People, Places & Lifestyle
Halcyon Gallery Money Talks By Santiago Montoya
www.dreamsmithevents.com UK +44 20 7384 8910 US 1-800-409-4233
20 28 30 37 40 43
CARS: Thornley Kelham ART: Halcyon Gallery WATCHES: Valour Watch Company AIRCRAFT: Sparfell & Partners HOTELS: La RĂŠserve FINANCE: The Family Office TRAVEL: Dreamsmith WINE & SPIRITS: Berry Bros & Rudd
A1 is an online magazine published by Fenton & Gregory. Copyright 2018: Design, photography & text Derek Gregory. The right of Derek Gregory to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the copyright designs and patents act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any other information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. The articles published do not necessarily represent the views of the author, publisher or Fenton & Gregory. Artwork production by Graphic Bubble. Derek Gregory, Fenton & Gregory, 30 Gay Street, Bath BA1 2PA England In all correspondence please E Mail: email@example.com
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elcome to this special Halcyon Gallery edition of A1 Magazine, the magazine for private
In this special edition, our front cover features an image from an ongoing exhibition of works by the artist Santiago Montoya, currently available to view at Halcyon Gallery in London. See (pages 16 & 17). Founded in 1982, Halcyon Gallery specialises in fine art and contemporary art working closely with emerging and established international artists. From its inception, Halcyon Gallery has championed painters and sculptors who display exceptional talent, technical skill and intrinsic creativity and with whom they have worked to produce world-class art exhibitions that translate to a global audience. Halcyon Gallery represents a selection of renowned artists from all over the world, including the UK, America, Colombia, Spain, Italy and Russia. With three art galleries in London and one art gallery in Shanghai, Halcyon Gallery is committed to nurturing the careers of all their artists by offering professional support and providing the invaluable opportunity for artistic innovation. Through a competitive, annual modern art programme they aim to deliver confident, informative contemporary art exhibitions which are accessible to everyone. Halcyon Gallery continues to host a variety of important museum-
scale exhibitions, including inaugural art exhibitions of works within the UK and worldwide. Halcyon Gallery aims to be at the centre of the fine art world, playing a key role in Londonâ€™s creative and cultural landscape. With over thirty years of experience in the art market, Halcyon Gallery is committed to building distinguished art collections for their clients. A dedicated team specialising in rare masterpieces and editioned prints works closely with private clients to establish art collecting of the highest quality. By cultivating strong relationships with museums, institutions and auction houses worldwide, they guarantee value and longevity of the artworks based on provenance, placement and acquisition. I am delighted to welcome Halcyon Gallery in London as one of our most recent businesses in which we feel we can confidently refer to our private clients for their investment consideration. I do hope you enjoy this issue as much as I have enjoyed putting it all together â–
Derek Gregory Derek Gregory Publisher
CATCHING THE RESTORATION BUG
Thornley Kelham – from the beginning.
hornley Kelham is a company run by enthusiasts. The business started because of a single car – an Aston Martin DB4. Wayne Kelham suggested that Simon Thornley buy it – at first he refused, having had a particularly bad experience at the hands of a restoration company with a previous DB4. However, the lessons learnt were a major influence on how they eventually set up and ran their own classic car company, and the doors to ‘Thornley Kelham’ opened in January 2009 – with just 4 people and 3 cars. Wayne has spent his entire working life in the restoration world, preparing and painting cars such as Bugatti Royale, Type 57 and 57S, Rolls Royce Phantom II, various Astons, Alfas and Ferraris …sometimes also doing the wiring, rebuilding gearboxes and putting the complete car together. Many of these cars competed at the very top end of the collector car world – including Pebble Beach. Simon had a career building businesses and managing teams around the world, buying his first classic (an Austin Healey 3000) whilst living in Chicago in the early nineties. He then found an early Austin Healey 100 in need of a full restoration - and caught the restoration bug. 25 years later his collection includes a Bentley Continental R-Type, a Porsche 911 2.7 RS, six Lancias including a B24 Spider, and that ‘Healey 100.
