YCW LN: Book Club #2: Mr China
with Tim Clissold (businessman and award-winning writer, who co-founded one of the first private equity groups in China)
Monday, July 27, 2020
• 18:00 (London)
• 19:00 (Brussels & Berlin)
• 13:00 (Washington DC)
Access via a virtual conference platform – details in an Eventbrite email shortly before the event
This event marks the second iteration of YCW London Chapter’s new virtual book club initiative. We plan to organize a monthly book club where members can read and discuss books related to China with like-minded readers. From time to time, we will invite the authors to join the book club discussion.
Introduction to Mr China
Mr China, which was one of The Economist’s “Books of the Year” in 2004, tells the story of a Wall Street banker, an Englishman, an ex-Red Guard and $418,000,000 disappearing, day by day.
“In the early nineties, China finally opened for business and Wall Street wanted to get in on the act. When the investment bankers arrived from New York with their Harvard MBAs, pinstripes and tassled loafers, ready to negotiate with the Old Cadres, the stage was set for a collision between Wall Street’s billions and the world’s oldest culture.
This is the true story of a tough Wall Street banker who came to China looking for glory. Determined to surf the next big investment wave, he teamed up with an ex-Red Guard and a Mandarin-speaking Englishman. Together, they raised over four hundred million dollars and bought up factories all over China. They thought their contracts were watertight. But then they began learning the hard way that China doesn’t play by anyone else’s rules. Left sitting in their boardrooms while their Chinese partners marched off in their own different directions, they watched as their millions slid towards the abyss.
Faced with no option but to fight, they embarked on a series of desperate battles to regain control of their businesses. Their struggle in such unfamiliar territory reveals the human face of this vast and complex country that knows it must modernise but throughout history has always kept the advantage when dealing with outsiders. Tim Clissold tells his at times surreal story with amusement and affection, and the result is both eye-opening and exhilarating.”
YCW London is delighted to host Tim in conversation as part of YCW’s book club.
A short introduction by the author, followed by break-out discussions (on select topics of interest) and an audience Q&A.
PURCHASING THE BOOK
Mr China is widely available on online bookstores (e.g., Amazon) and has been translated into fifteen languages.
AMAZON LINK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=mr+china+tim+clissold&i=stripbooks&adgrpid=52875239693&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_vu8kt2v6gIVAaWyCh3FIQKiEAAYASAAEgLlqfD_BwE&hvadid=259103417479&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=1006886&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=10292537915605139701&hvtargid=kwd-310812876680&hydadcr=24428_1748934&tag=googhydr-21&ref=pd_sl_4iqm0mc545_e
About Tim Clissold
Tim Clissold has three decades of business experience in China, with a unique background in complex corporate governance issues, contract negotiation and dispute resolution. Over that time, he has personally completed more than 100 transactions with value in excess of $1 billion.
He was one of the founders of Asian Strategic Investments Corporation, which invested more than $400 million into China’s manufacturing industries in the early 1990s. Tim then led Goldman Sachs’ non-performing loans recovery business in China, before he co-founded and another business to originate carbon offsets in China under the UN Clean Development Mechanism with start-up capital of €100 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust.
Currently, Tim is a non-executive director of the London quoted Henderson Far Eastern Income, one of the UK’s flagship investment trusts that invests in Chinese and Far Eastern equities. He is also a member of the Strategic Advisory Board of Braemar Energy Ventures, the $600m New York venture capital fund focused on energy efficient technologies. Finally, Tim is also a Senior Research Associate at the Jesus College China Centre at Cambridge University.
Tim has written three books on China. The first, Mr China, was described by Time Magazine as “an instant classic”, named as the 2004 Book of the Year by The Economist and has been translated into fifteen languages. It is currently under development by Lionsgate Films.
Tim is fluent in Mandarin and read Natural Sciences (Theoretical Physics) at Jesus College, Cambridge University.