Fitzpatrick China Study Tour Bulletin

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With just over one week to go before we leave for China, I’m sure you’re all getting excited about the trip and starting to think about what to pack. Please don’t forget to pack a bottle of wine (with a story attached to it) as mentioned last time, and plenty of business cards (I suggest 50 - 100 would be ideal).

Chinese Currency - RMB

One or two people have asked me about taking cash into China and my recommendation is that you have at least RMB1,000 (approx A$200) with you in cash. Foreign credit cards are not always accepted in taxis and restaurants so I always have plenty of cash with me. If you can’t exchange A$ for RMB in Australia, there are banks in the airports and hotels in China who will be pleased to convert for you. The RMB/AUD exchange rate is fixed each day in China and should be the same wherever you go, so you don't need to shop around as much as you do in other countries.

What to expect on Day 3?

I suggest an early breakfast at the Westin Financial Street in Beijing (included with your room) with time to pack and check out before we assemble in one of the meeting rooms upstairs (details to be supplied later) for an Australia China Wealth Management Roundtable (please click here to download the invitation) which will start promptly at 9am. The dress code is ‘smart casual’ but, as many of our guests will be dressed in suit/tie, please consider bringing a tie with you.

I have invited a selection of local wealth management firms, including private banks, private equity, VC, securities and fund managers to join us for a discussion about mutually beneficial opportunities between leading wealth management firms in China and Australia.This event will be supported by the local Government office in Financial Street, Beijing, and attended by senior Government officials, and will be conducted in Chinese and English. I have booked an experienced interpreter to be on hand to translate for us, as English will not be widely spoken by our guests. You should expect the proceedings to be quite formal as they often are in China, and we will all be on our best behaviour!

The session will run for two hours which will include exchanging business cards, a formal address from the local Bureau of Financial Services and at least one formal group photograph. In the eyes of our Chinese guests, we will be seen as an official financial services delegation from Australia and we should see this as an opportunity to make friends, explore opportunities and represent our country.

We will have to wrap up this event quite quickly on or before 11am to take the coach to Beijing Capital Airport for our flight MU5114 to Shanghai which departs Beijing at 2pm. Please bring a printed copy of your e-ticket with you just in case it’s needed at the check in.

The flight is due to arrive in Shanghai at 4.20pm where we will be met and driven by coach to the Langham Hotel in Shanghai which is in Xintiandi district (a great place to visit at night) which will be our final destination and our home for the rest of the week (including the Fitzpatricks Private Wealth Annual Conference).

In the evening, we are having dinner at M on the Bund with a small group of local entrepreneurs who are members of the local Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) and have been invited to share some of their local insights and experiences. The dinner starts at 7.30pm and will finish around 10.30pm, allowing you some time to explore Shanghai at night, starting from The Bund, one of Shanghai’s most famous landmarks.

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M on the Bund is my favourite restaurant in Shanghai and owned and operated by an old friend from Hong Kong, Michelle Garnaut, who is now described as “one of the most respected and recognised restaurateurs in Asia” and a leading Australian entrepreneur in China. Her story is fascinating and I hope you get a chance to read more about her in these two articles from Advance and The Monthly

Watch out for our final Bulletin next week. In the meantime, if you have any queries, please send them to and we will reply as soon as possible.

Best Wishes, 

David Thomas
Think Global Consulting