know?
Wheelock has its origins in Shanghai Tug and Lighter, a company founder in 1857 in Shanghai by Captain Thomas Reed Wheelock.