() (November 10, 1924 – September 27, 2004) was a Taiwanese
businessman who, at the peak of his wealth in 1996, was considered to be the fifth richest person in the world, with a family net worth of US$
12.2 billion. At the time of his death in 2004, he was the richest man in Taiwan with a fortune of US$4.6 billion (NT$
156.3 billion), ranked 94th worldwide. He founded the Lin Yuan Group
, a large banking
He was born into a poor farmer
's family in Miaoli
, and started out in Taipei
by selling vegetables and soybeans with his brothers as a child. Tsai did not attend college.
With one of his brothers Tsai joined Taipei's Tenth Credit Cooperative in 1960. Two years later, they founded the Cathay Life Insurance Company, which at the time of his death was the largest life insurance company in Taiwan.
After establishing firm family control over Cathay Life in 1979, they founded the Lin Yuan Group. Over the next 10 years, the Lin Yuan Group expanded to become the largest Taiwanese conglomerate. The bank, life insurance and venture capital businesses merged in 2001 to become Cathay Financial Holdings
, Taiwan's largest financial holding company.
Tsai was first listed by Forbes as a billionaire in 1987. He was appointed a senior adviser to the president of the Republic of China
He died of heart disease at the age of 81 in Taipei
's Cathay General Hospital
, which he founded in 1977. He had been hospitalized for six years.