(Bloomberg) -- The significant stake in United Overseas Bank Ltd. held by the late patriarch Wee Cho Yaw is something that his eldest son, who is also the lender’s Chief Executive Officer, hopes may eventually be distributed among his descendants.

Wee held about 18.5% through both direct holding and other investment vehicles, according to Bloomberg’s analysis of company filings. The Singapore-based bank has a market capitalization of more than $35 billion. 

Wee Ee Cheong told a briefing for the firm’s earnings on Thursday that he hopes his father’s personal stake will be distributed to the children and grandchildren.

“So hopefully they can remember it’s a legacy asset given by the grandfather or great-grandfather.”

Most of Wee Cho Yaw’s stake is already in the family companies, Ee Cheong said, referring to holding companies for the family’s various business interests, which also span real estate and the maker of Tiger Balm. 

The elder Wee, who shaped Singapore’s financial landscape by amalgamating several old family-controlled banks, died earlier this month at the age of 95, raising questions about what will happen to his UOB stake. He amassed a net worth of $10.4 billion as of February 2024, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Asked about succession planning, CEO Wee, 71, said he is growing a team of younger professionals within the bank. If the family members are interested they’re more than welcome, he said. 

“But I think they need passion, they need love, they need the desire to be part of the team,” he said.

(adds CEO’s comments on succession from penultimate paragraph.)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.