A SHIFT BE­HIND CLOSED DOORS

A RIS­ING BREED OF PRI­VATE MEM­BERS’ CLUBS IS MAK­ING ROOM AT THE TOP FOR NEW CONVENTIONS.

The Peak (Singapore) - - Contents -

Bring­ing a new out­look and vibe to the pri­vate mem­bers’ club.

Tra­di­tional pri­vate mem­bers’ clubs, with their sprawl­ing golf cour­ses, jack­pot rooms and manda­tory dress codes, do not hold the same al­lure for to­day’s new-gen­er­a­tion busi­ness elite. As these es­tab­lish­ments see a de­cline in mem­ber­ship among the un­der­35s, two new pri­vate mem­bers’ clubs – 1880 and Straits Clan – are pre­par­ing to en­ter the scene, with the for­mer open­ing next month and the lat­ter, early next year.

Shy­ing away from overt elitism, the younger gen­er­a­tion of lead­ers are as in­vested in build­ing their cul­tural ca­chet as they do their wealth or sta­tus. Over at 1880, hold­ing en­gag­ing talks and dis­cus­sions for mem­bers is a key as­pect of the es­tab­lish­ment’s of­fer­ings. “It might be about the fu­ture of the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, or the rise of ro­bots and how it’ll im­pact us; these are im­por­tant con­ver­sa­tions that not enough peo­ple are hav­ing,” says Luke Jones, CEO of 1880.

As far as mem­ber lists go, these clubs are keen to at­tract a di­verse set of movers and shak­ers. For 1880, a typ­i­cal night at the bar might see hack­ers, pri­vate bankers and in­dus­trial de­sign­ers min­gling over cock­tails – made with ar­ti­sanal spir­its, no less.

Jones says the out­let is also keen to make women – who are poorly catered for else­where – feel more at home, be­gin­ning with an in-house spa and well­ness pro­gramme backed by yoga and med­i­ta­tion classes.

In a time where ur­ban­i­sa­tion and a glob­alised work­force have given rise to a new breed of city no­mads, pri­vate mem­bers’ clubs – as the orig­i­nal bas­tion of so­cial in­ter­ac­tion – have be­come more im­por­tant than ever. “These days, it’s harder for peo­ple to de­velop deep bonds. We look at our­selves as a con­duit to help peo­ple form high-qual­ity re­la­tion­ships,” says Jones.

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