Samuel Tak Lee 101: Famous Real Estate Billionaire
Zatrun Published at March 26, 2024

In our article titled “Samuel Tak Lee 101: Who is the Famous Real Estate Billionaire?” on, we will cover everything you need to know in detail about the famous real estate billionaire Samuel Tak Lee, which our readers are curious about.

Who is Samuel Tak Lee?

Samuel Tak Lee, whose surname is written as Lee/Li (李) in Hong Kong, has both a Western-style name, Samuel Tak Lee, and a Chinese-style name, Lee Tak-Yee, in accordance with Hong Kong tradition. He is known as a Hong Kong billionaire real estate investor born on April 6, 1939.

Lee is married with seven children and divides his time between Hong Kong and London. He is reportedly the owner of luxury yachts Pelorus and Kogo, as well as a Boeing aircraft and a large car collection belonging to the Lee family. Lee maintains a low profile and rarely speaks publicly about his business dealings. According to media reports and court documents, Lee has a colorful personal life. Samuel’s son, Samathur Li Kin-kan, is famous for his divorce settlement, in which the Hong Kong court awarded his ex-wife HK$1.2 billion.

Samuel Tak Lee

Career Life:

After completing his primary education at Diocesan Boys’ School, Lee obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil and environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1964. He later earned an MBA degree from Harvard Business School. Upon completing his education, Lee returned to Hong Kong to join the real estate company Prudential Enterprise, founded by his father and uncle in 1958. In 1985, he took over the entire business from his brother, Lee Tak-Yan.

Prudential Enterprises has significant stakes in Hong Kong, Japan, Switzerland, and Singapore, as well as the Prudential Hotel in Hong Kong. In the UK, he acquired the 14-acre Langham Estate in Fitzrovia, London, in 1994. A real estate portfolio he indirectly established in Tokyo was sold for approximately $1.2 billion in 1999.

By 2019, Lee had become the largest shareholder of Shaftesbury plc, a major London real estate investment trust with a 26.3% stake. There were constant media speculations that Lee would eventually make an offer to gain control of Shaftesbury. The Times also reported that Lee had sued Shaftesbury for alleged losses of £10.4 million in a share placement transaction. His interest in Shaftesbury was sold to Capco for $544 million in June 2020 with a discount of $544 million. Lee is known for vigorously defending the legal rights and business interests of his estate. According to Forbes, as of January 2021, he has a net worth of $3.6 billion.


Samuel Tak Lee made a donation of HK$9 million to Diocesan Boys’ School in Hong Kong, where he was a student from 1951-1958, in 2007. The donation was made to fund a new dormitory block and expand student accommodations at the school. At the time, one of Lee’s sons was attending the school. In 2015, Lee made a donation of $118 million to help establish a real estate entrepreneurship laboratory focused on China at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The laboratory researches the impact of poor urban air quality on residents’ health, social lives, and behavior.

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