Member Spotlight: Richard Eu
Member Spotlight: Richard Eu
The last time I saw Richard Eu was in Switzerland. I had bumped into Richard, one of Singapore’s most distinguished business figures, outside the Olympic Museum in Lausanne in November last year, shortly after the Vaccinated Travel Lane had opened.
We were garbed in heavy coats then in the chill of winter, a charming contrast to this gorgeous sunny day back in the tropics on the marina. It’s a distinction as delicious as the juxtaposition between the public persona and pedigree of the businessman behind the Eu Yan Sang empire and the scion of one of Singapore’s earliest tycoons, Eu Tong Sen—and the passionate musician and a self-professed rebel at heart.
Here we are sitting in LATITUDE Bistro in ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove, as Richard was appointed the new Non-executive Chairman and independent director of SUTL Enterprise, which runs the marina, on 31 December 2021.
“I’ve been a Member of the Club since the beginning—I was on the advisory board from the start in 2007. So, I’ve seen it grow from the ground up and I know the Club well,” shares Richard, who has taken over the reins from previous non-executive chairman Lew Syn Pau.
A FAMILY AFFAIR
Richard’s close and long-standing relationship with the water goes back to his youth. He was one of the founders of the Singapore Water Ski Federation, established in 1978. It has since been renamed the Singapore Waterski and Wakeboard Federation. An avid water skier, he had represented Singapore in the Southeast Asian Games in 1983, even taking home a bronze medal. “I’ve been a boater for most of my adult life, interested in small boats mostly,” he says.
In the past, Richard had owned a series of water skiing boats and the largest vessel he once owned was a 42 ft cruiser named Arrow, which he bought second-hand and later sold off in the 1980s. “We have the sea and sun and good weather all year round so I’ve always promoted the idea that we should take advantage of these temperate and geographical advantages that Singapore has,” he says. Boating, for the Eu clan, has long been a favourite family pastime—and looks set to continue with the next generation.
“Our family is at a stage where the next generation is coming along and I now have a granddaughter. Boating is a fantastic family activity. About once every month or two, we charter a boat or find friends with boats and take a boat out with the kids on the weekends,” he shares. Apart from going out to sea, Richard visits the marina almost every weekend. “I like being close to the water; it’s like being away from Singapore,” he offers candidly.
In addition to being out on the open sea, Richard also loves being out on the open roads, and is quite the car and racing enthusiast. “I love cars. I’m a bit of a Jaguar fan. I’ve had different models over the years, including sports ones, and I’m currently on my fourth Jaguar XJ,” he says. Back in the day, Richard owned a Honda S600, which he would race in competitions. “It was a tiny little car with a tiny 600cc engine but it went like crazy,” he recalls, with a hint of glee. Now that the age of electric vehicles is here, “I might consider owning a Kia EV6 GT in the future”.
Another dream of his is to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and one day own a vintage car. “My grandfather loved cars too. And one year, I got a strange request that a guy in Austria wanted to connect. It turns out he had purchased a 1924 Rolls-Royce and had traced the provenance—he ended up owning one of my grandfather’s cars and invited me to Austria to visit, which I did with my son one day.”
CHARTING A NEW COURSE
In his new role at SUTL Enterprise, Richard will be developing ways to grow the company, as well as the marina. “Standing still means you’re going backwards because everyone else is progressing,” he notes. “The ONE°15 Marina brand is already well known. I think that there may be further opportunities in building up lifestyle businesses using the brand.”
Recalling a time when having a marina in Singapore was but a faraway dream, Richard adds: “Although ONE°15 is not the first marina in Singapore, because of the CEO Arthur Tay’s vision, it has become the pre-eminent marina in this part of the world. And to see the recognition of boating culture fully entrenched within Singapore is very satisfying.”
“Forty years ago, I never thought this was possible, and I’m glad to be part of that now.”