Leading the way: Former UK banker Paul Carman moved to Queenstown last October, where his business is now based


One of Queenstown’s new residents is helping broaden the resort’s economy, having set up Private Capital Group, a private debt management and equity investment company.

Paul Carman’s originally from Wellington, but spent 25 years in the UK, working for Fuji Bank, which then became Mizuho, before going out on his own in 2018.

In October he decided to relocate with his partner and family to Queenstown.

He tells The Full Glass NZ was going through many of the market changes he’d seen in the UK, Europe and the US.

“If we didn’t put our shoulder to the wheel and see if we could help with this evolution, then surely we weren’t being true to the cause of trying to bring whatever knowledge and experience we could back home.

“We could help be a cog in the wheel to build something new.”

And while Queenstown, he says, might have the reputation as being a “one-trick pony as a tourism playground” that doesn’t reflect the “wealth, experience, knowledge and network which exists in the area”.

“If businesses like ours look to locate in places like Queenstown, this will help to broaden the economies of those local communities.

“It will also reduce the reliance, perceived or real, from any one sector, or part of the economy.

“Bringing an ESG [environmental, social and governance] and impact investment focus to a fund management platform and basing this in an environment like Queenstown seemed to resonate on a number of levels.”

Reflecting on the last few months, Carmen says while the economic fallout could be “quite significant”, he also thinks the sense of community’s been enhanced and reprioritised.

“The time in lockdown has given people an opportunity to think about what they do and how they do it.

“Perhaps we will lead a life with a bit of a smaller footprint post-Covid and have less need for things.

“Instead, I hope we have a little more time, empathy and consideration for people.

“We might all also choose to support our domestic economy a little more by buying and prioritising local business, goods and services.

“If we can put some, or all of these thoughts into practice, then that might help to make Covid-19 a cause for good, once the health issue is finally under control and as we start to focus on the economic rebuilding and rebalancing.”