Korean gaming pioneer Kim Jung-Ju’s teenage daughter becomes world’s youngest billionaire

kim Jung-youn, the teenage daughter of the late Kim Jung-ju, the founder of Nexon who died in February at the age of 54, is the world’s youngest billionaire after inheriting a stake in the online gaming giant.

Jung-youn and her older sister, Jung-min, each inherited a 30.78% stake in NXC, their father’s personal holding company, according to a registration filing earlier this month. NXC is Nexon’s largest shareholder, with a stake of nearly 48%. Together with the sisters’ existing shares in NXC, their holdings in the company are worth $2.5 billion each. After deduction of their inheritance tax assessment, which Forbes reckons at over $1.5 billion each (South Korea has one of the highest inheritance taxes in the world), Jung-youn and Jung-min’s net worth is estimated at $1 billion each.

Jung-ju’s wife, Yoo Jung-hyun, who was already a billionaire, inherited a 4.57% stake in NXC from her husband. Yoo, 53, helped Jung-ju start Nexon in 1994 and remains NXC’s largest shareholder with a 34% stake. She made her debut on Korea’s 50 richest list this year with a net worth of $3 billion.

Not much is known about Jung-ju’s family. It is well known that Jung-min and Jung-youn were born in 2002 and 2004 respectively. Jung-youn is the youngest billionaire in the world at 18 years old. The person who previously held the award was Kevin David Lehmann from Germany, who turned 20 this month. His father, Guenther Lehmann, transferred an interest in the German drugstore chain’s drug market to his son at the age of 14, but it remained in receivership until his 18th birthday, which was in 2020.

Jung-ju himself was famously media shy. While Nexon is headquartered in Tokyo, he founded NXC in Jeju, a vacation island off the south coast of the Korean peninsula. He retired from the executive board in 2006 and focused on philanthropy and other investments. Jung-ju was listed as one of Forbes Asia‘s 15 Heroes of Philanthropy last year for his donations to children’s hospitals.

Before his death, Jung-ju was the third richest person in South Korea, right after Samsung pharmaceutical tycoon Seo Jung-jin and Jay Y. Lee, with a net worth of $10.9 billion.

– With the help of Jane Ho.


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