TAN Chin Tuan 陈振传

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Chin Tuan TAN

Death: November 13, 2005 (97)
Immediate Family:

Son of TAN Cheng Siong and Wife 2: LEE Guay Eng
Husband of Helen WEE
Father of Private; TAN Kheng Choo and Private
Brother of TAN Chin Guan
Half brother of Joseph TAN Seng Hwee and Siew Hua TAN

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About TAN Chin Tuan 陈振传





Tan Chin Tuan (b. 21 November 1908, Singapore - d. 13 November 2005, Singapore), nicknamed Mr OCBC, is a prominent Peranakan philanthropist and often credited as the man who built the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC).

Early history Tan Chin Tuan grew up in the Depression years under austere conditions, having lost his father whilst still at school. Many say these early years formed his conservative approach to financing. Educated at Anglo-Chinese School, he first worked for the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) as a clerk on 1 March 1925 at the age of seventeen. He would remain at OCBC for 58 years altogether. He was Managing Director of OCBC from 1942 to 1972, and Chairman from 1966 to 1983. Under Tan's stewardship, OCBC rose from its humble beginnings to become among the world's top banks.

Philanthropist Tan Chin Tuan is also a noted philanthropist. In 1984, he donated 350,000 pound sterling to the Needham Research Institute (NRI) in Cambridge, United Kingdom. The NRI is now one of the top three centres on Chinese science and technology in the world. The library block at NRI is named after him. In 1997, he committed S$250,000 each year towards the Nanyang Technological University's exchange programme in engineering. The Tan Chin Tuan exchange fellowship will allow 20 academics to conduct research at NTU or be sent overseas.

In 1999, Tan Chin Tuan celebrated his 91st birthday by promising $1,000 to Singaporeans over 90 who were lucid and active. Mr. Tan wanted to share his good fortune with people of a similar age. At least 60 volunteers and Justices of the Peace checked the health of over 1,282 applicants. It is estimated that his birthday gift cost him $1.2 million.

Timeline 1 Mar 1925 : Joins Chinese Commercial Bank (CCB) as a junior bank clerk 1932 : Assistant Manager of CCB prior to its merger with Ho Hong Bank and Oversea-Chinese Bank in that same year, to form the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC). He then took on the position as Divisional Manager. 1933 : Bank Manager of OCBC 1939 : Managing Director, Eastern Realty, OCBC's subsidiary 1942 : Joint Managing Director, OCBC, the youngest Managing Director in local history then 1945 : Sole Managing Director, OCBC 1966 - 1983 : Chairman and Managing Director, OCBC. After retiring in September 1983, conferred lifetime honorary president.

Positions 1939 : Municipal Commissioner 1948 - 1951 : initially a Member of the Singapore Executive Council but rose through the ranks to become Senior Member 17 April 1951 - 1955 : Deputy President, Singapore Executive Council. In this capacity, he was to serve as an intermediary between the colonial government and the local community. 1983 - 1986 : Chairman, Singapore Turf Club

He had also been chairman of companies such as Malayan Breweries Ltd, the Overseas Assurance Corporation Ltd, Wearne Brothers Ltd., Fraser and Neave, Great Eastern Life, Tan Sri Tan Foundation, Robinson & Co. and The Straits Trading Co. Ltd. Patron of organisations such as the Orchid Society of Southeast Asia, the SPCA, and the Singapore Badminton Association.

Awards 1951 : Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, for his contributions during his service in the Legislative Council. 1969 : Malaysia's Yang Di Pertuan Agong Sultan Tuanku Ismail Nasiruddin Shah confers title of Tan Sri 3 September 1991: Honorary Doctor of Law, National University, Singapore "in recognition of his role as banker, civic leader and public benefactor." 13 June 1992 : Honorary Doctorate of Letters, Curtin University, Australia "in recognition of his contribution to the banking community and his close association with Australia".

Family Father : Tan Cheng Siong, a banker Wife : Helen Wee, a banker's daughter Son : One son Daughters : Two daughter, one being Mrs Kheng Choo Campbell Granddaughter : Ms Chew Gek Khim, director of a consultancy firm Nephew : Dr Tony Tan

Hobbies include rearing fish, birds and dogs and growing orchids.

•Change Date: 7 OCT 2013 at 13:53:01

HintsAncestry Hints for TAN Chin Tuan

   10 possible matches found on Ancestry.com Ancestry.com 

Father: TAN Cheng Siong Mother: LEE Guay Eng

Marriage 1 Helene WEE b: 27 JUL 1907•Married: 18 SEP 1926 •Change Date: 13 SEP 2010 Children1.Has Children Living TAN 2.Has Children TAN Kheng Choo 3.Has Children Living TAN

The Tan Family

IF MR Lee is associated with the birth of the bank, then Mr Tan, who spent half a century at OCBC, is hailed as the man who expanded its empire.

Born in 1908, he was the son of a general manager of the Oversea-Chinese Bank.

After his father died when he was a teenager, a family friend offered him a job at Chinese Commercial Bank.

He helped in the merger and in 1933, was promoted to be the manager of OCBC Properties and a new subsidiary Eastern Realty Company. He attended property auctions and was on the lookout for bargains for the bank.

As joint managing director of OCBC's overseas operations, he ran the bank's operations from India until the end of World War II.

Over the next couple of decades, Mr Tan was to spearhead the bank's investments into a variety of non-banking businesses, many of which are household names today.

These included Straits Trading, Raffles Hotel, department store Robinson & Co, beverage giant Fraser & Neave, Malayan Breweries (now known as Asia Pacific Breweries), Wearnes and others.

One of the earliest deals he was involved in was taking a stake in Raffles Hotel.

It had rankled OCBC that whenever it wanted to book a dining suite to entertain its clients, Raffles Hotel always turned the bank down. Eventually, Mr Tan helped OCBC secure the shares of one of the directors who died and he eventually became the first Asian on the board.

As the British and other foreigners exited Singapore, Mr Tan thought it was a good opportunity for the locals to take over such non-banking businesses. This was how OCBC came to own shares in Straits Trading, which was set up by a German entrepreneur to smelt tin late in the 19th century.

What laid behind his investment philosophy was a belief in growing the OCBC group, with the bank at its core. The companies in the 'OCBC stable' could support each other, with each other's services.

From 1966, he was chairman and managing director of OCBC until 1983 when he retired and was made life president.

He died in 2005.

As OCBC invested in other companies, Mr Tan did likewise personally. A shrewd investor, he was a very wealthy man in his own right.

He had three children - son Keng Siong and daughters Kheng Choo and Kheng Lian. The latter of the two daughters is the mother of Ms Chew Gek Khim.

Ms Chew, 46, runs a group of family investment vehicles headed by Tecity. Word has it that she was groomed from an early age by her grandfather to take over.

Mr Tan's nephew, Dr Tony Tan, was also general manager at the bank before entering politics in 1979. He went on to become its chairman and chief executive between 1992 and 1995.

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TAN Chin Tuan 陈振传's Timeline

November 13, 2005
Age 97