Weatherall, or Edward Percy Keswick Weatherall, was the managing director
of Jardine Matheson Group from 2000 to 2006. (He was succeeded by Anthony
Nightingale.) The Jardine group comprises Jardine Pacific, Dairy Farm,
Hongkong Land, and Mandarin Oriental, among other companies.
Weatherall is the elder son of Captain Anthony Weatherall and Sophy
Keswick, making him part of the amazing Keswick family dynasty.
Weatherall joined the family business in 1976 and worked in a number of
senior executive positions in Hong Kong, USA, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Korea
and the Philippines. He is married to Clara, and the couple has four
children. The family now spends the majority of their time in South West
This sprawling estate is located in Hong Kong south's prestigious Shek
O district. The beautiful two-storey home features extensive grounds,
which boasts its own private swimming pool, tennis court, and amazing sea
views. The house is adjacent to that of Richard
Li's, the youngest son of Li Ka-shing.
- 2010 May ASIA
But how someone gets to live in this exclusive area is a mystery. Wealth is
not the sole requirement as new residents need to be approved by private
firm Shek O Development, which owns the country club with its golf course
and leases out all the nearby plots on which the exclusive houses are built.
Little is known about how Shek O Development
decides whether to accept or reject new residents but the committee of the
country club is thought to be closely involved.
A managing director of a local estate agent,
claimed some of his clients were prevented from buying one of the luxury
houses by Shek O Development despite being able to afford the properties.
"It is not just money that will work - you
need to have good connections, you need to have good social status and also
you need to have an extremely good reputation in high society".
Requests for interviews with Shek O Development's directors and shareholders
were all turned down.
Director Tim Freshwater wrote in an e-mail:
"Shek O Development Company is, as you know, a private company and the
questions you raise are largely confidential matters. I am afraid,
therefore, that I will not be able to answer these or any questions
regarding the company or the [country] club." Mr Freshwater is also
head of Asian corporate finance at Goldman Sachs.
Shek O Development's directors and shareholders
are among the most powerful business figures in Hong Kong. Directors include
HSBC Asia-Pacific chairman David Eldon and Cathay Pacific chief executive
David Turnbull. The largest shareholder is Jardine Matheson managing
director Percy Weatherall. The country club was formed by an association of
British hongs, according to Mr Koh.
"The majority was really controlled by
Jardine Matheson," he said. In 1934, Shek O Development leased the
10.48 hectares of land on which the luxury properties are built from the
colonial government for 75 years starting from 1924. The lease was renewed
for another 75 years in 1999. The plots on which the exclusive houses were
built were then sub-leased with numerous restrictions.
The property cannot be sold without written
permission of Shek O Development, according to the firm's standard
sub-leasing contract, which is the same as the one used 70 years ago. The
houses on the property must be of a "European type". No
reconstruction or alterations can be carried out without Shek O
"Over the years they have been sticking very
strictly to the rules. There are very few houses that have successfully
applied for extensions of the house areas".
Even the colour of the house is not just the
choice of the residents. "You are not allowed to change the colours on
your external walls or the roof unless you have the permission of the
committee of the [country] club," said Mr Koh.
The contracts also stipulate that residents cannot
become a scavenger, blacksmith, tavern-keeper, soap-maker, sugar baker,
butcher or melter of tallow among other occupations without the express
permission of Shek O Development.
All these restrictions may help preserve the
splendour of the area but they can also depress the value of the properties.
One owner of a large Shek O residence noted the
country club committee's role in approving would-be buyers put a cap on
values compared with other salubrious Hong Kong neighbourhoods.
While developers have bulldozed old colonial
villas on The Peak and Deepwater Bay to make way for multiple house and
condominium projects, the committee's control over new buildings and their
right to veto potential property buyers has depressed prices.
"Shek O property really should not be seen as
an investment like other areas of Hong Kong," the owner said.
Despite all the safeguards and restrictions to
preserve the good name of the area, some residents have received negative
press coverage. Akai Holdings chairman James Ting used to live at 20 Shek O.
Mr Ting was arrested in May in connection with
investigations into the collapse of his flagship company Akai Holdings.
