Postcard from…Euan Rellie

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Euan Rellie makes the very most of his frequent visits to Beijing

Euan Rellie is a senior managing director and co-founder of Business Development Asia. The British-born Rellie is married to fashion maven Lucy Sykes Rellie, and the couple has two young sons. Rellie is known just as well for his successes in the finance worldhe was named 2010 Boutique Investment Banker of the Year by Global M&A Networkas he is for his dapper looks and extraordinary presence.

Peking into the future

Beijing, the capital city of China is trying desperately to join the modern world. It’s dirty, chaotic, has terrible traffic, and is fantastic fun. You can see 10,000 years of imperfect civilization in a day. I stay at The Opposite House. I think it might be the best hotel in Asia, which is a big claim. It was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma who took minimalist, environmental postmodernism and made it clever and cozy. It’s a shimmering glass building which reminds me of wooden latticework.


Where’d you go; What’d you see; Who’d you talk to?

I do business and I look at art galleries. I love exploring the old

alleyways called hutongs. I love to walk around Middle Chaoyang, the neighborhood, with its temples, embassies, art galleries and park.

I see coworkers, diplomats, civil servants, clients, peers in private

equity, and hustlers. Beijing is a magnet for brilliant journalists, and there’s a thriving contemporary art scene.


One fine day

Wake up early and take a car out to Mutianyu to walk on the Great Wall before anyone else. It inspires every time I visit. Every time of year is different, and the flora and fauna are fantastic. Mutianyu attracts fewer crowds than Badaling, so you’re more likely to have the wall to yourself. The Wall is also in a beautiful state of ruin at Simatai. At night, go dancing at Vic’s inside the Workers Stadium. It’s a proper big dance club with house, hip-hop and pop music on different dance floors. Eat Peking duck, of course; I like Da Dong. Take a taxi to the Forbidden City, then follow your nose. It’s the cradle of civilization, and probably the future capital of the world.


It all connects

I try to be more creative than most investment bankers. And I’m a

connector. I co-founded an investment banking firm (Business

Development Asia, LLC) in 1996 and we’ve built it up to nine offices.

So maybe my business inspires my travel – or maybe the other way round. I’m not sure.


Just a little tip . . . 

I like having suits made in India, at Burlington’s in the Taj in Mumbai: linen, wool, silk. My blue linen suit is my favorite.


Summer tour, Rellie style

I’m taking my family traveling this summer; to the Viceroy Anguilla in July, then the St. Regis in Florence where we will wander around Tuscany for a week or two. Finally, we’re going to Gloucestershire to catch up with all the Rellies and all the Sykeses in August. I’m really looking forward to the Viceroy Anguilla; Kelly Wearstler decorated it. The kids will be in pirate camp there. They behave like pirates all the time anyway.


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