Enhancing cultural exchanges between East and West is high on the agenda of Dr Chanchai Ruayrungruang, Chairman of the Reignwood Group, new owners of The Wentworth Club.
The Beijing-based Group, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, recently completed the purchase of the historic Surrey property for a reported fee of £135 million.
During last week’s Reignwood LPGA Classic at its opulent Pine Valley Golf Club in the Chinese capital, senior Reignwood executives were basking in the glow of their Wentworth coup.
A large signboard behind the 18th green trumpeted the acquisition and gave a snapshot of Wentworth’s history.
Meanwhile, an entire wall in the clubhouse was dedicated to large photographs of the Group’s three blue chip golfing properties – Wentworth, Pine Valley and Princeville in Hawaii – under the banner ‘Reignwood Elite Golf Collection’.
Writing in the official tournament programme, Dr Chanchai, a Thai-Chinese entrepreneur with strong roots in China, said: “Sport and culture are common languages around the world. With the opportunity to enhance the culture exchange between East and West, the Group has been serving as a high-end non-governmental bridge for economics, culture and sporting communications, thereby making an outstanding contribution to public welfare, sustainable development and junior sports.
“It is one of the missions and visions for Reignwood to ensure that the voice of China is widely heard and connect the country to the world.
“As the ancient Chinese book ‘I Ching’ (book of Changes) says: ‘Change will in turn lead to an unimpeded state and then lead to continuity’.
“As with the glorious past, the proactive Reignwood Group is looking to the future. With the on-going change and innovation and the principle of exchange between China and the world, the Group will continue to explore environmental protection, economic development and Olympic dreams to fulfil its commitment.”
Meanwhile, Alex Ho, Vice President, Reignwood Group, re-iterated the company’s intention to ‘respect the original culture’ at Wentworth.
He said: “It’s been one of the main visions of our Group to help the East and West meet and have dialogue together and to project the new image of Chinese enterprise internationally.
“First of all we would respect the original culture even by maintaining the original management team and operations team. So we have quite a localised strategy.
“We also hope to integrate some Eastern culture into it (the club) appropriately.
“We understand that Wentworth has membership policies and other development strategies very similar to ours. Although there were other companies interested in approaching Wentworth for potential acquisition, that’s why the owners of Wentworth found a lot of similarities and even identical beliefs and ideas with us.
“They believed that with acquisition by Reignwood, their original culture and strategy can achieve sustainable development.”
The Reignwood Group was founded in 1984 in Thailand by Dr Chanchai.
The Group’s initial activities included general trading and tourism which quickly gave rise to a flourishing business with China that prompted the opening of offices in Hong Kong and Beijing.
In the 30 years that have followed, Reignwood Group has grown to a multi-national enterprise with diversified investments in key growth industries in China and around the world with branch offices in Singapore, Thailand, United Kingdom, Canada, and United States.
Reignwood Group www.reignwood.com