Vincent Lo Hong-sui, whose late father Lo Ying-shek founded property and hotel group Great Eagle Holdings, said the long, drawn-out Kwok family saga sounded alarm bells for Hong Kong's family-controlled enterprises to strengthen professional management. 'The model of family-controlled companies is mainly to pass the business from father to son, and from son to grandson. But the trouble is, there's no guarantee all of the next generation have the ability to run it,' Mr Lo said at a luncheon organised by the Chamber of Hong Kong Listed Companies. His comment came a day after Sun Hung Kai Properties announced the replacement of Walter Kwok Ping-sheung as chairman by his 79-year-old mother Kwong Siu-hing. At a board meeting, delayed for almost two weeks by a court battle between Mr Kwok and his two brothers, directors voted out the eldest of the three and demoted him to the post of a non-executive director. 'Disagreement is bound to arise if people are told to go in the same direction as everyone may have different ideas,' said Mr Lo, who is the fourth son in a family of nine. Some years ago, he opted to set up his own Shui On Group rather than stay with the family-controlled Great Eagle. Mr Lo, who is also chairman of Shui On Land, said it would be hard for such companies to strike a balance between professional management and the family, which normally holds a controlling stake. When professional management came into play, even he as Shui On's controlling shareholder and chairman might find his decisions rejected by independent non-executive directors occasionally. 'One time, I wanted to award a special bonus to a senior executive but an independent non-executive director opposed the proposal. I was a bit upset as even I, the chairman and majority shareholder, couldn't have the last word over a bonus. 'But I understood [the independent directors'] point of view as their primary objective was to ensure the interest of minority shareholders.' In 1984, the Lo family was involved in a widely publicised feud. The second son, Lo Yuk-sui, had lodged a hostile bid to take over control of his father's Regal Hotels and Paliburg from Great Eagle. Both assets have since become Lo Yuk-sui's hotel and property flagship. On Shui On Land's business plan, Vincent Lo said he expected residential prices in Shanghai to keep rising. Average unit prices of his recently launched residential development have increased more than 30 per cent. 'Despite the austerity measures, prices at prime locations will not be affected due to limited supply,' he said.