Mr. Andrew Tan flanked by some of the brands that have made him a success story

He is one of the Philippines’ richest men (4th in the Forbes 2007 list of the Philippines’ 40 Richest, estimated wealth at $1.1 billion) yet he is probably the most low-profile.

Little is known about Andrew L. Tan, yet children of all ages know one of his businesses only too well: his Alliance Global Group Inc. owns 49 percent of Golden Arches Devt. Corp., franchise holder of the McDonald’s hamburger chain in the country.

His real estate group under Megaworld owns over 200 buildings (defined as four stories and above).

Born of humble beginnings, he was the son of a transistor radio factory worker who came to Manila from China at age 16. Tan has a brilliant mind—graduated magna cum laude with degree in Business Administration from the University of the East. (Mr. Tan graduated from UE in 1974.—Ed.) This despite the fact that he used to walk from Sta. Cruz in Manila to the UE campus because he had no money. People who work with him attest to his brilliance but at the same time describe him as extremely shy.

He owns Emperador Distillers Inc., makers of Emperador Brandy, the world’s largest selling brandy by volume. But his first brand was Andy Player Special which is not being exported.