The Life of Elizabeth Sy: A Biographical Overview

Elizabeth Sy 1

Elizabeth Sy: From Humble Beginnings to Billionaire


Elizabeth Sy is a Filipino-Chinese billionaire who is known for her successful investments in various industries such as real estate, retail, banking, and hospitality. She is the daughter of Henry Sy Sr., the founder of SM Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines. With a net worth of $13.4 billion, Elizabeth is the 23rd richest person in the country according to Forbes magazine.

Early Life and Education

Elizabeth Sy was born on June 29, 1956, in Manila, Philippines, to Henry Sy Sr. and Felicidad Tan. She is one of the six children of the billionaire businessman who started his career as a shoe seller and eventually established SM Group in the 1950s.

Elizabeth attended Assumption Convent School and later pursued a degree in Business Administration at the University of the Philippines. After completing her undergraduate studies, she continued her education at the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona, United States, where she earned an MBA degree.

Career and Achievements

Elizabeth Sy started her career in the family business, SM Group, in the early 1980s. She served as the treasurer and executive vice president of SM Prime Holdings, Inc. and helped the company to become the largest mall operator in the Philippines. She was also responsible for the development and management of various residential and commercial properties under SM Prime.

Aside from her involvement in the real estate industry, Elizabeth Sy also made successful investments in banking, retail, and hospitality sectors. She is the founder of BDO Unibank, the largest bank in the Philippines in terms of assets, and the owner of well-known retail brands such as SM Retail, SM Department Store, and Watsons.

In recognition of her contributions to the business sector, Elizabeth Sy received several awards and honors throughout her career. She was named one of the Most Powerful Women in Asia by Forbes magazine in 2015, and she also received the Management Man of the Year award from the Management Association of the Philippines in 2018.

Personal Life

Elizabeth Sy is married to Thomas Tan, and they have two children. Despite her busy schedule as a businesswoman, she is known for her philanthropic works, particularly in the fields of healthcare, education, and poverty alleviation. She established the SM Foundation, which aims to help underprivileged individuals and communities in the Philippines through various programs and initiatives.


Name Elizabeth Sy
Born June 29, 1956
Country Philippines
Sector Real Estate, Retail, Banking, Hospitality
Companies SM Group, BDO Unibank, SM Retail, SM Department Store, Watsons
Net Worth $13.4 billion
Forbes URL
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