Sharing a fierce work ethic, and a belief that quality, transparency and integrity should be the cornerstones of their approach, they have built a company that today comprises a team of over 30 skilled and dedicated individuals offering the full range of classic and vintage carrelated services.
‘‘Thornley Kelham’ opened in January 2009 – with just 4 people and 3 cars.ʼ Thornley Kelham offers full and partial restorations, classic motor sport preparation and event support, classic and vintage car maintenance and servicing, storage, and selective vehicle sourcing and sales. They cover a wide range of high end marques, and are acquiring a reputation for concours level quality standards. In the past two years they have won awards including two at the 2015 Salon Prive’ Concours d’Elegance, one being the top restoration prize; the 2015 Bentley Drivers’ Club annual concours ‘Best in Show’ award, best restoration of an Amilcar, and various prizes for a restored truck! With a special passion for Lancias, they also restored possibly the most famous of all, the ex-Bracco
Mille Miglia/Le Mans Series 1 Aurelia B20GT which was subsequently invited to Pebble Beach. Simon takes up the story: ‘Today, our aim is to offer our clients a ‘grave to cradle’ range of services for their cars – finding a car, restoring it, maintaining it, preparing it for events, whether concours or rally, and if required, selling it. The key to everything we do is quality and consistency. At heart, we are above all restorers. As such, we believe it is our job to add value to our clients’ cars – not always financially, but in terms of beauty, authenticity, longevity and above all, usability. So one of the first questions we ask the owner when a new project arrives is, “What do you want the car for?” ‘There are many reasons to restore your car. You may have purchased a dustcovered barn find to be restored to its former glory (probably better); you may simply have worn out your favourite classic after years of hard use. Perhaps you want to compete – historic racing is a fabulous scene - there are endurance rallies spanning continents; or you may want to grace the concours’ lawns of Pebble Beach or Villa d’Este. Our approach depends on your answer. Whilst the quality levels remain the same, the emphasis changes according to use. To prepare a car properly for a concours event requires hundreds of additional hours ▶
on the detail – screw heads lining up, all bolts showing to identical length, wiring beautifully routed and so on. The engine bay and underside of the car will literally look as new with every detail correct, and everything historically authentic. Restoring the car of your dreams for road use puts the emphasis on durability – underbody protection for example – and usability – you may want a bespoke air conditioning system or upgraded sound (music or exhaust!). ‘Build me a fast road car’ is a common request, leading to faster cams, porting of heads, special pistons. We still look after the DB4 mentioned earlier (it was sold to fund the business) and it is an incredibly quick machine. Historic Motorsport is exciting, sometimes glamorous, but can be very hard on cars. One of the ultimate tests is the Mille Miglia, the famed Italian road race covering 1000 miles from Brescia, down to Rome and looping back to the starting point. Run over four days, for those who take it seriously it is a long, hard, fast event, with one day of over 12 hours’ driving at maximum speeds on public roads. It is exclusive (only cars that participated in the original event which ran between 1927 and 1957 are eligible), with several thousand applications for approximately 400 hundred places.
We have successfully supported clients in Lancia Aurelia B20GTs that we have restored and prepared on the MM, and we are heading back there this year with a Ferrari. In 2015 we had almost finished the restoration of an early Aurelia, when our client learnt that his entry application had been successful - just 8 weeks before the event! We then had to install timing and navigation equipment, upgrade all the exterior lights, put together an extensive kit of spares and run the car in – pretty hard – for 800 miles. The engine was also run on the dyno and put out 20hp more than in period. Long evenings were spent
double checking every wiring connection, every nut and bolt, every component. The preparation paid off. Nothing major failed – a relief as Parc Ferme check ups took place after midnight – and ‘our’ car finished 120 places higher than its starting number. The owner’s post-event SMS made it all worthwhile: “I have become a true Lancista…car ran great and support was perfect”. That is what we restore cars for ■ Copyright S. Thornley 2016
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HALCYON GALLERY Santiago Montoya, Money Talks.
