Sam Watson, son of multimillionaire businessman expat and Warriors owner Eric, has been in Auckland through April, moving and shaking it with some of Auckland’s luminaries.
It definitely seems a case of following in his dad’s footsteps, and the 23-year-old is developing a reputation based on a strong work ethic and business nous.
New York-based Watson, 23, has a close relationship with his dad. Eric lives in London with his Swedish partner and former model Lisa Henrekson. They have three sons together, Lucas, Leon and Aidan. We’re told Sam and the three boys are great buddies.
One of Sam’s best mates is business media entrepreneur Jake Millar, and before they both flew home to New York this week, the pair — who were based at Eric Watson’s Te Hihi Estate at Karaka — have enjoyed getting out and about. They’ve been spotted lunching at Waiheke’s Mudbrick with millionaire chef Nadia Lim, bungee jumping off the Auckland Harbour Bridge, with Fashbae founder, Bridget Thackwray, and lunching at Prego with Sir George Fistonich. Apparently the young entrepreneurs paid for Sir George’s lunch.
Watson has been networking to help his Kiwi business projects. He announced in January that he was working with childhood friend Thackwray to help raise finance for her fashion platform www.fashbae.co.nz which makes it easy for New Zealanders to buy and sell fashion goods at no cost.
The pair aim to take the site global over the coming months. Watson snr mentoring is Thackwray and his umbrella company Cullen Investments has invested in Fashbae. Watson jnr is an associate director in Petrina Advisors in New York, a company that works closely with Cullen.
Tongues were wagging when Sam Watson arrived with fashionista Jaime Ridge at Kevin Roberts’ Parnell house a few weeks back, to celebrate Millar’s capital raising of $1.2 million for business advice platform Unfiltered.
However, the pair, who have known each other since Ridge was 5, are apparently just good friends, with Watson, respectful of Ridge’s success in all things fashion-related, making the most of his visit down under to understand how the industry worked.
“Fashbae has really resonated with Kiwis and the growth to date is reflective of that but we also know it has huge potential. Jaime knows and understands fashion at the highest levels, she’s a very smart businesswoman and it made sense to spend time with her while I was in New Zealand, as well as other successful business people who have built strong brands, such as Sir George and Nadia,” Watson told Spy before he left for New York.