SM group won't name successor to Henry Sy yet

by Liza Reyes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 30 2014 03:01 PM | Updated as of May 04 2014 05:51 PM

MANILA, Philippines - "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it." This famous idiom holds true for the SM group amidst speculation that a successor to the Philippines’ wealthiest man is about to be named.

Talks have been rife the 89-year-old patriarch Henry Sy Sr. is passing on the torch to one of his six children and all eyes are with the eldest, Teresita Sy-Coson at the helm.

“That’s speculation. Not true. Will not change the line-up. We will not change what is working well,” Sy-Coson said in a text message.

All six children have their respective responsibilities, with eldest son and namesake Henry Sy. Jr. sitting as chairman of the property unit and Hans as president.

Elizabeth Sy handles the group's hotels and resorts business, Herbert the hypermarket chain, and youngest Harley as president of the parent firm.

The SM group has undergone consolidation and restructuring of some of its business units and has grown exponentially creating the Philippines’ largest conglomerate in its short 55-year history.

It now operates the country’s largest network of shopping malls (SM malls) and universal bank (BDO).

Moving the group to its next semi-centennial is a daunting, challenging task for Tatang’s successor, but as they say, it pays to be always prepared.