Eric Watson is the founder and executive chairman of international private investment company, Cullen Investments. He has a strong track record in identifying market opportunities and adding significant value to businesses, and describes himself as an entrepreneurial investor.
Cullen Investments has its origins in a start-up founded by Eric in 1988 through which he actively invested his own capital in a range of mergers and acquisitions. It holds a substantial international portfolio of investments covering a range of market sectors including fashion retail, real estate, oil and gas, agriculture, financial services, sports and entertainment.
Majority shareholder of Bendon, an industry-leading multi-brand intimate apparel company with a portfolio of 13 brands including Heidi Klum Intimates and Stella McCartney Lingerie. Bendon is a rapidly growing, global business with a specialty in design expertise and innovation. Bendon recently signed a partnership with JC Penney, a major US apparel retailer, involving the roll out of Heidi Klum Intimates in more than 300 of their stores.
Cullen Investments has interests in lifestyle, commercial and residential real estate across New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States. This includes the luxurious Westbury Estate and partnering with local authorities in significant development opportunities in the affordable housing market in the United Kingdom, in partnership with Hutchison Whampoa and Long Harbour, as well as broader residential and commercial investments globally.
Expansion is well underway on a significant proprietary trading operation focused on publicly listed stocks in the United States, European and Asian markets. In addition to public equities, Cullen Investments is an active investor in various other financial services assets, working closely with a number of United States and European banks on large scale joint venture initiatives across various asset classes including proprietary trading strategies, market making enterprises, index strategies and structured product solutions.
Interests also include Soul Bar and Restaurant and a substantial investment in premium quality international bloodstock located in both New Zealand and Australia. Predominantly a breeding business, Cullen Investments elite broodmare band includes Group One winning mares. They have interests in a number of venture capital investments and early stage private equity investment across various sectors, an example being Long Island Brand Beverages – a new brand of iced tea set for rapid expansion in distribution across the United States and globally over the next two years.