At the end of the day the key component is the person. You may target the right company, but if you've chosen the wrong person, you'll get a headache.
In the midst of his prolonged divorce, Lim quit the broking Business in 1996 and became a private investor. He escaped the 1997 Asian financial crisis as he had liquidated most of his clients' positions and debt exposure. On his divorce with Venus Teo, Lim reached a settlement of S$50 million with her.
In the early '90s, Lim got involved in a start-up Indonesian palm-oil company, Wilmar. By the second half of the decade, he had written off that investment. The Indonesian economy was weakening from the mid-90s and then the Indonesian currency fell from 2,500 rupiah against the US dollar to 16,000 rupiah. In 2000, Lim restructured his stake in Wilmar with a US$10 million investment. Wilmar did a Reverse Take Over (RTO) in 2006. Businessman Robert Kuok decided to inject his Malaysian palm oil operations into Wilmar in 2007. In response to a 2006 FDA ruling mandating the labeling of trans fatty acids on the Nutrition Facts label, food manufacturers began eliminating trans fats from their products and began substituting them with palm oil. Imports to the United States alone increased by nearly 60%. The increased use of biofuels at the expense of fossil fuels also contributed significantly to demand. In 2010, Lim cashed out for US$1.5 billion.
Lim married Cherie Lim in 2003. He has two children, Kim and Kiat, with ex-wife Venus Teo Geok Fong.
In 2010, Lim took Singapore’s first women’s hospital, Thomson Medical, private for S$522 million.
Lim, a former consultant to Raffles Town Club, launched a libel suit against Mr Lin Jian Wei and Ms Margaret Tung — who took over the club in 2001 — for defamatory remarks they had made in a statement to settle a separate lawsuit brought by unhappy club members. In the statement sent out late in 2005, Mr. Lin and Ms. Tung suggested that the club’s financial difficulties were due to mismanagement by the original Directors and management, one of whom was Lim. Although the High Court dismissed the defamation lawsuit, Lim did not relent and appealed. The appellate court ruled in Lim’s favour and ordered the biggest libel payout in Singaporean history. He doubled the $220,000 award he received and donated it to an educational charity.