Albert Tong is not one to waste time. He started trading stocks at 14, became Hong Kong's youngest executive director of a publicly listed company at 18 and, at 28, runs one of China's major property developers. 'I was said to have an old head on young shoulders when I was 12 to 13 years old,' says the vice-chairman of Tomson Group, the company built by his late father David Tong Cun-lin. 'I'm like a middle-aged man.' Tong's maturity allowed him to take up leadership of the family company along with his mother - renowned Taiwanese actress and film producer Hsu Feng - and older brother Charles after his father's sudden death in 2004. Besides high-end property development in Shanghai and Tianjin, Hong Kong-based Tomson Group operates a hotel and golf course in Shanghai, manufactures PVC pipes and recently launched a film distribution company. The group is best known for the Shanghai luxury development Tomson Riviera, the most expensive residential property on the mainland. While Tong admits that 'not everyone can freely choose their path', he is committed to protecting his shareholders' interests by carrying on his father's legacy. 'I'm much like my father in terms of character. He didn't have any hobbies except doing business,' he says. 'When I was a child, the staff even called me Mr Tong Junior.' Aside from the occasional movie or dinner with friends, the self-described introvert devotes his free time to browsing financial websites and helping relatives manage their money. He credits his early interest in mathematics with helping him navigate the business world and prepare for uncertainties. 'People of the last generation decided everything by feeling and belief. Now people use statistics to support their arguments, especially in business,' he says. Having weathered a year-long bout of depression in his teens, his father's death and the trials of running a major corporation, Tong is hoping to retire early and travel the world. 'I wish I could live in every nation and city for a while to experience the culture. There are so many differences when it comes to culture and beliefs.' Until then, he plans to keep his focus on the company and the clock. 'I set my watch five minutes fast and I always arrive early to a meeting,' Tong says. 'I hate being late.' De Beers Talisman 'I bought this watch myself and it is very special to me. I particularly like the unpolished diamonds.' Dior Christal 'I like to wear black and this watch easily matches my dress code.'