Xpat Interview: Peter Grundberg, Co-founder, Brody Land

  • 14 Apr 2011 12:00 PM
Xpat Interview: Peter Grundberg, Co-founder, Brody Land
Schooled at Latymer Upper School (London), Peter graduated in law from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (1996).

He first worked for Nordic Star (Scandinavian celebrity management firm) before training as a solicitor in London and Brussels. He then moved to Washington D.C. to work on private equity deals for Wilmer Cutler and Pickering LLP before teaming up with his friend, William Clothier, to create the C&G Group in Budapest in 2005.

His Budapest activities started with real estate and the renovation of old buildings and now cover a boutique hotel as well as arts and entertainment production.

An enthusiastic downhill and cross-country skier, golfer (Cambridge ‘Blue’), Peter spends his limited down-time on the polo field and in the commentary box.

He speaks Swedish, French and basic Italian as is 'working on' his Hungarian. He enjoys art and music in all forms and whilst his favourite artists have been prone to change his current favourites are The Stagger Rats with whom his entertainment company, WP Ents, has been working on the recording of their first album in Budapest.

1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
I know most people come for love in some form or other but I arrived in 2005 to supplement my business partner's initial work on the real estate front.

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
I think one needs to spend a minimum of 6 months somewhere to qualify as 'living' there. On that basis, I have lived (and tried to immerse myself) in Stockholm, Brussels and Washington DC.

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
The depth of creativity and I keep discovering more pockets of wonderful artistic talent.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
A broad range to encourage them to return: my typical tour involves seeing a performance at the Opera (fabulous), trying goulash (hearty), drinking Hungarian red wine (one of Hungary's best kept secrets), soaking in Szechenyi baths (with a caveat for the more precious about the changing rooms) and gargling palinka or unicum at one of the underground drinking holes.

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?
Lecsó - I am stil not quite sure what to make of fruit soups. Cottage cheese chocolate has yet to get me very excited. Sorry.

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
Croissants and pezsgő

7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?
Lomtalanítás - ie. chuck-out days when you can find some great old furniture dumped on the street

8. What do you miss most from home?
I am peripatetic and enjoy being exposed to many different places - I don't have a home per se.

9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
I have tried quite a few things but suspect I might have enjoyed being an actor

10. What's a job you would definitely never want?
Anything medical - I am feebly sqeamish.

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
I don't have holidays too often but like to combine business trips with visiting friends and seeing new place. My last trip was to California.

12. Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
I am due to head to Sao Paulo to scope out some new business opportunities.

13. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
Rolling Stones - even though they were before my time, I purchased most of their albums - it was the pre download era! James Bond films always hit the mark. My main hobby was golf although I have largely given up now.

14. What can't you resist?
Moscow Mules or harribo (sour) sweets.

15. Red wine or white?
Moscow Mules.

16. Book or movie?
Depends on the company.

17. Morning person or night person?
Depends on the company….

18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
Animals - following Ghandi's view that you can determine how civilised people are by the way they treat their animals.

19. Buda or Pest side?

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
I have to mention my school motto ('lente et certe') but prefer the one that we print on our napkins at Brody House: 'if you accept an invitation to dinner, you have an obligation to be amusing'

  • How does this interview make you feel?