The fellow pictured above does not look anything like top-earning soccer star Lionel Messi, but he is probably the world’s highest-salaried player in his own field – the tutorial sector.
That is because as a tutorial-school teacher, Jayden Lam Yat-yan made HK$44 million (US$5.64 million) in the year ended July 31, and that ranked him alongside the top blue-chip managers who oversee billions of dollars’ worth of business.
Lam singlehandedly took the most pay from Beacon College, a Hong Kong tutorial school, from which he made a total of HK$114 million over three years ended July 31, according to the listing prospectus of BExcellent Group, parent of Beacon College, published on Monday.
In other words, the tutor specializing in coaching students in Chinese language for pre-university examinations made more than his company in the past year.
At this rate, Lam’s annual salary was only one-tenth as much as Messi’s, who just signed a US$59.6 million contract with Barcelona for the next five years, but he does not need to play through injuries under the spotlight of millions of fans.
Lam’s payout was first disclosed when Beacon College planned to list on the Hong Kong stock exchange two years ago, thanks to the city’s addiction to after-school tutorials for secondary-school students.
Previously it was reported that Lam charged some HK$456 for four sessions, but he has some 20,000 students, or about one-third of Beacon’s students. In his heyday, one in six secondary students was one of Lam’s.
The Hong Kong tutorial-school market is competitive yet profitable. In 2015, Modern Education, which was the first in Hong Kong to list a tutorial business in 2011, promptly put up a full-page newspaper advertisements that openly lured Lam to join the company for HK$85 million a year.
The move was seen as an attempt to thwart Beacon’s listing plan because it flagged to investors how vulnerable the business was as it relied on a single teacher for revenue.
The listing plan of Beacon College was delayed – but now it is trying again.
The college’s revenue in the latest financial year seemed to be stagnant at HK$376 million, but the reliance on Lam seemed to decrease. According to the new listing document, Lam’s proportion of the revenue was down to 30%, from a previous high of 40%.
In other words, one can infer that Lam brought in HK$112.8 million in revenue, but took home 39% of that.
Not bad for a 30-year-old who is already a multimillionaire.