Xpat Interview: Richard Chambers-Makkay, Capital Growth Solutions

  • 1 Mar 2013 11:00 AM
Xpat Interview: Richard Chambers-Makkay, Capital Growth Solutions
Richard Chambers-Makkay is the newest addition to the team at 5thDistrict-based Capital Growth Solutions, where he is working as an apprentice financial planner under the tutelage of Andrew Jackson.

Established in 2002, CGS is Budapest's oldest offshore financial consultancy, licensed by both the UK FSA and the Hungarian PSzÁF - a company with a global reach, they help expatriates locally and around the world with all of their financial planning needs, including but not limited to insurance, pensions and wealth management.

As he is a dual British-Hungarian national, Richard is a slightly less conventional expatriate than most previous interviewees. Also a semi-professional web/graphic designer and (very) amateur photographer, he is extremely keen on all creative arts.

In his spare time he enjoys nights out with friends, playing paintball, walking around the city and the occasional video game.

1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
That's a very easy one. :) I arrived as an infant in 1991 - after 8 years of marriage to an Englishman in the UK, my mother relocated back here.

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
Depends on how you look at it. As I am also half-Hungarian I suppose I can say that I've been a Hungarian expat in the UK (I spent 9 months there - just couldn't keep away in the end!).

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
As a semi-native I'm not sure I can answer that in a conventional way, so I’ll try a different approach:
When I came back in January 2011, I had gotten used to people and attitudes there – it was a shock (although I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was a surprise, I hadn’t been away long enough for that) to see how disheartened and depressed the majority still is.
But on the plus side, in my 9 months in the UK I had almost forgotten the beauty and variety of Hungarian women.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
Aside from doing the regular touristy things and seeing the spots recommended in every guide? Explore the inner city in your own time (both sides) and admire the atmosphere and amazing turn of the century architecture.

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?
That would have to be Halászlé (Fish soup) Szeged style.

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
Sliced hot peppers.

7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?
Tejfelesszájú - meaning a young person in a very humorous way. (Roughly translates to "(someone) who has sour cream on their mouth", implying that they are too young to know how to wipe it off)

8. What do you miss the most from home?
The various foreign cuisines that haven't yet made their way over here.

9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
A career in the ancient Roman military/political establishment or a career in science - the human genome and the mysteries of the universe has always fascinated me.

10. What's a job you would definitely never want?
IT helpdesk support or pearl hunter. :-)

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
Balatonalmádi (Lake Balaton).

12. Where do you hope to spend your next one?
A trip to Amsterdam with friends is in the works, but I am hoping to spend some quality time at Lake Balaton as well.

13. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
I was a massive Pirates of the Caribbean fan! That era and region always captivated my imagination. Same with Star Wars.

14. Apart of temptation what can't you resist?
Fresh seafood.

15. Red wine or white?
Both, depending on occasion and company – thankfully this country produces excellent wines from grapes of both persuasions!

16. Book or movie?
Nothing beats a good book.

17. Morning person or night person?
Definitely a night person.

18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
Erosion of culture – I believe culture to be the most important pillar of our civilisation, without which we are not much more than animals.

19. Buda side or Pest side?
Both. I have always been a resident of Pest, which is great for entertainment, but the Buda hills are a lot quieter and safer to live in. Not to mention the views!

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
I don’t really have one. But to quote Master Yoda from Star Wars:
“Do, or do not. There is no try.”

  • How does this interview make you feel?