Meet Wharton’s 24-Year-Old Billionaire

Eric Tse

Newly-made billionaire Eric Tse who graduated with an undergraduate degree from the Wharton School last year with model Bella Hadid from his Instagram feed

When Eric Tse earned an undergraduate degree in economics last year from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, he graduated with classmates who landed hefty median starting salaries of $80,354. That kind of money fresh out of school would be highly welcomed by most undergrads.

But Tse wasn’t just any other member of Wharton’s Class of 2018. He is heir to a biomedical fortune, lucky enough to make money the old fashioned way: By inheriting it. This week he became a 24-year-old billionaire as a result of an eye-raising gift received from his parents: 2.7 billion shares currently valued at $3.8 billion in Sino Biopharmaceutical Ltd. The gift makes him one of the richest 550 people in the world, with a net wealth that exceeds Starbucks’ founder Howard Schultz and Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel.

This bonanza was disclosed by the company in a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. But that’s not all. Tse also was named an executive director at the company with a salary slightly under $498,000 a year, more than six times what a typical member of his Wharton class would be making.

TSE: HARDLY A TYPICAL WHARTON STUDENT

Of course, Tse is no typical Wharton student. His Instagram page, which boasts more than 13,000 followers,  reflects evidence of a globetrotting lifestyle with high profile government and entertainment figures. The photos on his feed shows him rubbing elbows with the likes of Princess Charlene of Monaco, France’s former first lady Carla Bruni, and Chinese basketball legend Yao Ming. Other posts, which appear to have since been deleted from his page, showed him with pop star and entrepreneur Rihanna and models Lily Aldridge and Bella Hadid, according to the Daily Mail.

Tse joined the company in June of last year as an assistant to the president of Sino. When he graduated from Wharton, he immediately became chief executive officer of Liepin North America, a career service platform that supports jobseekers with international backgrounds and assists Chinese companies that are going global.

The company’s statement that announced his appointment as an executive director noted that Liepin is a “reputable human resources company,” where Tse was responsible for the overall overseas business of Liepin. During his one year as CEO, “Liepin North America achieved exponential growth in sales and the number of Chinese students covered also increased significantly,” according to the company’s statement.

AS A WHARTON STUDENT, HE CREATED THE PENN WHARTON CHINA SUMMIT

Born in Seattle, Tse went to primary school in Beijing and finished his secondary and high school education in Hong Kong before returning to the states for his undergraduate studies in 2014. While a student at Wharton, Tse co-created with classmate Lisa (Xingyi) Wang, the Penn Wharton China Summit, a forum for students from across the world to meet Chinese leaders, according to an article on the Wharton website which noted that Tse once took a flight to Qingdao just to meet with a potential speaker for 20 minutes.

In that article, he acknowledged his parents for their support. “My parents, seniors, and elders genuinely believed in my potential and helped me without expecting any return,” he was quoted as saying. “By the time I was 19, I was thinking about how I could deliver the same positive energy and passion to the people around me.”

Tse also served as the head of external affairs of the Wharton China Association and a core member of the Wharton Investment and Trading Group, “demonstrating outstanding leadership and coordination skills,” according to the company statement.

About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.