ontemporary Colombian artist, Santiago Montoya, is currently presenting Money Talks at Halcyon Gallery, London. This brand new body of work is part of an ongoing exploration into currency, history and socio-political issues. Combining the pop vocabulary of Warhol and a multitude of international banknotes, Montoya uses the world’s leading currencies as his aesthetic arena. ‘Aristotle would be amazed. Santiago made something out of nothing – because
he turned a bill of exchange into an object of art,’ Miguel Palacios, Professor of Finance, Vanderbilt University. Montoya began working with currency as his medium of choice in 2007 – viewing paper currency as ready-made works of art, Montoya sets about cutting, stretching and altering the bills to push the boundaries of art in both a new and unexpected way. Montoya reinterprets paper currency as both a canvas as well as a raw material, exploring the added value beyond its very surface.
The aesthetic aspect of the artwork is created by manipulating a multiple of international currencies and their patterns to create an original visual language. Having only previously worked with the dollar motif, an iconic symbol of capitalist desire, Montoya now introduces currencies such as the pound, yuan, rupee and euro. The use of these bank notes alongside cliché titles add an element of humour to Montoya’s works, ensuring the often complex subject matter is more accessible and encouraging lively conversation and debate.
By transforming the currency in a defamiliarising way, Montoya explores the multifaceted and multi-layered economic system. With the infinite repetition of the bills, a sense of both wonder and anguish arises which also reflects the emotions relating to the frailty and limited understanding of the financial system. Montoya expands upon monetary ethics and in doing so, highlights capitalism’s global force. Montoya’s use of money as an artistic medium, also opens a dialogue on the void between state propaganda and reality itself. A plethora of national ideas and sociopolitical ideologies are embedded in banknotes through their design and iconography and by bringing these scenes to the forefront, Montoya raises questions about systems of value and how they shape individuals and nations.
ABOUT THE ARTIST Awarded a Master of Fine Arts degree at the Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, in 2006 Montoya was shortlisted for the IV Uniandinos (Alumni Association of the University of Los Andes) Arts Prize. He has exhibited internationally, in group shows which include Inner Journeys at Maison Particulière in Brussels (2013) and Conscienta: Latin American Consciousness at the Lloyds Club in London (2014). His first solo exhibition in London, The Great Swindle, opened in November in 2012 at Halcyon Gallery and was followed by The Horizon Series and The New Dollar Sign works. Recent collections include Museum of Fine Arts Boston (MFA) in 2015 whilst The AMA (Museum of the Americas – OCAS) in Washington D.C will be hosting a major solo show – titled THE GREAT SWINDLE, curated by Pr. Jose Luis Falconi from October 2016 – January 2017.
HALCYON GALLERY Halcyon Gallery was established in 1982 as a platform for inspirational art. The gallery is now based in Mayfair, London and represents a selection of renowned international artists. Together Halcyon Gallery’s three London spaces and Shanghai space host a diverse programme of contemporary art, showing both established artists and new, emerging talent. A dedicated team specialise in rare masterpieces ranging from Impressionism to Pop Art, working closely with clients to build collections that have emotional resonance and importantly, impeccable provenances. Halcyon Gallery, 144-146 New Bond Street, London W1S 2PF Nearest Tube: Bond Street FREE Entry Visitor Information: 020 7100 7144 Exhibition opening times: Monday to Saturday 10am–6pm, Sunday 11am–5pm ■
The organizers of the famous Rallye Père-Fils™* give you another appointment in 2016 with the 1000kmGT™. This new edition will take place over four days, from Thursday 23-26 June 2016. The competition will be based on five stages, one of which will take place at night. This event does not overlook such all-important aspects as art de vivre, conviviality and the chance to meet others, and offers all the surprises and delights that make HappyFewRacing™ events so special and appreciated. Be part of the legend and join this great adventure!
