Outstanding Category

Ambrose So Shu Fai

Chief Executive Officer

“In the future, we should continue our development on the strength of our uniqueness and transform Macau into a world class travel and entertainment centre with our own features”.

  • SJM Holdings Limited
  • Hospitality, Food Service & Tourism
  • Suites 3001-3006, 30/F, One International Finance Centre,
    Hong Kong
  • (852) 3960 8000
  • www.sjmholdings.com

“Lifelong learning” is a motto that sums up the career and values of Dr So Shu Fai, Ambrose, Chief Executive Officer of SJM Holdings Limited and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, S.A. (“SJM”). A passion for constant learning has guided Ambrose and enabled SJM to innovate and adapt to the dynamic and ever-reinventing business environment of Macau.

During his over 35 years’ experience in the gaming business, Ambrose was present at the creation of SJM when it was carved out of the monopoly STDM in 2002 in order to bid successfully for one of the gaming licenses in Macau. Since then the company has established itself as Macau’s pre-eminent gaming company and one of the region’s most successful businesses. Today SJM operates 18 casinos and employs over 21,000 people in Macau, and has a market capitalization of over HK$100 billion.

Thanks to his efforts and planning, SJM Holdings Limited became listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2008. This achievement of Ambrose was instrumental in opening Macau up to international financial markets. Another milestone accomplished by SJM, under Ambrose’s guidance, was the construction of the Grand Lisboa Hotel and Casino, which has become one of the symbols of the new Macau and reflects his passion for the city. “Macau is Macau.  It’s unique in its own way and it should not be just a replica of another tourist city,” he stresses.

Earlier this year SJM embarked on its largest project yet – the construction of the Lisboa Palace integrated resort in the Cotai area of Macau, due for completion in 2017. Details of the project that have been released to date reveal that it will have a unique East-meets-West architectural theme reflecting the long tradition of Sino-Western cultural exchange in Macau, as well as a spectrum of activities for visitors including fashion-branded hotels, innovative entertainment and other features that will be exclusive to Macau. As Ambrose comments, “In the future, we should continue our development on the strength of our uniqueness and transform Macau into a world class travel and entertainment centre with our own features”.

Consistent with his philosophy, in his community and philanthropic activities Ambrose has always been active in the educational sphere. He co-founded the Macau Millennium College, where he first introduced the teaching model of “one topic, two sessions” to fit around the work shifts of the casino employees. He has also been responsible for the establishment of the SJM Scholarship Scheme to support university education for gifted children of staff. In recognition of his accomplishments, Ambrose was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Macau in

Lifelong Learning

2012 – a supplement to the PhD he earned from IMC/Southern Cross University in 2001.

Inquisitive when young, Ambrose grew up developing a keen interest in Mathematics and Science – the disciplines in which he would major during his university years.  He graduated from The University of Hong Kong, and became an Honorary University Fellow. Currently, Ambrose serves as member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and Honorary Consul of the Republic of Portugal in Hong Kong. In Macau, he is appointed by the government as a member of the Economic Development Council and of the Cultural Consultative Council, and is also the President of Macau Military Club. In 2014, Ambrose was conferred as Comendador da Ordem do Mérito by the President of Portugal in recognition of his efforts and contributions in strengthening the ties between Hong Kong, Macau, China and Portugal.

Ambrose is active in the cultural sphere. He is a National Committee member of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, and Vice-President of the Chinese Culture Promotion Society. He founded the Macau Sino-Latin Foundation and the Association of Chinese Culture and Art of Macau to promote Chinese culture and become platforms for cultural exchange. An accomplished practitioner of the art of Chinese calligraphy, Ambrose has held many solo calligraphy exhibitions in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. The artistry of his calligraphy won accolades from renowned scholars and his works are permanently housed in some of the world’s prestigious museums. In recognition of his cultural pursuits and contributions, Ambrose has been awarded the Medal of Merit – Culture by the Macau SAR government.

Ambrose has contributed not only to steering the development and growth of SJM, but also to the regulation, professionalism and diversification of the gaming industry in Macau. Ambrose believes that the practice of “lifelong learning” is the best advice for an entrepreneurial company as well as for the future leaders of society.

2007/2008

  • Grand Lisboa Casino opened in 2007, followed by Grand Lisboa Hotel in 2008
  • SJM Holdings Limited, of which Ambrose is CEO, became listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2008

2013

  • Ambrose was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of SJM, S.A.

2014

  • Ambrose was conferred as Comendador da Ordem do Mérito by the President of Portugal