Wanna Know SM Entertainment’s Former CEO Lee Soo-man’s Net Worth?


Learn More About SM Founder Lee Soo-man’s Net Worth

As you know, SM Entertainment is one of the top four biggest entertainment companies in South Korea, along with YG Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, and Big Hit Entertainment. For the last two decades, SM Entertainment has had a big influence in spreading the Korean Wave worldwide, with their famous boy-bands and girl-bands, such as TVXQ, Girl’s Generation, EXO, Super Junior, Red Velvet, NCT, BoA, etc.

Behind the success of this rich company is the man who built it all from the ground up, Lee Soo-man, the founder of SM Entertainment. Lee Soo-man started SM before YG Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, or the newest and rich Big Hit Entertainment. As the founder of the enormous SM Entertainment, are you curious about how much Lee Soo-man, himself, has? This time, Channel-Korea will tell you all  about about Lee Soo-man, so stay tuned!

Lee Soo-man’s Profile and Facts


Name / Hangul: Lee Soo-man / 이수만
Date of Birth: June 18, 1952
Place of Birth: Seoul, South Korea
Nationality: South Korean
Education: Master Degree in Computer Engineering
Alma mater: California State University, Northridge – Seoul National University
Occupation: Record producer, record executive, businessman
Spouse: (the late) Kim Eun-jin

Facts About Lee Soo-man

  1. Lee Soo-man started his career as a cafe singer in 1971 and debuted in 1972, but didn’t gain a huge amount of popularity at the time.
  2. He formed the first heavy metal band in the Korean music industry, called ‘Lee Soo-man and 365 days’, but his music was affected by the censoring policy in Asia, so he quit the band.
  3. Lee Soo-man’s original dream was to become a top engineer, so he took a master’s degree in the field of robotics at California State University.
  4. He returned to Korea and pursued his career in the entertainment industry once again, becoming a successful singer, TV show host, radio host, and part-time DJ, and also managed a restaurant.
  5. He married Kim Eun-jin in 1984 when they met in America, but she died from small intestine cancer on September 30, 2014.
  6. He loved his wife very much, staying beside her when she was fighting her cancer. When his wife was diagnosed with a sun light allergy, he bought a new house in LA that was suitable for her condition.
  7. He is the paternal uncle of Sunny from Girl’s Generation, and the girl-group is under his company, SM Entertainment.

Founding SM Entertainment


After his band ‘Lee Soo-man and 365 days’ was disbanded, he saw no future in Korean entertainment. He then chose to pursue his first dream in United States, as a computer engineer. In the States, he saw the big revolution in US entertainment with the rise of Michael Jackson and the superstars of the MTV generation. He felt that there was huge potential in music and decided to replicate US entertainment in South Korea.

After returning from the United States, he first came back to his personal career in the entertainment industry as a singer, TV show host, radio host, part-time DJ. In 1989, he started SM Entertainment, with 200.000.000 Won (a bit over $167,000) for initial capital. After that, he started to produce many groups, such as the dance group ‘hyon-jinyon’, the folk group ‘han Dongjun’, and the R&B singer ‘Liu in Jon’.

On February 14, 1995, SM Entertainment became a publicly traded company. In 1996, SM Entertainment took its first step toward fame by producing H.O.T, followed by S.E.S, Shinhwa, Fly to The Sky, BoA, TVXQ, and so on, until it became the largest entertainment company in South Korea.

Resigned From SM Entertainment

Reported from Edaily SPN, Lee Soo-man, the founder and CEO of SM Entertainment will resign from the company he built, SM Entertainment. SM representatives said that Lee Soo-man resigned so he will be able to focus on investment and business development overseas, although there seems no correlation between the two events. However, Lee Soo-man will remain the major stakeholder in the company by acquiring 28.3% of SM Entertainment’s shares. He will be no longer engaged in business activities.

Following Lee Soo-man’s departure, Avex Entertainment sold all 15.4% of their shares with Neowizbugs acquiring the majority of it. It seems that the relationship between SM Entertainment and Avex will be over. Avex Entertainment holds an important role in assisting the promotion of SM Entertainment artists within the Japanese market, especially TVXQ. It’s still unclear whether this will be good news or bad..

Lee Soo-man’s Net Worth as SM Stakeholder


As the major stakeholder, it is obvious that Lee Soo-man will get the biggest portion of them all. According to the Korean website chaebul.com on September 24, Lee Soo-man and Park Jin-young are the only Korean celebrities with over 200 billion worth of stock holdings. Lee Soo-man took the first place, with stocks currently estimated to be worth 211.2 billion won (approximately $188.7 million), followed by Park Jin-young, CEO and founder of JYP Entertainment, with 204.7 billion won (approximately $183.4 million).

His net worth (cash, real estate, and anything else of value for assets) for now is still under review, but all we can conclude is that Lee Soo-man is the richest person in South Korea’s entertainment industry.