The World’s Newest Call Center Billionaire

Meet the world’s newest call center billionaire. Laurent Junique is quite the globe-trotter: He’s a French citizen, his company is based in Singapore and he just listed that company, TDCX Inc., on the New York Stock Exchange last week.

Junique, TDCX’s 55-year-old founder and CEO, also just joined the billionaire ranks: Junique’s 87% stake in the firm is now worth $3 billion, thanks to a 34% rise in TDCX shares since the IPO on October 1—an offering that raised nearly $350 million for the company.

Started in 1995 in Singapore as Teledirect, an outsourced call center that handled calls, emails and faxes for a variety of clients, the company rebranded as TDCX in 2019 to reflect its expansion into a range of services including content moderation, marketing and e-commerce support. (CX is short for “customer experience” in the customer service industry.)

TDCX reported a $64 million net profit on $323 million sales in 2020, an improvement from the $54 million profit and $242 million in revenues it recorded in 2019. That growth came in part due to greater use of the services that TDCX offers, including tools that help companies improve the performance of employees working from home. Still, TDCX is highly dependent on two clients—Facebook and Airbnb—which collectively accounted for 62% of sales in 2020.

“Our successful listing reflects the world-class company that we have built and our position as the go-to partner for transformative digital customer experience services,” Junique said in a statement on the day of the IPO. “We are grateful for the support of our clients, many of whom are global technology companies that are fuelling the growth of the digital economy.”

Junique is the second call center billionaire that Forbes has tracked. The first, Kenneth Tuchman, founded Englewood, Colorado-based TTEC Holdings (formerly called TeleTech), in 1982; at nearly $2 billion, the firm had about six times the revenues of TDCX last year. Tuchman first became a billionaire in 2007. Several Indian billionaires, including HCL Technologies cofounder Shiv Nadar and Wipro’s former chairman Azim Premji, offer call centers as some of the services their firms provide.

Junique will maintain an iron grip on TDCX as a public company, controlling all of the firm’s Class B shares, which make up more than 86% of the firm’s equity and represent 98.5% of voting power. He owns those shares through Transformative Investments Pte Ltd, a company based in the Cayman Islands that is entirely owned—according to public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission—by a trust established for the benefit of Junique and his family. While its headquarters are in Singapore, TDCX has also been incorporated in the Cayman Islands since April 2020; prior to the IPO, the firm was controlled by Junique through a Caymans-based holding company. A spokesperson for TDCX declined to comment.

Before launching TDCX as a 29-year-old in 1995, the French native cut his teeth studying advertising at the École Supérieure de Publicité in Paris and business administration at the nearby École Supérieure Internationale d’Administration des Entreprises, graduating in 1989. After a two-year stint at consumer goods giant Unilever, Junique—who had reportedly been cooking up business ideas since he was a child, including a glass recycling proposal he came up with at age 13—decided he wanted a more international career, but struggled to find a gig as a young graduate with little experience.

Armed with a suitcase and just enough cash to get by, he decamped to Singapore in 1995 to try his luck on the other side of the planet. Singapore offered a strategic location as a modern, English-speaking city at the heart of fast-growing Southeast Asia, and Junique started a call center called Teledirect aimed at businesses looking to cut costs and outsource customer service. Soon enough, Junique scored the firm’s first big client, an American credit card firm based in Singapore.

Two years later, in 1997, Junique sold a 40% stake in Teledirect to London-based advertising giant WPP for an undisclosed amount. Since then, TDCX expanded beyond call centers and now has offices in 11 countries across three continents, including locations in China, Japan and India. In 2018, Junique bought back WPP’s 40% stake in the call center business for about $28 million. Three years of growth later, the company now has a market capitalization of $3.5 billion.

With 2020 marking a record year for TDCX, Junique is hoping that the Covid-induced transition away from offices has made the firm’s products more necessary for its clients. “As consumers live more and more of their lives online, the expectation for things to be done simply, conveniently and on-demand will only increase,” Junique said in a statement.

