Often Partisan

A Pretty Young Wife And A Nice View From The Office

I’ve been accused in the past of being overly interested in the financial machinations of Birmingham City, and of hypothesizing too much about what our esteemed leader, Carson Yeung is up to. It’s probably true in some respects, but I have to admit, I find Carson enigmatic, and what is known about him in England isn’t a great deal. I apologise in advance if this article is a bit gossipy, but even the most po-faced writer has to have an OK magazine moment.

Barely sixty days after moving offices to Gloucester Road in Wanchai (pdf link), Carson Yeung has upped sticks again and has now relocated the main offices for BIH to The International Commerce Centre (pdf link) in Kowloon.

Carson clearly has his eye on prestige, as he has taken up residence on the 86th floor of the fourth tallest building in the world. It doesn’t come cheap either, with monthly rents in the area around HK$55 per sq ft – Kowloon only being second to the West End of London for expensiveness in commercial rents. Bearing in mind BIH are skint (according to the accounts) one would have to wonder where the company is finding around £550,000 a year just to rent office space.

With neighbours such as Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, not to mention the 5 star Ritz Hotel occupying the top five floors, Carson is going to be rubbing shoulders with some of the bigger firms around. As I have often said, business in China is often about networking and “image”, and I suspect that the move to this office is to help push the Birmingham brand-name within Hong Kong, and by extension throughout mainland China. It’s either that, or Carson wanted a nicer view from his desk.

It’s not all high rise offices for Carson though. As regular readers of Often Partisan will know, Carson is also a monster for gala balls, and this week is no exception. Carson is pictured in his newspaper Sing Pao, at the wedding of a daughter of the famous Chinese stuntman Yuen Wah (who was Bruce Lee’s stunt double in “Enter the Dragon”).

Whilst some of the names mentioned at the dinner aren’t probably famous outside of kung-fu aficionado circles, they number some of the more famed names within Hong Kong martial arts films, and as such it’s all about prestige for Carson. Judging by the picture, Mrs Yeung is enjoying herself immensely.

So there you go. I’m not even going to pretend any of this confirms or denies Carson having anything but a pretty young wife and a nice view from his desk; what it is is a tiny snapshot of what Carson does with his time. He might not make the papers here as much as his predecessors did, but it seems clear to me he’s not that much different from Sullivan et al in the way he lives his life – although it can be argued that Carson does seem to have slightly better dress sense. What is it about Birmingham City that attracts such classy chairmen?

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