Cineworld founder started off by testing auditorium seats

November 20, 2013 6:14 pm

Cineworld founder started off by testing auditorium seats

By Robert Cookson

Steve Wiener, the New York-born cinephile who built the UK’s biggest cinema chain, started his career as an usher. Mr Wiener was studying at the University of Miami in 1970 when he took a part-time job at a cinema in Coral Gables, Florida. One of his first duties was to sit and rock in every chair in a 900-seat auditorium to check that they had been installed correctly. After graduating, he quickly worked his way up through the ranks of the US cinema industry. In 1991 he moved to the UK to become managing director of Warner Bros Europe – his first trip outside the US.It was then that he chanced upon two statistics that would inspire him to set up his own cinema business: the average person would not travel more than 20 minutes for entertainment, but 60 per cent of people in the UK lived further than that from a multiplex cinema.

In 1995, he and his wife founded Cineworld

and developed the business into a chain of 34 cinemas before it was acquired by Blackstone in 2004. In 2007 the company floated on the London Stock Exchange.

Now 62, Mr Wiener lives in Mayfair and runs a company that owns more than 100 cinemas in the UK and last year reported revenues of £359m.

He holds about 1.3 per cent of the company’s outstanding equity, worth about £7m.

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Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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