The power couple behind one of China’s largest commercial property empires is drafting the playbook for moving a fortune out of the Communist country, which has been facing a property market crash.
Zhang Xin and her husband Pan Shiyi have transformed Soho China into a titan that altered the country’s skylines and built an exclusive family office that is named Seven Valleys in the city of Beijing.
Stakes in the General Motors Building on Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue Plaza in midtown are two of its most recognisable assets and are equally iconic to New York as the building they designed in Beijing.
Lessons about being ready for property market Crashdown
The tale of Zhang and Pan serves as a lesson about being ready. Their five-step strategy, which includes creating a profitable company in China, listing it on a major exchange, paying out billions in dividends, establishing a family office abroad, and purchasing real estate abroad, has kept their fortune relatively safe.
While on the other hand, Chinese billionaires have seen their fortunes crumble after falling victim to President Xi Jinping’s crackdowns.
How to be prepared for a property market crash?
Zhang and Pan have made themselves deep-seated in American culture. They have been seen together frequently at many social events, and Zhang serves on the global board of advisers of the Council on Foreign Relations. They are also well-known benefactors in China.
On the other hand, Chinese businessmen had their fortune destroyed by the property market crackdown.
The choice to list Soho on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2007 rather than the Chinese stock exchange saved their personal riches. The majority of Soho’s funds went toward financing US real estate purchases.
According to a report, the Soho founders have a 20 percent holding in The GM Building, which is worth about US$3.2 billion.
The couple’s charity actions for providing scholarships to Chinese students at Harvard and Yale University were criticized for not giving to the nation where they earned their fortune.
Now there is less controversy because Pan and Zhang resigned as Soho’s chairman and chief executive officer to focus more on such philanthropic pursuits.
The Soho founders showed a method that could help wealthy people escape China, but that would be less reasonable because of the property market Crashdown or not.
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I am Tyson Yuk, the founder of the blog Commercial Realty Singapore. With over 15 years of experience, my forte is in the commercial and luxury property line. With my blog, I aim to educate, advise and share tips and tricks with potential property buyers and investors to help them make successful property ventures.
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