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THE VALOUR WATCH COMPANY The design and production of a new bold and unique watch.
alour Watch Company was officially launched at the SalonQp fine watch show in London during November 2014 where it introduced its first unique limited edition timepiece – the Sopwith Aviator®. The company was founded in 2013 by Mark Daniel, a mechanical design engineer by profession, with a deep interest in mechanical timepieces and the desire to create a small independent watch company producing completely unique designs based on his long held fascination with historical wartime aviation.
In combination with a passion for historical aviation from the World War periods and influenced by both his grandfather and great uncle serving in the RNZAF/RAF during WWII, Mark creates interesting and unique timepieces that pay tribute to the iconic wartime aircraft designs of the past and the brave aviators who flew in them. The design philosophy of the company is to produce intriguing and statement making pieces that incorporate the raw engineering design elements which
reflect the true essence of the aircraft being referenced. As an example, the Valour Sopwith Aviator® model, a limited edition offering of 200 individually numbered timepieces brings the nose cowling and early 9 cylinder Clerget rotary engine of the legendary WW1 Sopwith Camel aircraft onto the wrist. It is the detail in the 114 piece construction of the watch (excluding the movement) that recreates the iconic frontal view of this historic flying machine, and which absolutely has to be seen and tried on. ▶
Flightworthy vintage aircraft from the WW1 era are a rare commodity these days and the number of Sopwith Camels still flying around the world can be counted on one hand. As it happens, Mark’s native country of New Zealand is home to a fantastic company called ‘The Vintage Aviator’ owned by Gene De Marco and the film maker Peter Jackson who generously gave Valour the amazing opportunity to use not one but two Sopwith Camels for the project. Pilot Gene De Marco and his ground crew at the Hood Aerodrome in Masterton went above and beyond during the filming to make sure we could get the best footage possible. Over the course of three days some breathtaking flying moments were seen and with unrestricted access to both the aircraft and the expertise of everyone assisting, it certainly made for a very memorable time. With Mark’s personal passion for aviation from the world war periods, flying up next to the Sopwith Camel and seeing ‘The King of the Air Fighters’ in its element was simply astounding and aside from being a favourite aircraft of his it reinforced why he chose to represent it in Valour’s first timepiece.
In partnership with the company’s chosen Swiss manufacturing partner, Valour brings its unique take on wristwatches to life while also working with UK suppliers to create luxury presentation boxes and additional accessory items of equal quality that are in themselves a work of art. The first timepiece from Valour Watch Company is the Sopwith Aviator®, a bold and unique design that references one of the greatest air fighters of WW1, the Sopwith Camel. For those unfamiliar with vintage aviation or the key design aesthetics of this iconic aircraft, Valour embarked on a filming project to highlight this legend of the skies and the bold design features that were translated into the timepiece.
‘The design philosophy of the company is to produce intriguing and statement making pieces’
“The aircraft is unbelievably impressive, from the design and workmanship right through to the all-encompassing sound and smell of the 9 cylinder rotary engine which is hard to describe and something you have to experience to believe. The skill and bravery of those early pilots can only be appreciated fully when you understand the mechanics of the aircraft and sit in the cockpit trying to imagine what it must have been like to fly such a machine in what were the earliest days of airborne combat.” The end result of the Sopwith Camel film project captured the aircraft in a way that illustrates the magical quality of this icon of vintage aviation. For those initially unfamiliar with the aircraft and Valour, the films will definitely give the viewer an appreciation for the inspiration behind the Sopwith Aviator® timepiece
and the company’s design philosophy. Valour’s main priority is to offer timepieces that are exceptionally different and provide the watch enthusiast with the opportunity to own something truly unique that represents an amazing part of aviation history. Mark graduated with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Canterbury University, New Zealand in 2004. In his early career he was involved with designing for new and novel aeronautical projects, which included a skydiving glider and the Martin Aircraft Company Jetpack.
