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XpatLoop Interview: Steven Conybeare

XpatLoop Interview: Steven Conybeare

Steven Conybeare was born in Japan in 1970 after which he spent his formative years living in and around South East Asia including Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea and Australia, with many holidays spent exploring surrounding countries. As a successful international lawyer, he now divides most of his time between the UK and Hungary (and other CEE countries), looking after his clients and their business interests, with occasional trips back to Asia.

Steven has owned and managed Conybeare Solicitors, a boutique London law firm with a rep office Budapest, since 1997, following a career with an international law firm in the City of London. For the past 8 years, he has focussed on working with clients in and around the CEE and SEE regions, providing them with the benefit of his broad depth of legal and business experience. He has an excellent track-record and reputation gained from undertaking a significant number of investments, M&A transactions and Oil & Gas projects for a range of corporate clients, including acting on the sale of Le Meridien hotel, Budapest in 2012 as well as negotiating a number of joint ventures with national oil companies from the region.

Steven has been a non-exec director of several companies, gaining first-hand experience of business life, and he also undertakes a number of social and charitable pro bono activities, including the British Women’s Association and the Robert Burns International Foundation, a Hungarian registered charity, of which he is the chairman of the Supervisory Board.

1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?

In early 2005. I had just sold a business and wanted some time out after my first son was born. Instead of the South of France, I came to Budapest...

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
Although I didn’t work in the Far East, I grew up there and travelled in many countries around that region before starting my career...and school in Norfolk, UK before it became fashionable!

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
The weather – how good it was when I arrived at Spring time.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
Well, firstly it depends if they’re female or male...but generally a view from the Castle, a dip in the Baths and a night on the town...in the order of their choice!

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?
That’s an oxymoron for me...but otherwise gulyás.

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
Beer and champagne.

7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?
Hihetetlen

8. What do you miss the most from home?
A proper English country pub with a beer garden.

9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
I’d like to be an author.

10. What's a job you would definitely never want?
An airline check-in person...or anyone in customer services who has to be nice to people all of the time!

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
Up a mountain in Austria

12. Where do you hope to spend your next one?
On a desert Island in the middle of nowhere.

13. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
Film: Top Gun, Band: The Cure, Hobby: Cars – fixing up old cars as well as building Tamiya remote controlled model cars.

14. Apart from temptation what can't you resist?
Sitting on a terrace in summer, cold draught beer in hand, watching the world go by...

15. Red wine or white?
White in this good weather.

16. Book or movie?
Book.

17. Morning person or night person?
Night.

18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
Unnecessary poverty

19. Buda side or Pest side?
Pest to party, Buda for bed.

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
“Esse quam videri” To be, rather than ‘to seem to be’.


15.05.2013

 




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