Started from consumer goods conglomerate
Lam Soon Malaysia is a fast-moving consumer goods company in Malaysia. It is owned by Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan, who is the Executive Chairman of Hong Leong Group Malaysia. Through this company, Tan Sri Quek holds 63.42% in Lam Soon which actually began as a milling and copra refining company.
Background of Lam Soon
It was established in 1958 when it was involved in the business where the oil extracted was used in the manufacturing of laundry soap and cooking oil where it then produced home known brands like Labour and Axe.
Growth of Lam Soon and Tan Sri Quek
From there, it grew steadily throughout the years where today it is one of the most well-known brands in Malaysia where it is now one of the toilet soap, margarine and shortening products that uses palm oil. It would be in 1970 that Lam Soon began venturing into more industries through palm oil where it started manufacturing cooking oil with its plantations in both East and West Malaysia. Lam Soon then restructured and became Lam Soon (M) Bhd in 1985.
Lam Soon and Southern Lion
It then joined Southern Lion, the Japanese major consumer goods company in an equal joint venture where it started producing home care, beauty and oral care products. Apart from that, Lam Soon also ventured into the manufacturing of special edible oil in a biotechnology company in a joint venture exercise with Nisshin Oil Mills Ltd and Mitsubishi Corporation Japan under the company name Southern Nissin Bio-Tech Sdn Bhd.
Diversifying into other industries
Apart from that, Lam Soon also joint ventured with Akzo Nobel, a Dutch chemical giant that manufactures distilled fatty acids as well as in the refining of glycerin. Today, it operates the Lam Soon Senai Complex as well as the Telok Panglima Garang plant in Selangor. The former is equipped with a state-of-the-art modern supply chain network to cater to its distribution network that caters to consumers all over Malaysia.
Hong Leong bank was born
Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan is one of the top 10 richest people in Malaysia. His wealth is reported to be well over USD7 billion. An alumnus of Victoria School in Singapore, Tan Sri Quek is a lawyer in practice. Besides Lam Soon, Tan Sri Quek holds various high-profile positions. This includes:
- Chairman and CEO of Hong Long Company Berhad
- Hong Leong Industries Berhad
- Hume Industries Berhad
- Camerlin Group Berhad
- HLG Capital Berhad
- Hong Leong Assurance Berhad
- and many more
Hong Leong Group
In all the businesses that Tan Sri Quek is involved in, Hong Leong Group is perhaps the most high profile. It is, after all among the largest banking groups in Malaysia. The conglomerate was started in 1963 where it started as a trading company. Under its wings are 14 other listed companies. The group has companies that are listed not only in Malaysia but very strong in other countries like the Philippines, Hong Kong, Europe and Singapore.
In Singapore, the listed company is under the holding company Guoco Leisure Ltd which is headquartered in London. Hong Leong is mainly involved in banking and financial services. Guoco on the other hand is involved in hospitality and leisure. Besides that, Hong Leong is involved in automotive as well.
Significant milestones for Hong Leong
Over the past decade, there has been a lot of major changes in Hong Leong Group. Among them includes:
- Granted Investment Bank status in January 2009
- Changing the group’s name to Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd in July 2006
- Incorporating Tokio Marine Takaful in June 2006
- Opening HLG Cambodia in July 2013