Further diversifying his engineering career he worked in the area of micromechanical and micro-fluidic product development and various other design and engineering project management roles in Australia and the UK. Moving outside his professional engineering career, Mark founded Valour Watch Company in 2013, combining his personal interest in mechanical watches and historical aviation, especially from the World War periods. With Valour Watch Company Mark’s goal is to produce highly unique and limited
edition timepiece designs that pay tribute to the people and aircraft that played an important role in history. Mark continues to design and develop all new Valour projects while also being the current Managing Director of the company. The film as referenced in the editorial above can be viewed on the Valour website, and Mark is offering a very special introductory discount to readers of A1 Magazine, so be sure to contact us to find out more… ■
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SPARFELL & COMPANY Bringing intelligence in aircraft services to their rapidly expanding business.
parfell & Partners S.A is based in Geneva, Switzerland and was founded by Philip G. Queffellec, Christian Hatje and Jason Mulcock.
The idea behind Sparfell & Partners Limited is to have a partnership of aviation experts, in a way like a lawyer’s practice, where partners bring to the company their extensive experience, competence & knowledge in aviation and their network of clients and contacts. The company’s tagline - Intelligence in Aircraft Services - communicates to clients they can expect not only a thorough and
detailed service but also a tailored one, fully customised to their needs. The Aircraft Services are Sales & Acquisitions, Leasing - especially “ACMI” as well as consulting to cover the entire business cycle of and around Commercial Aircraft Airliners, Bizliners, Business Jets and Helicopters, as a true one-stop-shop. The market is global and the company strategy is to have Associates positioned strategically around the world in important and fast growing markets where local intelligence is key to performing valuable business.
These Associates operate in the name of Sparfell & Partners and benefit from all the support necessary to undertake their important roles. The three founding partners have a wealth of experience of more than 70 years in the fields of aircraft sales & acquisitions, management, operations, financing & leasing, maintenance, design & interior, insurance and consulting. SALES With Sparfell & Partners, you can expect quick results at the best market price. Because they know aircraft values in a market that changes daily and therefore know how to
price your aircraft in order to capitalise on a quick sale at the highest market price. They handle the communications and inquiries and will bring you valid, qualified proposals for your review. Their reputation along with their marketing strategy put your aircraft in the best possible position to sell. ACQUISITIONS At Sparfell & Partners you will experience a seamless and efficient service when searching for the aircraft to suit your or your client’s needs. The partners believe it should be a pleasure for you or your client to discover the right business jet, and can source aircraft from OEMs, financial institutions, airlines, mandated intermediaries and from their network of professionals. DRY & WET LEASE Bizjet Lease-out. The new solution for both aircraft owners and users of business aircraft. Rather than sell your aircraft at a depressed price, lease it to someone seeking such an aircraft. Your asset will be protected in the best hands - a professional operation with one of the world’s largest international operators. Bizjet Lease-in. Sparfell & Partners’ special dry & wet leasing program provides numerous advantages when you need access to a business jet for a specific period of time, or simply prefer to lease rather to buy. For clients who prefer not to take on the extra commitments of long- term ownership, leasing a private jet is an attractive proposition. You can dry lease (Aircraft “only”) or wet lease (also called ACMI: Aircraft- Crew-Maintenance-Insurance) a private jet for a fixed period of time. MADE 2 MEASURE Sparfell & Partners has a proven track record of managing & delivering bespoke, turn-key projects for Heads of State and Ultra High Net Worth Individuals. With decades of experience in managing such turn-key projects for Heads of State and other bespoke clients including the British and Saudi Arabian Royal families, Sparfell & Partners knows first-hand customer needs and requirements.
Jason Mulcock (L) and Philip G. Queffellec (R) with A1 Magazine Publisher, Derek Gregory Centre.