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Source: The World’s Newest Call Center Billionaire

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Related Contents:

“BBC Three – The Call Centre, Series 1”. Bbc.co.uk. 2013-12-10. Retrieved 2017-12-10.

Bill Gates’ Investment Firm Buys Controlling Stake In Four Seasons Hotels For $2.2 Billion

Bill Gates will purchase a majority stake in the Four Seasons hotel chain for $2.21 billion, the company announced Wednesday.

Cascade Investment LLC, which manages the Microsoft cofounder’s massive fortune, agreed to buy half of Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s stake in the hotel chain. The all-cash deal pushes Gates’ ownership from 47.5% to 71.25% and values the Four Seasons at $10 billion in enterprise value. The deal is expected to close in January 2022.

The purchase is a bet by Gates in part on the rebound of high-end business travel to big cities, which has suffered a blow during the pandemic. At least two Four Seasons hotels —including the one in midtown Manhattan— are currently closed; the midtown Manhattan location, which is owned by Beanie Baby’s billionaire founder Ty Warner, is “undergoing substantial infrastructure and maintenance work,” according to a note on its website.

However, one industry insider told Forbes that luxury hotels such as the Four Seasons lose money unless they operate at very high occupancy rates. In a statement, the hotel operator said the deal “marks a pivotal point in the evolution of Four Seasons” and affirms Cascade’s commitment to provide the Four Seasons “with resources to accelerate growth and expand its strategic goals.”

Through his investment vehicle Kingdom Holding Co., Prince Alwaleed will hold onto his remaining 23.75% stake. Forbes long counted the Saudi Prince as a billionaire — and one of the richest people in the world, but removed him from the Forbes billionaires list after November 2017, when Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman kept Alwaleed and other princes and business leaders captive in the Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh and reportedly extracted billions of dollars from them.

Isadore Sharp, Four Seasons Founder and Chairman, will also retain his 5% stake through Triples Holdings Limited, the company said. Bill Gates is currently ranked by Forbes as the fifth richest person in the world, worth an estimated $132.8 billion fortune.

In addition to its Four Seasons investment, Cascade is the largest private owner of farmland in the U.S. Gates’ investment firm also owns stakes in car dealership AutoNation, farm equipment manufacturer John Deere and other stocks.

Kingdom will retain 23.75%. Four Seasons Founder and Chairman Isadore Sharp, through Triples Holdings Limited, will keep his 5% stake. Cascade first invested in Four Seasons in 1997. It was public at that time, but the company went private in 2007. Founded in 1960, Four Seasons manages 121 hotels and resorts and 46 residential properties in 47 countries. It also has more than 50 projects at various stages of development.

“As we mark our 60th anniversary and look back on the profound impact that Four Seasons has had on luxury hospitality we also look forward with tremendous excitement and confidence in the future of the industry,” Four Seasons CEO John Davison said in a statement. “The unwavering support and partnership of our shareholders has been and continues to be critical as we capitalize on growing opportunities to serve luxury consumers worldwide.”

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Source: Bill Gates’ Investment Firm Buys Controlling Stake In Four Seasons Hotels For $2.2 Billion

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China’s Internet Tycoons Suffer $13.6 Billion Wealth Drop As Regulatory Crackdown Triggers Market Sell-Off

China’s internet billionaires suffered the biggest losses on the list of the world’s richest people on Monday, as spooked investors continued to dump stocks targeted in Beijing’s widening regulatory crackdown.

Meituan founder Wang Xing, NetEase Chief Executive Williang Ding, Pinduoduo founder Colin Zheng Huang and Tencent Chairman Pony Ma racked up a combined $13.6 billion plunge in their wealth in just one day, according to the World’s Real-Time Billionaires List. The hits to their fortunes come as a sell-off in Chinese education and technology stocks continued to spread to other sectors, with investors pondering which companies could fall under Beijing’s scrutiny next.

