Leo Koguan 101: Philanthropy and Tesla's Top Shareholder
Zatrun Published at June 25, 2024

Leo Koguan, a prominent figure in the business and investment world, is not only the co-founder and chairman of SHI International Corp but also a dedicated philanthropist. His incredible journey from Indonesia to becoming the third-largest individual shareholder in Tesla, Inc., has been nothing short of inspiring. has thoroughly examined the life and accomplishments of this remarkable individual.

Leo Koguan: Early Life and Ventures

Born in Indonesia in 1955 to Chinese parents, Leo Koguan’s life has been marked by diversity and determination. He made a significant move to the United States, where he pursued his education and career. Leo graduated from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and went on to acquire his law degree from New York Law School. These formative years laid the foundation for his future achievements in the corporate world and philanthropy.

One of his notable accomplishments includes co-founding SHI International Corp, a thriving enterprise software company with its headquarters located in Somerset, New Jersey. He embarked on this journey alongside his ex-wife, Thai Lee, and together, they have steered SHI International Corp towards success.

In addition to his business endeavors, Leo Koguan made substantial investments in luxury hotel development within Shanghai’s vibrant Xintiandi district, primarily through his shares in Shui On Land. These ventures are a testament to his diverse business interests and his commitment to contributing to the global corporate landscape.

Philanthropy: Leo’s Enduring Legacy

Leo Koguan’s philanthropic contributions have left an indelible mark on several top universities, primarily in Mainland China. His dedication to education and academic excellence has been instrumental in shaping the future of countless students.

In 2008, Leo made a generous donation of $30 million to Shanghai Jiao Tong University. In recognition of his significant contribution, the university renamed its law school after Leo Koguan, a symbol of his enduring commitment to legal education and scholarship.

Peking University, another prestigious institution, received Leo’s philanthropic support in the form of a $28 million donation. One of its law school buildings was named after him, reflecting his dedication to advancing legal studies and academic excellence.

Leo’s commitment to education extended to Tsinghua University, where he contributed as a donor. In recognition of his support, the university named the new Tsinghua University Law Library after him, emphasizing the pivotal role Leo played in enhancing the academic resources available to students and researchers.

Fudan University was another beneficiary of Leo’s philanthropic vision. His substantial donation of $12.5 million resulted in the naming of its law building after him, solidifying his legacy as a philanthropist dedicated to promoting educational excellence.

From Retail Investor to Tesla’s Top Shareholder

While Leo Koguan initially began as a retail investor, his trajectory took a remarkable turn in 2019 when he delved into stock trading. Through strategic investments, he managed to accumulate a substantial fortune, primarily through his holdings in Tesla, Inc. As of today, Leo Koguan holds the esteemed position of being the third-largest individual shareholder in Tesla, a company that is at the forefront of technological innovation and sustainable transportation.

Leo Koguan’s personal life is characterized by a strong connection to Singapore, where he currently resides. In October 2020, he made a notable investment by acquiring Singapore’s largest penthouse, Guoco Tower’s Wallich Residence, for a significant sum of S$62 million. This acquisition from British inventor and billionaire entrepreneur Sir James Dyson reflects Leo’s affinity for prestigious real estate ventures.

As of March 2022, Leo Koguan’s net worth is estimated at a staggering $7.8 billion, according to Forbes. This financial success is a testament to his strategic acumen in both investments and philanthropy, showcasing his multifaceted impact on the corporate world and educational institutions.

In conclusion, Leo Koguan’s life journey is a story of resilience, vision, and unwavering commitment to philanthropy and education. His influence as the co-founder of SHI International Corp and his position as Tesla’s top shareholder are complemented by his dedication to advancing legal studies and scholarship. Leo Koguan’s legacy continues to inspire and shape the destinies of individuals and institutions alike.

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