They can identify the best aircraft for your special needs, new or pre- owned which also includes the conversion from an “Airliner” to a “Bizliner”. Designers work with each client to create an interior that reflects their individual tastes and mission requirements. Experts will oversee the entire completion process from concept through delivery. With their partner Luxaviation Group, one of the leading international business jet operators with more than 250 business jets under management, they can even take care of all post-delivery activities around the operation of the aircraft. UPGRADE With SmartSwap program, Sparfell believe that they have solved three issues in one go for aircraft owners who experience high costs of ownership through the use of an older
aircraft and who wish to continue to benefit from aircraft ownership. Sparfell & Partners take care of the whole process from selling or disposing of the ‘old’ difficult to sell aircraft, replacing it with a newer aircraft with lower operating costs and setting up the owner with an efficient operator who can additionally offer the aircraft for charter should the owner so wish. FULL SERVICES Each project is unique, fully customised and caters to your lifestyle and preferences. From financing, consulting, marketing research, engineering, maintenance, management, operations, insurance & crewing, to designing your aircraft in and out: Sparfell & Partners can take care of every step ■
LA RÉSERVE PARIS More like a private members club, than an Hotel.
taying at La Reserve, Paris you enter a world of privacy and calm, and where you can disappear from everything, and if desired, everyone. The overriding sense of calm pervades the hotel, and where every possible request is met with style and grace. La Réserve in Paris, whether to sample afternoon tea, in order to partake in the quietness and serenity of the surroundings, or to check-in and stay a few nights, you will enjoy a style and service like no other. Check-in is as discrete as everything which follows at La Réserve. There is no official check-in desk, just a sofa where you can have some tea, whilst completing formalities, or better still as I was, taken straight to my suite, where my concierge simply scanned my passport with a portable scanner, then explained the controls of the room and was gone. Zero check-in. Now that’s how hotels should try to operate. Surely these days there is enough technology to do exactly as La Reserve have? After unpacking my bag, (and my concierge did offer to do this), I decided to explore, first the immediate surroundings - before the surroundings of the hotel itself. Located on Avenue Gabriel, just one block from the Champs-Elysées, the building was originally built in 1854 for Charles de Morny, the half-brother of Napoleon III.
The inside has been completely renovated by Jacques Garcia, although five of the original fireplaces remain, including one in the Ambassador suite, but in order to create his vision to within the period and ambience, no less than 250 tons of marble along with 6,000 meters of fabric went into the project. The hotel projects a private club atmosphere, though always inviting, and certainly not stuffy. It’s hard to believe it has only been open for just over a year. There are public areas, but most rooms are, quite rightly, set aside for those staying at the hotel, including a sumptuous dark-wood library, with a marble fireplace and a wonderful display of books, including many coffee table books on Paris and several luxury companies which surround the hotel. Behind the library is a smoking lounge, and downstairs is a 16-meter swimming pool with three spa treatment rooms, including one designed for men. The hotel combines the feel of a much larger hotel, but in reality is an intimate boutique hotel with just forty rooms, the majority of which are suites and with attention to the finest detail everywhere around you. Wonderful fabrics and decor, matched to the very latest technology, including hidden Television’s in the mirrors. One in the living area and one in the bathroom mirror - and perfectly placed for relaxing in the bath, whilst watching the television. There are ▶
‘The interior of the hotel has been completely renovated by Jacques Garcia.’
Frédéric Picard, Directeur Général, La Réserve, and Derek Gregory, Publisher A1 Magazine.
even convenient stands and places for your iPhone and iPad to rest, and each suite has an iPad to control everything within your personal suite, but for traditionalists and or technophobes, there are also ‘normal’ buttons and switches for everything should you prefer. Many suites have sprawling views of paris, including the Eiffel Tower, and the Grand Palais, and in the Presidential Suite the panorama continues the entire length of the suite, from the living room, complete with its own private bar and grand piano, (where Manager Frédéric Picard and myself where photographed).
‘Many suites have views of the Eiffel Tower, and the Grand Palais.’