“[The crackdown] is a continuation of previous policies of anti-monopoly and stop the disorderly expansion of capital,” says Shen Meng, director of Beijing-based boutique investment bank Chanson and Co. “China also wants to reduce discontent among different factions of the society, and alleviate overall pressure.”

For example, following reports of long working hours and dangerous conditions, regulators are now seeking to adopt safeguards to protect food delivery riders by requiring their employers to pay more in insurance and making sure the couriers earn above minimum wage. The announcement of the new guidelines sent shares of Tencent-backed food delivery giant Meituan, which is already subject to an ongoing anti-trust probe, tumbling by as much as 10% in Hong Kong on Tuesday, after plunging 14% a day earlier.

Tencent, which also backs online marketplace Pinduoduo, lost 5% in Hong Kong today, after regulators ordered the company to give up exclusive music copyrights. The company has already pledged to comply with the directive.

In the meantime, Beijing is also seeking to alleviate some of the financial burden of parents in support of its efforts to boost declining birthrates by targeting after-school tutoring. The sector once grew rapidly as students went online to study during the pandemic, but has recently been plagued by complaints of misleading pricing and false advertising.

NetEase’s New York-listed online learning unit Youdao lost more than 60% of its market value over the last three trading days. The U.S.-listed shares of Chinese education firms Gaotu Techedu, TAL Education and New Oriental Education & Technology all plunged a similar amount, after regulators unveiled a sweeping set of rules over the weekend. It requires tutoring firms seeking to teach school syllabus to register as non-profits, as well as stop offering courses over weekends and during school vacations. The companies are also banned from going public or raising capital.

“To remain listed, they may need to spin off the businesses that are in violation of government rules, ” says Tommy Wang, a Hong Kong-based analyst at China Merchants Securities. He adds that as much as 90% of the companies’ revenues could be hit as after-school tutoring for elementary and middle school students account for the bulk of their sales.

In this uncertain environment, foreign investors would be wise to take into account policy risks and re-assess the outlook for investing in Chinese companies, according to Chanson and Co.’s Shen. The crackdown on education companies, for example, has left global investors ranging from SoftBank to Temasek struggling to find a way out of their positions. They’re among investors who had placed multi-billion dollar bets on Chinese education startups like Yuanfudao, Zuoyebang and Yi Qi Zuo Ye, which are now also being subjected to heightened regulatory scrutiny.

Claudia Wang, a Shanghai-based partner at consultancy Oliver Wyman, says one option for investors is to simply wait, and exit when the startups find a market that is on par with the online education industry that was valued at 257.3 billion yuan in 2020, and transition their business. The wait-and-see attitude is already taking hold among some investors in public markets, according to Nomura securities.

“Bruised and shaken investors are now likely to ponder which other areas could potentially become the next target of expanded state control,” analysts including Chetan Seth and Yunosuke Ikeda wrote in a recent research note. “Until news flow on regulation starts abating (no signs of it yet), we think most foreign investors will likely remain on the sidelines despite some areas of the market looking attractive over medium term on valuation grounds.”

I am a Beijing-based writer covering China’s technology sector. I contribute to Forbes, and previously I freelanced for SCMP and Nikkei. Prior to Beijing, I spent six months as an intern at TIME magazine’s Hong Kong office. I am a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University. Email: ywywyuewang@gmail.com Twitter: @yueyueyuewang

Source: China’s Internet Tycoons Suffer $13.6 Billion Wealth Drop As Regulatory Crackdown Triggers Market Sell-Off

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Critics:

The Chinese government’s crackdown on big technology companies will likely last for a few years, which means those stocks aren’t a buy for now, a BlackRock portfolio manager said Wednesday.

Since autumn, regulators have ramped up scrutiny on the country’s tech giants such as Alibaba and Tencent. After years of relatively unrestrained rapid growth, becoming some of the biggest companies in the world, the corporations now face fines and new rules aimed at curbing monopolistic practices.

