1st S R Nathan Fellow - Ho Kwon Ping
Mr Ho Kwon Ping is Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings, which owns both listed and private companies engaged in the development, ownership and operation of hotels, resorts, spas, residential homes, retail galleries and other lifestyle activities around the world.
Born in 1952, Mr Ho was educated in Tunghai University, Taiwan; Stanford University, California and the University of Singapore. He worked as a broadcast and financial journalist and was the Economics Editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review. He joined the family business in 1981.
In 1994, after the success of rehabilitating an abandoned tin mine into Laguna Phuket, Asia’s first integrated resort, he launched Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts. Banyan Tree has grown to more than 30 hotels and resorts, over 60 spas and close to 80 retail galleries, as well as three golf courses. With a strong presence in China, Banyan Tree will double its number of properties by 2016.
In May 2000, Mr Ho was conferred an honorary doctorate by Johnson & Wales University, and later received the London Business School 2005 Entrepreneurship Award. In 2008, he was named CEO of the Year at the Singapore Corporate Awards. In 2009, he was the recipient of the Hospitality Lifetime Achievement Award at the China Hotel Investment Summit in Shanghai.
As Chairman of Singapore Management University (SMU), Mr Ho was awarded the Singapore Government’s Meritorious Service Medal for his contribution in the founding of SMU. In 2010, he became the first Asian to receive the ACA (American Creativity Association) Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his creativity and innovation in various spheres of endeavour. In 2011, he was voted top Thinker in Singapore in the Yahoo! Singapore 9 Awards, a testament to his business innovations and leadership in civic causes. In 2012, Mr Ho was given CNBC’s Travel Business Leader Award Asia Pacific 2012, in addition to being named to the board of Diageo, a British multinational. Mr Ho is married to Claire Chiang, Senior Vice President, Banyan Tree Holdings Limited. They have three children – two sons and a daughter.
2014/15 IPS-Nathan Lectures
- Lecture I — Politics and Governance (20 October 2014)
- Lecture II — Economy and Business (12 November 2014)
- Lecture III — Security and Sustainability (5 February 2015)
- Lecture IV — Demography and Family (4 March 2015)
- Lecture V — Society and Identity (9 April 2015)
- Launch of The Ocean in A Drop — Singapore: The Next Fifty Years (30 October 2015)
To find out more about the S R Nathan Fellowship for the Study of Singapore, please click here.