Jamaican Michael Lee-Chin, 70, has been listed on the Forbes magazine 2021 Billionaire’s List. According to Forbes, Lee-Chin’s real time net worth as of April 6, 2021, totaled $1.6 billion, which ranked him as Number 1,931 on the full list of the world’s billionaires.
He made his fortune through investments in financial firms like the National Commercial Bank of Jamaica and AIC Limited. He acquired AIC in 1987, when it managed less than $1 million in assets. By 2002, under Lee-Chin’s direction, the wealth management and mutual fund firm managed over $10 billion in assets. It experienced a downturn due to the 2008 recession, however, and Lee-Chin sold AIC to Manulife, a Canadian financial services group in 2009 for an unstated price. He currently holds a 65-percent stake in the National Commercial Bank of Jamaica. This holding represents the majority of his wealth to date.
A self-made billionaire, Lee-Chin owns or holds an interest in a number of companies and subsidiaries, including Columbus Communications, Sauce Cable Company, Eastern Caribbean Gas Pipeline, Radio Jamaica, the Reggae Beach Resort, Trident Hotel, Senvia Money Services, and Wallenford Coffee. In 2020, Forbes ranked Chin at Number 1,063 on its list of world billionaires, with a real-time net worth on August 9, 2020, totaling $1.5 billion.
Michael Lee-Chin was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica, to Aston Lee and Hyacinth Gloria Chin, who are both biracial African and Chinese-Jamaicans. When he was seven, his mother married Vincent Chin, who ran a local grocery store. His mother sold Avon products and worked as a bookkeeper for local farms. He attended Titchfield High in Jamaica. As a teenager, he was a landscape worker at a hotel and then worked cleaning the engine room of the cruise ship, Jamaica Queen. He has a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree from Canada’s McMaster University where he studied civil engineering. After attaining his degree, he worked for the Jamaican government as a road engineer.
Michael Lee-Chin is a philanthropist who believes in giving back. He pledged $30 million to the Royal Ontario Museum in 2003. He also donated $10 million to the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management for the establishment of the Michael Lee-Chin Family Institute for Corporate Citizenship. He made a contribution to McMaster University and donated $10 million to the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation.
Lee-Chin was appointed as the chair of Jamaica’s Economic Growth Council in 2016 and was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2017. He has served as the eighth chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University. Lee-Chin and his family received the 2015 Association of Fundraising Professionals’ National Philanthropy Award – Golden Horseshoe Chapter – for Outstanding Philanthropist.
Michael Lee-Chin is a citizen of Canada and lives in Burlington. He is divorced and the father of five children.
Source: Forbes Magazine