- by Stephen Seawright South
China Morning Post 18 Feb 2004
Luxury house prices around the Shek O Country Club
have risen and slumped along with the rest of the property market over the
One unfortunate buyer was Cheong Pin-chuan, who
paid $201 million for a Shek O house in the summer of 1997 - the peak of
Hong Kong's property boom. Three years later the house was sold for $105
However, other Shek O property buyers have not fared so badly. In 2000 Akai
Holdings chairman James Ting sold his property to Chow Yei-ching, the boss
of construction and engineering firm Chevalier, for $100 million.
Mr Ting had bought the property in 1993 for $37.5
Lui Che-woo, chairman of property and construction
firm K.Wah International Holdings, acquired his Shek O property for $27
million in 1993.
Jardine Matheson's group strategy director Brian
Keelan, who joined the hong from UBS Warburg in London in 2001, is renting
one of Shek O's houses for $260,000 a month under a five-year sub-lease
which runs until the end of 2006.
Apart from exclusive single houses in Shek O Road,
the Shek O property market remains virtually untouched. On average, less
than one transaction has been made each year since 1995 and most are in Shek
According to property agencies, some of the
prominent houses in Shek O Headland are owned by local wealthy families.
"While only foreign people were admitted into the country club before
the 1970s, wealthy local families acquired houses or sites in Shek O
Headland," said Anna Chan, a senior manager of Ricacorp Properties.
Ian Lim Wai-chuen of Centaline Property Agency
said agents were not eager to do business in Shek O due to its remoteness
and lack of demand and supply.
"Most customers are not familiar with the
district. Flat seekers would look at districts like Repulse Bay, where more
celebrities reside," Mr Li said.
While agents are not sure about a customer's
interest, they are less willing to step into a geographically remote market
with a lack of clear price indication."
He said there were only a couple of properties in
Shek O on sale at the moment.
The average price for a house with a sea view is
about $5,000 per square foot in Shek O Headland, according to Mr Lim.
Sizes varied in Shek O Headland from less than
2,000 sq ft houses and apartments to 4,000 sq ft, Mr Lim said.
- by Stephen Seawright and Ernest Kong South
China Morning Post
A rare property has
come on to the luxury residential market in the form of a detached house,
owned by Akai Holdings chairman James Ting, in an exclusive Shek O
The two-storey house at 20 Shek O Road is
part of a 23-house luxury project under the Shek O Development, which
represents a small group of prestigious owners.
The tender of 20 Shek O Road, closed on
July 13, 2000
This followed the tender of the house at
19 Shek O Road early this month. The 19 Shek O Road property is owned by
Wing Foong Group.
With a site area of 21,700 square feet
and existing house area of 5,268 sq ft, 20 Shek O Road comprises a two-storey
detached house and an extensive garden.
Mr Ting bought the house in late 1993 for
HK$37.5 million, representing a unit price of HK$7,100 per sq ft, based on
the existing house area.
The seller was Bill Wyllie, dubbed
"company doctor" for his speciality in rescuing financially
Owners in the prestigious low-density
housing project under the Shek O Development include Peter Woo of
Wheelock & Co, Robert Ng of Sino Land, Jardines, the Hui family of
Central Development and industrialist and politician Henry Tang.
HSBC Holdings also owns a house there.
The privilege of living there is
reflected in the stringent requirement that money is not a sufficient enough
condition to buy a house. Acquisitions of the Shek O houses at the
development need to be approved by the club governing management of the
houses, which is organised by existing owners.
The senior director of FPDSavills, said
the buyer of 20 Shek O Road would have the opportunity of membership of the
Shek O Country Club and use of its golf facilities.
The buyer would also enjoy living in an
elite neighbourhood with spectacular sea views and a peaceful environment,
In the past six months, the single-house
market had shown a high level of activity with many outstanding
transactions, which reflected the strength of the high-end market and strong
demand for quality houses. In Shek O, despite the distance from Central, it
appeared there was a growing trend in the market for more people who
appreciate this unique lifestyle and would be prepared to move to the area.
China Morning Post June
Editors note: Andrea Eng acquired a waterfront property in Shek-O on behalf of an undisclosed tycoon
and that became her signature transaction in the Hong Kong market.
She was guided by a multi-generation 'seriously rich' princeling to the
property. His family 'lives in the area'. Lucky her!