Date
23 July 2017
Lam Yat-yan (inset), the star tutor at Beacon College, is up for grabs -- if you have more than HK$85 million to beat a rival offer. Photo: Facebook
Lam Yat-yan (inset), the star tutor at Beacon College, is up for grabs -- if you have more than HK$85 million to beat a rival offer. Photo: Facebook

Why this Hong Kong tutor is worth 22 Barack Obamas

If the numbers are correct, this tutor will make HK$85 million (US$10.97 million) a year.

But that’s if he moves to Modern Education, a Hong Kong cram school.

The school, which specializes in training students to pass high school and university entrance exams, is helping him make up his mind.

On Thursday, Modern Education took out full-page ads in the Hong Kong Economic Journal and am730 to lure Lam Yat-yan from rival Beacon College.

Now, get a load of this — HK$30 million in signing bonus, up to 65 percent of all tuition revenue he brings in, HK$1 million a year in advertising and promotion support from the school and certain other unspecified perks are his for the taking.

The catch — he has to secure 20,000 students every year for the next four years.

So how did Modern Education come up with such a staggering offer?

Its researchers and bean counters obviously went to work on Beacon’s numbers.

They dug into Beacon’s 2015 listing application documents and stock exchange filings and found it made HK$236.4 million, HK$337.9 million, and HK$327.8 million in 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Its “top one tutor”, hitherto unknown, accounted for about 43.6 percent, 45.5 percent and 40.5 percent of revenue, respectively.

That works out to HK$103.1 million, HK$153.7 million and HK$132.8 million in that order. 

For perspective, US President Barack Obama gets US$450,000 a year (although he still gets if for life after he steps down next year) and Singapore’s Lee Hsien Loong, reputedly the world’s highest paid head of state, receives US$1.7 million a year.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief Norman Chan, the world’s most expensive central banker, gets HK$9.7 million and Charles Li, who runs the Hong Kong stock exchange, comes in at a slightly lower HK$9 million.

Beacon said in a filing that it is “actively negotiating” with the tutor, whose employment contract expires on July 31, 2016.

That suggests a fierce bidding war is in the making.

Either way, Lam is in a win-win situation.

If he wants to stay in Beacon for some reason, despite Modern’s tantalizing offer, he can always go in and ask for a raise.

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DY/JP/RA

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