Another week, another ride on the Monaco Express, as I call the BA Friday flight from London.
But this was no ordinary day. With a dense drizzly fog clinging to the ground, it had the hushed atmosphere of a Sherlock Holmes movie. Planes were grounded, passengers stranded, the BA Lounge packed. I grabbed a coffee and asked a pretty blonde if I could share her table.
We soon struck up a conversation about what we both did for a living. “Dating Industry,” I shared. “Nanny for an Oligarch in Monaco,” she said.
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“Ah, so you look after someone’s loved ones and I look after the love lives of others,” I replied.
I explained that I was an International Matchmaker. “Ooh, what’s that?”
“Well, we’re like head-hunters. We find serious partnerships for exceptional but time-poor people. This is our busiest month and, in fact, the first working Monday of the year is what lawyers dub 'Divorce Day'. We get most of our enquiries this month.”
“Really, so how does it work?" Ines, my table sharing friend, asked inquisitively.
“Well our clients pay us from £10,000 to £50,000 depending how many locations we cover for them. Clients work with a matchmaker who searches our extensive network of vetted singles, honing in on the closest matches.”
“So how successful is it – do you go to lots of weddings and christenings?”
“Well, we have an 85 percent success rate. But that’s because we turn away about a third of our enquiries and concentrate on the people that really are serious and know what they want, or can let us help them find out.
"The prospective date of the client isn’t charged – so if we ask someone to be part of our database as a potential match, it means they’re a good fit for us.”
[caption id="attachment_27345" align="alignnone" width="640"] Young Women Travel Together Concept[/caption]
It transpired that Ines the nanny was single and needed help with her online dating profile. With time on our hands, I offered help. She was using an app called Bumble, which matches like Tinder but lets the girls text first. The result is that men try harder with their “Billboard” and women get to be choosy and not constantly bombarded.
“Oh, Ines this won’t do!”
“Why not”, she asked, “men just look at pictures?”
“But your profile picture is of you straddling a giant tortoise! If you’re going to be astride anything, better make it a racehorse! And the others are just your face? You’ve got a great body, find one with all of you in it and add one with you smiling in the middle of a group of friends. We always photograph better surrounded by loved ones.
“Now let’s write something about you. Men are visual creatures, but they do read … What do you do that’s interesting? Men love sporty girls. Do you do any sport?”
“Oh, I run the marathon in Istanbul every November and love No Finish Line in Monaco – my girlfriends and I get competitive with that.”
"Well I did Politics at Gothenburg, but I’m originally from Stockholm. And I did TEFL in London where I was working in financial PR for a few years. That’s what I’m doing in Monaco, teaching twin four-year-old Russian boys English. “
“Well I spend all my free time travelling. I share the children with another nanny, so we can each have some time off. I’ve been exploring France and Italy mostly.”
“Lastly, what are you looking for in a partner?”
“Well, I’m 35 and I love children, so someone serious, not a player. He needs to love the outdoors, have a great sense of humour and good family values. Spontaneous, not stuck-in-a-rut square. Preferably blonde.”
While I was writing up Ines’ little profile for the big wide world of online dating, I had a thought. We have a Scandinavian client, Lukas, who travels like crazy and wants to meet someone with a super-flexible career, someone with great values and a solid degree. Preferably a pretty blonde. Boom.
Lukas was in Monaco for business the following month, so I struck the match and they’ve been dating ever since.
The moral of the story? A high-flyer doesn’t always want another high-flyer. For our client, it was more important to be able to find enough time for a relationship.
Barbara Brudenell-Bruce is a matchmaker with London’s exclusive matchmaking agency, Vida, and her network boasts an impressive list of entrepreneurs, celebrities and aristocrats. She lives between Monaco and London. Article first published January 16, 2017.
The Junior Economic Chamber of Monaco (JCEM) will highlight finance during its first Business Time of 2018 with the theme being the attractiveness and prospects of Monaco as a financial centre.
The thematic networking event on Thursday, March 15, at CREM, the Club for Foreign Residents of Monaco, will be marked by presentations from three experts: Ben Robson, CEO of Spectrex Commodities and author of "Currency Kings: How Billionaires Traders Made Their Fortune Forex Trading;” Gregory Moscato, Director of Finance at the International University of Monaco; and David de Pariente, partner in the independent law and tax law firm Gordon S. Blair.
Financial activities are currently undergoing profound changes, both internationally and in the Principality. The speakers will demonstrate how Monaco is constantly adapting to attract investors and meet the increasingly demanding requirements of major players in the sector.
The talk at 6:30 pm will be followed by a networking cocktail. Tickets (€25) can be purchased online.