“This regulatory cycle is long-lasting compared to 2018,” Lucy Liu, portfolio manager for global emerging markets equities at BlackRock, said during a mid-year Asia investment outlook event.

In contrast with that period of increased scrutiny, which ran for about six months to a year, she said that this time, “we think it’s going to be a multi-year cycle.”

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The Billionaire Who Wanted to Die Broke Is Now Officially Broke

 Charles “Chuck” Feeney, 89, who cofounded airport retailer Duty Free Shoppers with Robert Miller in 1960 amassed billions while living a life of monk-like frugality. As a philanthropist, he pioneered the idea of Giving While Living—spending most of your fortune on big, hands-on charity bets instead of funding a foundation upon death. Since you can’t take it with you—why not give it all away, have control of where it goes, and see the results with your own eyes? 

“We learned a lot. We would do some things differently, but I am very satisfied. I feel very good about completing this on my watch,” Feeney tells Forbes. “My thanks to all who joined us on this journey. And to those wondering about Giving While Living: try it, you’ll like it.” 

Over the last four decades, Feeney has donated more than $8 billion to charities, universities, and foundations worldwide through his foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies. When I first met him in 2012, he estimated he had set aside about $2 million for his and his wife’s retirement. In other words, he’s given away 375,000% more money than his current net worth. And he gave it away anonymously. While many wealthy philanthropists enlist an army of publicists to trumpet their donations, Feeney went at great lengths to keep his gifts secret. Because of his secretive, globe-trotting philanthropy campaign, Forbes called him the  James Bond of Philanthropy

Feeney and Buffett
Chuck Feeney and Warren Buffett in 2011 ©Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/Barbara Kinney

But Feeney has come in from the cold. The man who amassed a fortune selling luxury goods to tourist, and later launched private equity powerhouse General Atlantic, lives in an apartment in San Francisco that has the austerity of a freshman dorm room. When I visited a few years ago, inkjet-printed photos of friends and family hung from the walls over a plain, wooden table. On the table sat a small Lucite plaquethat read Congratulations to Chuck Feeney for $8 billion of philanthropic giving

That’s Feeney—understated profile, oversized impact. No longer a secret, his extreme charity and big-bet grants have won over the most influential entrepreneurs and philanthropists. His stark generosity and gutsy investments influenced Bill Gates and Warren Buffett when they launched the Giving Pledge in 2010—an aggressive campaign to convince the world’s wealthiest to give away at least half their fortunes before their deaths. “Chuck was a cornerstone in terms of inspiration for the Giving Pledge,” says Warren Buffett. “He’s a model for us all. It’s going to take me 12 years after my death to get done what he’s doing within his lifetime.”  

Feeney gave big money to big problems—whether bringing peace to Northern Ireland, modernizing Vietnam’s health care system, or spending $350 million to turn New York’s long-neglected Roosevelt Island into a technology hub. He didn’t wait to grant gifts after death or set up a legacy fund that annually tosses pennies at a $10 problem. He hunted for causes where he can have a dramatic impact and went all-in. 

In 2019, I worked with the Atlantic Philanthropies on a report titled Zero Is the Hero, which summarized Feeney’s decades of go-for-broke giving. While it contains hundreds of numbers, stats, and data points, Feeney summarized his mission a few sentences. “I see little reason to delay giving when so much good can be achieved through supporting worthwhile causes. Besides, it’s a lot more fun to give while you live than give while you’re dead.” 

Chuck Feeney signing documents
On September 14, 2020 Chuck Feeney–with wife Helga Feeney–signed documents in San Francisco marking the close of the Atlantic Philanthropies after four decades of global giving. The Atlantic Philanthropies

On September 14, 2020, Feeney completed his four-decade mission and signed the documents to shutter the Atlantic Philanthropies. The ceremony, which happened over Zoom with the Atlantic Philanthropies’ board, included video messages from Bill Gates and former California Governor Jerry Brown. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sent an official letter from the U.S. Congress thanking Feeney for his work.

