There’s an air of quiet circumspection around Laurinda Ho, the invisible shield of someone used to being watched. And who could blame her? One of the 17 children of Stanley Ho, his youngest daughter with third wife Ina Chan, Laurinda has spent most of her life witnessing the faces of various family members splattered across the tabloids. Her father, after all, is the “king of gambling” and is one of the richest men in the world.
“I actually didn’t know I was famous,” she says. “I grew up thinking our family was like any other until I was around eight years old, when I went to a ballet performance with my mother and saw the entrance surrounded by paparazzi taking our photos. That’s when I got an inkling that we might be different.”
Using Fame For Good
Today, with a bachelor’s degree in economics under her belt, a certificate from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and a master’s in professional accountancy well underway at the University of London, and with stints working at Ernst & Young in London and on projects in the family’s hospitality business, she exudes the calm air of a seasoned professional capable of holding her own. Though soft-spoken in front of strangers, she’s not afraid to make her opinion known, something she feels women should do more often.
“I love and look up to [English actress and activist] Emma Watson because she’s around my age and she’s a strong feminist who gives women a voice and sticks by her values,” says Laurinda, who is an executive director of the Australian subsidiary of Hong Kong’s UNIR Group, UNIR Management, which manages an investment portfolio of hospitality, realty, leisure, retail and transport businesses. “I think it’s important, especially for girls, to not just blindly follow what others say, or believe what others believe.”
And what she says matters. With 569,000 followers on Instagram and counting, her feed is sprinkled with food, fashion and furry friends for her audience to enjoy, but it is also a platform for promoting her charity, Smile With Us HK, which promotes positivity and works to foster a more caring community.
“I think there’s good and bad to being in the limelight,” says Laurinda, whose extended family is well versed in the vagaries of being in the public eye. “When you do something wrong, then it could get blown out of proportion and so the stress you suffer would be greater than others. But also when you do something good, you can influence a lot more people. That’s why I established a charity, because I wanted to use the attention for good.”