South Korea’s Richest People (as of April 2020)

Top 10 Richest Koreans by Net Worth

Note: The recent stock market volatility has stripped some of the riches of these top10:

At top, the “South Korean business magnate and the chairman of Samsung Group” Lee, Kun-hee is still #1. In Korean, his name is spelled “이건희” and in “Hanja,” he’s 李健熙.

He’s worth a cool $15.4 billion dollars (as of 3/26/20)

#2 Seo Jung-jin – $6.9 billion

Not to get confused with the soccer player, this tycoon is CEO of Celltrion, a biopharmaceutical company which develops drugs to treat cancer, influenza and rheumatoid arthritis, among others. Probably a good time to be in his industry, eh?

#3 is Kim Jung-ju, founder of South Korean online-gaming company Nexon; he is chairman of its holding company NXC. His current net worth is $6.5 bill.

#4 is Lee Kun Hee’s son, Jay Y. Lee. He is the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics and heir to the country’s biggest conglomerate. His net worth stands at $5.4 billion today (3/26/2020)

The first spot was occupied by Chung Mong-koo, Chairman of Hyundai Motor back on July 9, 2019 when this list was published by Forbes. However, today, it’s a tie between Suh Kyung-bae, Chairman of Amorepacific, Park Yeon-cha, Chairman of Taekwang Industrial (sneaker manufacturer) and Kim Beom-Su, the founder and chairman of Kakao, South Korea’s biggest messaging app, which is installed in 90% of the country’s smartphones.

#5 Tie: Suh Kyung-bae, Chairman of Amorepacific. Net worth (3/26/2020): $3.1 billion

#5 Tie: Park Yeon-cha, Chairman of Taekwang Industrial (sneaker manufacturer) feeding Nike. Net worth (3/26/2020): $3.1 billion

#5 Tie: Kim Beom-Su, the founder and chairman of Kakao, South Korea’s biggest messaging app. Net worth (3/26/2020): $3.1 billion

#8 is currently Kwon Hyuk-bin, founder of Smilegate in 2002. He has built it into one of the most successful gaming companies in South Korea. Net worth: $3 billion

#9: The previous #5 Chung Mong-koo, Chairman of Hyundai Motor has been rocked harder than the 4 that have displaced him on the Top 10 list. He’s currently #9 now with a net worth of $2.8 bill.

#10: Shin Chang-jae, chairman of Kyobo Life Insurance, founded by his father in 1958 as Daehan Kyoyuk Insurance. Net worth: $2.1 bill.

Other notables:

Kim Taek-jin, founder of NCSoft, South Korea’s No. 2 online gaming company which he founded in 1997. Net worth: $2 bill.

Previous Top 10 member, Chey Tae-won chairman of the SK Group, Korea’s third largest conglomerate with interests in telecom, semiconductors, chemicals and energy, among others. Net worth: $1.8 billion.

Hong Ra-Hee, Samsung’s first lady, is the wife of Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-Hee, South Korea’s richest person. Net worth: $1.8 billion.

Kim Sang-yeol, founder and chairman of Hoban Construction, one of South Korea’s top builders. Net worth: $1.8 bill.