At its height, the Atlantic Philanthropies had 300-plus employees and ten global offices across seven time zones. The specific closure date was set years ago as part of his long-term plan to make high-risk, high-impact donations by setting a hard deadline to give away all his money and close shop. The 2020 expiration date added urgency and discipline. It gave the Atlantic Philanthropies the time to document its history, reflect on wins and losses, and create a strategy for other institutions to follow. As Feeney told me in 2019: “Our giving is based on the opportunities, not a plan to stay in business for a long time.”  

While his philanthropy is out of business, its influence reverberates worldwide thanks to its big bets on health, science, education, and social action. Where did $8 billion go? Feeney gave $3.7 billion to education including nearly $1 billion to his alma mater Cornell, which he attended on the G.I. Bill.More than $870 went to human rights and social change, like $62 million in grants to abolish the death penalty in the U.S. and $76 million for grassroots campaigns supporting the passage of Obamacare. He gave more than $700 million in gifts to health ranging from a $270 grant to improve public healthcare in Vietnam to a $176 million gift to the Global Brain Health Institute at University of California, San Francisco.  

One of Feeney’s final gifts, $350 million forCornell to build a technology campus on New York City’s Roosevelt Island is a classic example of his giving philosophy. While notoriously frugal in his own life, Feeney was ready to spend big and go for broke when the value and potential impact outweigh the risk. 

FORBES spoke to Influential Philanthropists On How Chuck Feeney Changed Charity And Inspired Giving


warren-buffett

“Chuck’s been the model for us all. If you have the right heroes in life, you’re 90% of the way home. Chuck Feeney is a good hero to have.” WARREN BUFFETT: Chairman & CEO Berkshire Hathaway, The Gates Foundation, The Giving Pledge


laureen-powel-jobs

“Chuck Feeney is a true pioneer. Spending down his resources during his lifetime has inspired a generation of philanthropists, including me. And his dedication to anonymous giving—and focus on addressing the problems of the day—reflect the strength of his character and social conscience. We all follow in his footsteps.” LAUREEN POWEL JOBS: Founder and President, Emerson Collective


bill-gates

“Chuck created a path for other philanthropists to follow. I remember meeting him before starting the Giving Pledge. He told me we should encourage people not to give just 50%, but as much as possible during their lifetime. No one is a better example of that than Chuck. Many people talk to me about how he inspired them. It is truly amazing.” BILL GATES: Microsoft cofounder, The Gates Foundation, The Giving Pledge


sandford-weill

“Chuck took giving to a bigger extreme than anyone. There’s a lot of rich people, very few of them fly coach. He never spent the money on himself and gave everything away. A lot of people are now understanding the importance of giving it away, and the importance of being involved in the things you give your money to. But I don’t fly coach!” SANDY WEILL: Financier, Former Chairman of Weill Cornell Medicine


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“Chuck pioneered the model where giving finishes late in life, rather than starting. He was able to be more aggressive, he was able to take bigger risks and just get more enjoyment from his giving. There’s great power in giving while living. The longer the distance between the person who funded the philanthropy and the work, the greater the risk of it becoming bureaucratic and institutional—that’s the death knell for philanthropy.” JOHN ARNOLD: Former Hedgefund Manage, Founder of Arnold Ventures


PHOTO CREDITS: WARREN BUFFET, BILL GATES AND SANDY WEILL BY MARTIN SHOELLER FOR FORBES; LAUREEN POWEL JOBS BY BRIGITTE LACOMBE; JOHN ARNOLD: COURTESY OF ARNOLD VENTURES

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LVMH Says It’s Not Seeking To Buy Tiffany & Co Shares On The Market As Doubts Are Cast On The Deal

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French luxury conglomerate LVMH said it will not buy up shares of Tiffany & Co on the market in a bid to get a lower price for the American jeweler, as the company is seeking to renegotiate its $16.2 billion deal for the retailer hard hit by the coronavirus crisis.

