- The Late Tan Sri Frank Tsao Wen King, SBS 1925 - 2019 Founder
Senior Chairman of IMC Group
- Mr Chavalit Frederick TsaoChairman of IMC Pan Asia Alliance Group
The Late Tan Sri Frank Tsao Wen King, SBS 1925 - 2019 Founder
Senior Chairman of IMC Group
The late Mr Tsao started his career working in family-owned companies engaged in banking, transportation and international trade in Shanghai. He then ventured into shipping companies in Hong Kong, co-founded Great Southern Steamship Co. Ltd in 1949. In 1966, he established International Maritime Carriers (IMC) Ltd. in Hong Kong as a shipping company. It eventually grew into a substantial enterprise with ships transporting a wide range of commodities worldwide.
Born in Shanghai in 1925, Mr Tsao was a graduate of Shanghai’s St. John’s University, He remained in close touch with his Chinese roots and was actively involved in developments in China. Mr Tsao donated to universities for the advancement of maritime education, training and research. He nurtured maritime talent through university scholarships in Dalian, Hong Kong, Qingdao, Shanghai and Zhoushan, and provided the financial resources for its academics and the maritime community. In 2006, the Dalian Provincial Government awarded him the title of “Honorary Citizen” in recognition of his support to its economy.
Throughout his long and illustrious career, Mr Tsao had played a pivotal role in shaping the growth of the maritime industry and promoted maritime education and research in Asia. In Malaysia, he partnered the Malaysian Government in 1968 to help establish her first national shipping line – the Malaysian International Shipping Corporation Bhd. In 1973, His Majesty, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (the Bahasa Malaysia term for “King”) of Malaysia conferred upon Mr Tsao the title of “Tan Sri” in recognition of his many contributions to the country, including the assistance he provided and his investment in Malaysia’s first shipyard, her first seamen’s training institute and the modernisation of her maritime legal framework.
In 2005, Mr Tsao helped to establish the Centre for Maritime Studies at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and sits on the Board of Directors as Chairman. In 2007, he played a key role in establishing the permanent secretariat of the Asian Shipowners Forum (ASF) in Singapore.
He was also the first Asian recipient of the CMA Commodore Award from the Connecticut Maritime Association of the US in 2002. His important contributions to the maritime industry also won him other awards such as “Personality of the Year” by Lloyds Maritime Asia in 1999 and the Silver Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong SAR Government in 2006, Honorary Citizen Award by the Singapore Government and Lifetime Achievement Award by Seatrade Asia – both in 2008.
Mr Tsao’s appointments include:
- Chairman, Suntec City Development Pte. Ltd., Singapore
- Chairman, Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre
- Chairman, Suntec Investment Pte. Ltd., Singapore
- Chairman, Centre for Maritime Studies, National University of Singapore
- Co-Chairman, Singapore-Zhejiang Economics & Trade Council
- Member, Hong Kong Maritime Industry Council
- Chairman, IMC-Frank Tsao Maritime Library and Research & Development Centre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
- Member of China Sub-Committee – Hong Kong Shipowners Association
Hong Kong Shipowners Association (2003-2005)
- Chairman, Shipping Committee, Hong Kong Port & Maritime Board (1998-2003)
- Independent Non-Executive Director, China COSCO Holdings Co. Ltd. PR
- Economic Advisor to Weihai & Qingdao City, Shantung Province, China
Mr Chavalit Frederick TsaoChairman of IMC Pan Asia Alliance Group
Chavalit Frederick Tsao is the Chairman of IMC Pan Asia Alliance Group (IMC Group).
He is the fourth generation to embark on his maritime career when he joined his family business at twenty years old. He ventured out on his own whilst serving IMC Group of companies, which roots can be traced to 1906. He started several companies, listed and then delisted two companies, and turned around a bankrupt Thai national shipping line successfully. At 37, he took over the helm from his father, Tan Sri Frank Tsao.
Under his stewardship, he restructured the traditional shipping company into a global enterprise with diverse business interests in more than 15 countries. Today, the IMC Group has interests in four strategic business areas:
- IMC Industrial, a leading integrated maritime and industrial solutions provider in dry bulk shipping, industrial logistics, chemical transportation, shipyard and marine engineering, offshore assets and services, consumer logistics and palm oil plantations;
- Heritas Capital Management, an investment and fund management group;
- Octave Institute, a sustainable living lifestyle and real estate group; and
- AITIA Institute (AI) is a not-for-profit organization, that offers quality research based and personalized corporate programmes ready to tackle a spectrum of challenges faced by businesses.
Mr Tsao founded Family Business Network Asia, a regional chapter of Family Business Network International to promote sustainable family business. He believes that family business can make a difference to the evolution of business in the new role of business in society. He holds dual positions as the Permanent Honorary President and Chairman, Ambassadors’ Circle, Family Business Network International.
Mr Tsao graduated from the University of Michigan with a Master of Science in Engineering (Industrial and Operations Engineering) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering (Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering).