Wayne Pai Wen-cheng's Dearly Departed

BY LEE HAN SHIH
Dec 16, 2008
*Special to asia!

The man whose laughter preceded him wherever he went could hardly squeeze out a smile as he went to his office.

According to Ip, her relationship with Pai began in 1988, when the two were building up Polaris, and she had a son by him the following year. Ip, who claimed she once "sold many properties to raise NT$700 million" to bail Polaris out of trouble, is now back to fight for her son for his "rightful share". Three weeks after Pai's death, Ip said she had also been at Penghu, to bid her man goodbye but had kept out of sight. Reporters covering Polaris received a notice of a business seminar to be held on July 28 in which "Mrs Wayne Pai, Ip Mei-lee, would also be present". In an interview she gave to Business Weekly, a Chinese publication, Ip said she would like to sort out the division of Pai's estate with Pai's wife and his two sons by her after "things have settled down". If the talks do not turn out smoothly, going down the legal route could be another option, she said.

Interestingly, the first, or original, Mrs Pai – who was Wayne Pai's classmate – has remained silent on Ip's reappearance. The two women have known each other for a long time, and are more or less neighbours in Canada, since Pai had also sent his two sons for education there. If Mrs Pai refuses to give way – which is likely an internal fight could divide Polaris just when it needs to pull itself together and move forward. Polaris's extensive network in Asia makes it a good catch for a large brokerage looking to expand its Asian exposure. Collectively, the Pai family owns only 12% of Polaris. If Polaris's share price takes a dip owing to lack of direction or civil war, a predator could quickly emerge to take the company over.

 

Part 1: The last days of Wayne Pai Wen-cheng

 

lee han shihLee Han Shih is the founder, publisher and editor of asia! Magazine.

 

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