KEY FACTS

The world’s most valuable luxury brand secured a deal to acquire Tiffany & Co in a deal that valued the company at $16.2 billion in November 2019.

But the biggest ever luxury deal now looks to be on the rocks as LVMH is reportedly seeking to lower the agreed price.

Sources close to negotiations told Reuters that LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault is now looking to convince Tiffany & Co to lower the price of $135 per share agreed in the deal.

LVMH discussed the takeover in a board meeting this week, with management said to be concerned about the coronavirus crisis, the economic fallout and unrest in the U.S. weighing on consumer demand for luxury goods.

LVMH is reportedly concerned about Tiffany’s ability to repay its debt obligations.

The luxury conglomerate, owned by billionaire Arnault, said in a statement on Thursday: “Considering the recent market rumours, LVMH confirms, on this occasion, that it is not considering buying Tiffany shares on the market.”

Key background

LVMH’s acquisition was seen as yet another bid for the conglomerate to strengthen its foothold in the U.S. But the deal, which was expected to close mid-2020, is likely to be reconsidered. Tiffany shares plunged 9% on Tuesday after a WWD report suggested the luxury conglomerate was considering backing out of the $16.2 billion deal in pursuit of a cheaper price. November’s deal followed weeks of negotiations between Arnault and Tiffany’s, after Arnault initially made a bid of $120 per share.

What to watch for

Tiffany’s Q1 results are out on Friday.

Tangent

Merger and acquisition deals have slowed dramatically amid the coronavirus crisis, which has forced businesses to close and focus on staying afloat.

Further reading

M&A Activity Plunges, It Could Get Much Worse As Coronavirus Hits Markets And Prevents Face-To-Face Meetings (Forbes)

Louis Vuitton Owner LVMH Buys Tiffany For $16.2 Billion (Forbes)

Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus

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I am a breaking news reporter for Forbes in London, covering Europe and the U.S. Previously I was a news reporter for HuffPost UK, the Press Association and a night reporter at the Guardian. I studied Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics, where I was a writer and editor for one of the university’s global affairs magazines, the London Globalist. That led me to Goldsmiths, University of London, where I completed my M.A. in Journalism. Got a story? Get in touch at isabel.togoh@forbes.com, or follow me on Twitter @bissieness. I look forward to hearing from you.

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CNBC’s Robert Frank joins “Squawk on the Street” to discuss French luxury group LVMH’s offer to buy Tiffany at $120 per share.

Former Singapore Billionaire Lim’s Oil Giant Files For Bankruptcy

Hin Leong Trading, one of Singapore’s largest independent oil traders, said that it failed to declare “about $800 million in futures losses over the years,” Reuters reported, citing a court filing dated April 17. The company is seeking a six-month moratorium on its roughly $3.85 billion debt load owed to 23 banks.

The company’s founder and director, Lim Oon Kuim, 77, was cited in the filing as taking responsibility for directing the finance department to conceal hundreds of millions of dollars in losses from appearing on the company’s financial statements.

Lim’s only son, Evan Lim Chee Meng, said in a separate filing that his father sold a chunk of the company’s oil inventories and used the proceeds as general funds, even though the barrels were pledged as collateral to secure loans from banks.

“As a result there is a large shortfall of inventory as compared to the quantum of inventory which has been secured in favor of the bank lenders who had provided inventory financing,” Evan wrote.

Evan is also a director of Hin Leong and its subsidiary Ocean Tankers, the group’s shipping arm which claims to own a fleet of more than a hundred oil tankers, but also filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors under Section 211B of Singapore’s Companies Act. Both companies are solely owned by the Lim family, according to company filings.

Hin Leong’s move to seek court protection from creditors comes as oil prices hit a two-decade low from the Saudi-Russia price war combined with weak global demand from the coronavirus pandemic. The company’s court filings indicate that its problems had started much earlier because it had been losing money for the last few years.

