Former OCBC Bank chairman Lee Seng Wee dies aged 85

Former OCBC Bank chairman Lee Seng Wee dies aged 85

The chairman of Temasek Trust’s Board of Trustees died of complications arising from a fall.

SINGAPORE: Mr Lee Seng Wee, the former chairman of OCBC Bank, died on Aug 7 at the age of 85. A private service with cremation was held on Aug 8, according to Mr Lee’s wishes.

Mr Lee sustained a head injury during a fall and was brought to the Singapore General Hospital, where neurosurgery was performed. He died of complications arising from the fall.

Mr Lee was first appointed to the board of OCBC Bank on Feb 25, 1966, and was last re-appointed as a Director on April 28 this year. He was Chairman of OCBC from Aug 1, 1995 to Jun 30, 2003, and led the successful acquisition of Keppel Capital Holdings and all its subsidiaries in August 2001.

Before he died, Mr Lee served on the OCBC Bank Board Executive Committee and the Board Nominating Committee. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Temasek Trust, as well as a Director of Lee Foundation, Great Eastern Holdings and several Lee Rubber Group Companies.

Mr Lee also served on the Council of Presidential Advisers from 1992 to January 2001, as Chairman of Singapore International Foundation from 1991 to 2001 and as a Director of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) from 1984 to 2003.

He was a recipient of the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship in 2008.

In a statement issued on Monday, OCBC Bank said that during his tenure, Mr Lee built "a very strategic and complete platform for the OCBC Group of companies to compete and excel in the financial services industry".

Said the bank, Mr Lee had been "instrumental in its strategic investments in Bank NSIP and Bank of Ningbo as well as its successful acquisition of Wing Hang Bank and ING Asia Private Bank".

"He had always guided the running of OCBC Bank with the highest integrity and the biggest heart," it said, adding that Mr Lee always cared for the employees' welfare and made sure no staff was laid off during financial crises. He also ensured that the employees' career development was carefully considered.

In its statement, OCBC Bank also described Mr Lee, who leaves behind his wife, three children and six grandchildren, as a "very honourable man", who was "always so humble and self-effacing whenever he was asked about his achievements".

"We will all miss Mr Lee for his wise counsel and guidance," said the bank.

In accordance with Mr Lee’s wishes, the family has requested that no wreaths be sent nor condolences be published in the press. Donations may be made to the NNI Health Research Endowment Fund

Source: CNA/es/hs