JCEM will also be holding a networking breakfast on March 22 under the topic: Monaco, towards a smarter city?
To be held at the Meridien Beach Plaza at 8:15 am, guest speakers will include Georges Marsan, Mayor of Monaco, on the topic of Police Optimisation and Smart Parking Deployment, and Paul Jolie, Digital Advisor to the Minister of State, on Smart City Strategy of the Prince's Government. Sign up here.
[caption id="attachment_29279" align="alignnone" width="640"] COYA's new Monte Carlo restaurant. Photo: COYA[/caption]
The Latin American restaurant group, COYA, has announced the launch of its first European site outside London, opening in Monaco in May 2018. Coinciding with the Monaco Grand Prix, COYA will open above Jimmy’z and Monte Carlo Bay.
The 257-cover venue will incorporate a buzzing and vibrant bar and a contemporary Peruvian restaurant, COYA said. In collaboration with Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer, COYA Monte Carlo says it is set “to revive the city’s culinary scene, providing a vibrant hub for international visitors and the stars of music, film, fashion and sport”.
[caption id="attachment_29277" align="alignnone" width="640"] COYA corvina trufa. Photo: COYA[/caption]
Guests will be taken on a Latin American journey from the moment they arrive at the grand entrance of COYA Monte-Carlo. The sweeping terrace with sea views, COYA’s infamous Pisco Bar & Lounge, a luxury shisha experience and resident DJ throughout the summer will make this Monaco’s new hotspot.
A menu of globally renowned COYA dishes will be overseen by Chef Sanjay Dwivedi, who combines traditional elements of Peruvian cuisine with Modern European cooking techniques and Asian influences to create naturally light and healthy dishes.
[caption id="attachment_29276" align="alignnone" width="640"] Chef Sanjay Dwivedi. Photo: COYA[/caption]
The décor, designed by the London-based design studio Sagrada, who are responsible for all COYA venues (London, Abu Dhabi and Dubai), will incorporate Peruvian artefacts, plant features and bespoke hand-crafted furniture. A key design feature of the restaurant will be the Ceviche Bar – an open prep kitchen that puts guests at the centre of the action to watch the iconic Peruvian dishes being made.
A 30-seater Private Dining Room will provide ultimate exclusivity and a spectacular dining experience with unrivalled views.
COYA Monte-Carlo will be open in May throughout high season, closing in October 2018 for the winter period.
[caption id="attachment_1516" align="alignleft" width="213"] Photo: FuFu Wolf[/caption]
Another study ranking the number of millionaires per national population has ranked Monaco first, with almost one in three inhabitants classed as a millionaire. Swiss banking centres Zurich and Geneva came second and third in the rankings.
The survey findings, revealed by Spear’s magazine and WealthInsight, show London has moved up to fifth overall, with one in 29 inhabitants named as millionaires. Edinburgh has the UK’s second-highest density of millionaires, with one in sixty-seven inhabitants deemed to have this net worth.
Meanwhile, Dublin has been ranked 10th on the list of European cities with most millionaires per capita, with one in 40 people living in the city a millionaire.
Head of WealthInsight, Oliver Williams, said Dublin has a higher density of millionaires than many other European capitals, including Paris, Madrid, Berlin and Moscow.
“London’s financial strength has also seen it rise through the rankings: it now boasts more millionaires per head than Frankfurt despite being the second most populous city on the list after New York,” he added.
Monaco’s millionaires continue to grow in number, up by six percent since the last ranking two years ago. SOURCES: Irish Times and local reports
A bizarre agreement between an employee and her boss has come to light during an investigation by the Federation of Trade Unions in Monaco. While working for the firm Le Plaisir du Palais, Beatrice di Peri (40) paid a cheque to her employer as a ‘guarantee,’ in exchange for which the employer changed the terms of her contract - making her employment permanent - in order for her to be able to raise a mortgage for an apartment, she claims.
For some time she was a familiar face at a refreshment bar at the Princess Grace Hospital, where she worked alongside a colleague.
She said: “"I worked for five years on a fixed-term contract, with three contracts: four years, one month and one year. And I needed to take a credit. The bank was asking me for a CDI. This was in December 2012. My boss had procrastinated then said to me: "We will make you a CDI in exchange for a cheque for 2,000 euros that will be cashed if we have to break the contract. So I gave a cheque for 2,000 euros to have a CDI.”
However, following an accident at work she was not able to continue with her job. The cheque was cashed. While the Trade Union Federation fights her case, Beatrice sent a letter to the Labor Inspectorate to explain her story.
“I am still waiting for the letter of dismissal from my employer and the reimbursement to my father of his 2,000 euros.”