In a presentation to its creditors earlier this month, Hin Leong revealed it had total liabilities of $4.05 billion against assets valued at just $714 million, according to Reuters. The company did not respond to emailed requests for comment.

Founded in 1963 by Chinese immigrant Lim at age 20 with a single truck delivering diesel to fishermen and small rural power producers, the storied Singapore oil trader has grown to become one of Asia’s largest suppliers of ship fuel. He also co-owns oil storage unit Universal Terminal with PetroChina and Macquarie Asia Infrastructure Fund.

Lim was ranked No. 18 on last year’s list of Singapore’s richest people with a net worth estimated at $1.65 billion. Forbes no longer considers him a billionaire following the disclosure of Hin Leong’s bankruptcy filing and admission of sustained losses.

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Pamela covers entrepreneurs, wealth, blockchain and the crypto economy as a senior reporter across digital and print platforms. Prior to Forbes, she served as on-air foreign correspondent for Thomson Reuters’ broadcast team, during which she reported on global markets, central bank policies, and breaking business news. Before Asia, she was a journalist at NBC Comcast, and started her career at CNBC and Bloomberg as a financial news producer in New York. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and holds an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Yahoo, USA Today, Huffington Post, and Nasdaq. Pamela’s previous incarnation was on the buy side in M&A research and asset management, inspired by Michael Lewis’ book “Liar’s Poker”. Follow me on Twitter at @pamambler

Source: Former Singapore Billionaire Lim’s Oil Giant Files For Bankruptcy

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SINGAPORE: Singapore billionaire Peter Lim has won his bid to buy Spanish football club Valencia, becoming the first Singaporean to own a top European outfit. The businessman beat four other contenders, including China’s richest man, property tycoon Wang Jianlin. All 22 members of the club’s board of trustees decided unanimously in Mr Lim’s favour. Mr Lim had promised a cash injection that would clear Valencia’s debt of some 300 million euros, finance the building of a new stadium, and provide a fund of up to 50 million euros to buy new players. Valencia last won the Spanish football title a decade ago. Mr Lim previously tried to buy the Liverpool football club in 2010. Interestingly, he is himself a Manchester United fan. www.channelnewsasia.com/news/sport/football-s-pore/1110494.html

Shopify Cracks The E-Commerce Code, And Its Billionaire CEO’s Fortune Doubles In Just Six Months

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Tobi Lutke, the Canadian CEO and founder of e-commerce platform Shopify, has a net worth that’s doubled to $3.2 billion in just six months, thanks to his company’s skyrocketing stock.

  • The e-commerce platform’s stock, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, has skyrocketed up 106% since mid February, when Forbes measured net worths for the 2019 list of billionaires. Shopify provides the online shopping engine for more than 800,000 customers, including Kylie Jenner’s beauty store Kylie Cosmetics.
  • Lutke, who was born in Germany, owns nearly 9% of the Ottawa-based company. He founded Shopify in 2004 after he and a friend had attempted to start an online snowboard shop out of Ontario and realized there were no efficient tools to help small business owners operate online. As winter ended and snowboard sales plummeted, Lutke told Forbes in a June 2018 interview that he decided to create Shopify.
  • Shoppers have spent over $100 billion on Shopify-powered sites since it began operating, according to the company.
  • Shopify had $1.1 billion in 2018 revenues, a 59% increase from the previous year.
  • Shopify’s $42.3 billion market capitalization is now larger than that of many big tech brands, including Twitter, Snap, Square and Lyft.
  • According to the Financial Times, Lutke prefers that his employees refrain from regularly checking Shopify’s stock price.

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Angel Au-Yeung has been a reporter on staff at Forbes Magazine since 2017. She covers the world’s wealthiest entrepreneurs and tracks how they use their money and power.

