Younger brother to the founder of F J Benjamin Group, Eli ‘Nash’ Benjamin is a member of the family dynasty that holds sway over most luxury fashion retail in Singapore. He joined the family business — which is one of the biggest brand management companies in Asia — in the late 1960s, working in sales and marketing for labels like Lanvin and Amco, the Australian denim brand that was one of F J Benjamin’s most successful early imports.
In 1975, the business, which helps build and manage brands and develop their retail and distribution networks in Asia, oversaw the opening of Singapore’s first luxury fashion store — a Lanvin boutique in the Hyatt hotel. Since then, the investment holding company has grown to span 226 stores across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong and is part of a collection of powerful Asian fashion empires that control many brands’ entries into the region. It holds exclusive retail and distribution rights for luxury fashion brands including Céline, Givenchy, Loewe and Tom Ford , as well as high-street labels like Superdry and La Senza.
Benjamin was handed the reins as chief executive by his elder brother, Frank, in 2006, after he successfully orchestrated a competitive bid to become Gap Inc.’s first ever franchisee, clinching the franchising rights for both Gap and Banana Republic. His achievements have been recognised by the fashion and lifestyle industry on several occasions — most notably, when he was awarded Ernst and Young Lifestyle Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006, and in 2009, when he won the chief executive officer award at the Singapore Corporate Awards