Lien Ying Chow

Lien Ying ChowLien Ying Chow (連瀛洲/连瀛洲; Lian Yingzhou; Lian Yingzio) (1906–2004; Chaoyang, Guangdong), founder and CEO of Overseas Union Bank

He’s best known as the creator of Overseas Union Bank (OUB), one of Southeast Asia’s biggest banks before it was obtained by United Overseas Bank (UOB) in 2001. Lien ranked among Singapore’s most affluent individuals, with a fortune estimated at S$1.1 billion in 2003. As a philanthropist, he set up the non-profit Lien Foundation and was related to instruction.

Early life
A Teochew, Lien was born in China’s Guangdong province in the hamlet of Dapu, where his grandpa Lien Chye was the village head. After an island located between Japan and China, Lien was named Ying Chow following traditional feng shui beliefs. A cloth company ran and instructed Lien the fundamentals of calligraphy and company, together with a moral sensibility and a strong work ethic. Lien attended school and helped his dad gather and prepare statements. His mom Zhao Yin De passed away in 1916, and with his dad falling victim to a plague the subsequent year, Lien went to reside with a great-granduncle. In 1918, he moved to Hong Kong. Later, in 1920, Lien purchased passage to Singapore with help from a relative and economies of HK$10.

Move to Singapore
Lien arrived in Singapore with a samfu ensemble, a pair of short pants and just a singlet. Tay Woo Seng, the manager impressed. Lien grew to become assistant manager with a salary of $120 a month. In 1926, he wed the sister of his English teacher Wee Siang Hock, Wee Siew Kim.

Lien left Kian Thye in 1927. With another associate, in 1929 Wan Hong, Lien formed Wah Hin & Co, in. Wah Hin ran from shophouses Nos. 23 and 25 at Robinson Road, and provided provisions to the British armed forces. Having made links with big firms like Boustead, Guthrie and John Little while at Kian Thye, Lien managed to get credit terms for Wah Hin. The company prospered and grown to Malayan towns like Ipoh and Penang, Kuala Lumpur, and started to provide British forces across Malaya. The firm additionally bought its own assumptions at Robinson Road.

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