 

Source: https://www.forbes.com

Shopify COO Harley Finkelstein breaks down how the Canadian e-commerce platform creates economies of scale to give small businesses benefits that help entrepreneurs compete with giant retailers. » Subscribe to CNBC: http://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC » Watch more Mad Money here: http://bit.ly/WatchMadMoney » Read more about Shopify: https://cnb.cx/2vxmuPg “Mad Money” takes viewers inside the mind of one of Wall Street’s most respected and successful money managers. Jim Cramer is your personal guide through the confusing jungle of Wall Street investing, navigating through both opportunities and pitfalls with one goal in mind — to try to help you make money. About CNBC: From ‘Wall Street’ to ‘Main Street’ to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Get More Mad Money! Read the latest news: http://madmoney.cnbc.com Watch full episodes: http://bit.ly/MadMoneyEpisodes Follow Mad Money on Twitter: http://bit.ly/MadMoneyTwitter Like Mad Money on Facebook: http://bit.ly/LikeMadMoney Follow Cramer on Twitter: http://bit.ly/FollowCramer Connect with CNBC News Online! Visit CNBC.com: http://www.cnbc.com/ Find CNBC News on Facebook: http://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: http://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Google+: http://cnb.cx/PlusCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: http://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC Shopify COO: Servicing 820,000 Merchants | Mad Money | CNBC

 

 

Billionaire-Owned Viking Cruises Involved In Collision, Leaving 7 Dead And 21 Missing

A Viking river cruise ship was moored in Budapest after it collided with a smaller sightseeing boat on Wednesday evening, killing at least seven South Korean tourists. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh)

One of Viking’s river cruise ships was involved in a fatal collision on Wednesday night as it was traveling through Budapest on the Danube River, leaving at least seven dead.

The Viking Sigyn, a 95-room river cruise ship, collided with a smaller sightseeing boat, the Mermaid, as it was approaching the Margaret Bridge in the heart of Hungary’s capital at around 9 p.m. on Wednesday. The Mermaid, which was carrying 33 South Korean passengers and two Hungarian personnel, capsized and sunk in about eight seconds, according to Hungarian authorities. At least seven passengers on the Mermaid have been confirmed dead. Emergency crews were able to rescue another seven people from the water and another 21 remain missing.

A search party is continuing to scour the river for the missing passengers, according to authorities who spoke at a news conference on Thursday. The efforts have been made more difficult by heavy rain, high water levels and strong currents. The incident is also being investigated as a criminal matter, authorities said. The captain of the Viking Sigyn, a 64-year-old Ukrainian man identified just as Yuri C., was taken into custody on Thursday.

A Viking spokesperson confirmed there were no injuries to Viking crew or guests and that the company will continue to “cooperate fully with the authorities” as they investigate.

An executive from South Korean tour agency Very Good Tour, Lee Sang-moo, reportedly said at a press conference in Seoul that the group aboard the Mermaid was nearing the end of a week-long European tour that had begun in Munich. Sang-moo said that the survivors include six women and one man between the ages of 31 and 66.

The collision follows at least two other incidents from Viking this year. In April, the Viking Idun river ship collided with an oil tanker off the coast of the Netherlands, causing five people to be injured. In March, one of Viking’s ocean cruise ships experienced a loss of engine power off the coast of Norway and evacuated 479 passengers by helicopter before it was able to travel to shore under its own power. That episode prompted a lawsuit from a New Jersey couple, who claimed that Viking “negligently sailed through notoriously perilous waters into the path of a bomb cyclone,” despite severe weather warnings.

Viking Cruises was started in 1997 by Tor Hagen, a Norwegian-born, Harvard-educated former cruise line executive who launched the company with four Russian riverboats at the age of 54. Hagen went on to make European river cruises a popular vacation option among older Americans. Today, Viking has a fleet of 78 river and ocean cruise ships and generates $1.6 billion in net revenue. The company is worth $3.4 billion after the most recent private equity injection, and Hagen owns three fourths of it.

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Source: Billionaire-Owned Viking Cruises Involved In Collision, Leaving 7 Dead And 21 Missing

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