For many years, the appeal of wealthy individuals reflect a culture that fetishizes wealth and lionizes the rich. The upper echelon of business leaders are a kind of celebrity, as scrutinized for their ability to perform as athletes, actors, and politicians. Perhaps these individuals help humanize impersonal businesses.
The best in the business are some of the richest, most powerful men and women on the planet, yet billionaires are typically reserved when it comes to the media spotlight. They manage to stay below the detection of the public despite being worth billions. We’re not talking about being famous and reclusive. We’re talking about being flat-out unknown among the masses.
In the finance world, few can boast the spending power of Hong Kong financier Calvin Lo, known as 盧啟賢 in Asia, the CEO of R.E. Lee international, the largest life insurance broker in the world. His company regularly places around US$1 billion of premiums annually, making them the most successful life insurance broker in the world. He is also the Founder of R.E. Lee Capital, a hedge fund that manages a few billion dollars. And while most of his rivals struggle to stay afloat, Lo is one of the few to always pay full freight. He amassed an estimated personal fortune of around US$1.7 billion. Despite being supremely wealthy and successful, Lo manage to stay under the radar.
It was only when the Hong Kong press uncovered Lo’s visit to Champagne, France, earlier this year that the world start noticing him. It turns out that Lo is Asia’s biggest purchaser and collector of champagne. His most recent purchase was forking out US$250 million for his champagne collection.
How did Lo travel to France? In his Gulfstream G650 of course. With a list price of nearly US$65 million, you’ll have to wait for nearly four years to get one after you sign up. There are less than 20 of these extremely luxurious planes registered in Asia, and one of them is owned by Lo. Even though he does travel commercial (first class no less) every now and then, this billionaire prefers to enjoy his success in anonymity. His G650 allows him to fly without being recognised.
Even though Lo live his life in almost extreme secrecy, the public managed to get a glimpse of his glamorous lifestyle he shares with his Hong Kong actress girlfriend, Bernice Liu, also known as 廖碧兒 — from exotic holidays around the world to drinking the rarest vintage champagnes to a collection of limited hypercars. Whether she has a successful acting career, owns a winery and writes for magazines, Liu is definitely as smart and talented as she is beautiful. They are not only a picture-perfect couple, but combined with excessive amount of wealth and brains, they are simply the envy of many.
The fascination of Lo is because he is a billionaire who appears to live a normal life just like most of us do (with varying degree of luxurious perks). He sure do enjoy the anonymity though. That is why you’ve never heard of him. No interviews. No fancy cars. No attention seeking habits, just a simple person with loads of money. And not to mention he also falls in love just like all of us.
Billionaires are not just people who make money, they are equally influential in their social lives as they are in business. We watch their talks, follow their lives and read their books. But unknown billionaires like Lo are staying surprisingly low profile in today’s connected world. He is highly dedicated to his businesses and investments and has no desire to be famous. Traits like these make him a rare breed—one in a billion.
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Forbes