Dinner was an epic affair, at Le Gabriel, the 50-seat restaurant on the main floor, as Chef Jérôme Banctel created a masterpiece in culinary skills, and I tried my very best to eat my way through seven courses, and he alone is a great draw to this hotel. Having come from both Le Crillon and L’Ambroisie, Chef Jérôme is now serving his own take on traditional French cuisine, and clearly cooking up a storm as the restaurant has just joined the circle of two-starred Michelin Guide establishments exactly one year after its opening.
To perhaps best sum up my visit to this hotel, I will say this; When you travel and stay at hotels, you want to feel welcome, and you want to feel comfortable. You want to feel as if it is your home, as for however long you stay, in many ways it is your home. At La Réserve, I felt very much at home, and very welcome and the staff within every department knew exactly how much privacy I wanted and how much I wanted to stop and chat. And that is the fine art of hotel management, and La Reserve have got it absolutely perfect. Six stars! ■
THE CHANGING FACE OF THE FAMILY OFFICE Family office services are now accessible to wealthy individuals more than ever before.
n years past, wealth management and preservation services for affluent individuals and families was, to a large extent, the exclusive domain of single family offices, popularly known as non-bank “boutiques” because of their small size. Today, however, family office services have been become more widely available, as big private banks and other wealth management firms have entered the playing field en masse. Family office services are now accessible to a larger spectrum of wealthy individuals and families who previously would not have benefitted from it. This development has various implications for the nature of services offered and profits generated by small “nonbank” family offices. “Non-bank” is an important distinction, as many large banks and financial houses are offering family office-like services. As the number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) increased globally, more private banks began to morph into big family offices to meet the growing demand for wealth management in affluent families. According to the Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management Report, ultra-high-net-worth individuals (those with US$30 million or more in investable assets) have worldwide assets that total $14.7 trillion as of 2012, an 11 percent increase from the previous year. Today, many large private banks with global reach have units specially created to offer family office services to the ultra wealthy. This is making the industry landscape more competitive as it is becoming increasingly difficult for traditional family offices (the small non-bank boutiques) to secure bigger deals and make more profit.
In a bid to secure more clientele and better deals, family offices are beginning to provide more personalised services that represent a departure from the services they traditionally offered. Family offices have diversified their services and now commonly offer travel planning, family historians, and even staff psychologists. While some family offices have resorted to outsourcing certain services to bigger private banks, others have entered into mergers to form multi-family offices. This allows them to secure better deals and to compete effectively with bigger private banks. Despite these changes, family offices still face challenges. Most family offices do not possess large capital bases like their private banking counterparts, so offering more specialised services can increase their operational cost and lead to lower profits. To solve this dilemma, some family offices have adopted a strategy of charging a fixed annualised fee to cover some operational costs. Notwithstanding the stiff competition from private banks and other wealth management firms, family office owners believe they still represent the best choice for the wealth management needs of affluent families. They argue that they are specifically designed to meet the needs of affluent families by offering personalised services, unlike private banks that entered the marketplace solely for profit ■ Note: This is part of an article that originally appeared in the first issue of Family Offices Today magazine. Credit. David Drake Chairman LDJ Capital.
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TWO BIRTHDAYS IN RAJASTHAN. TEN YEARS APART.
Same place, same reason but each one very different.
obody would ever have invented the concept of dreamsmith from scratch.
It all started 10 years ago when a client of cazenove+loyd asked if they ever organised birthday parties. After 15 years of organising the very best in exotic travel, the company had organised a fair few birthday breakfasts on the edge of escarpments in East Africa, more than a couple of celebratory lunches on glaciers in Patagonia and even one or two candlelit dinners atop temples at Angkor. But a week-long party for 100 in Rajasthan. That was a new type of challenge. It turned out to be quite a week. The guests ranged in age from 10 year olds to 70 somethings. Every evening (and some lunch times), everyone gathered at a different spectacular venue. But during the days there were 20 to 40 smaller day trips to take in different points of cultural interest with specialist guides, to ride elephants and camels or to explore by local train or on foot in rural Rajasthan. And, with beautiful March weather on most days some would always choose to relax by a pool or have a massage or spa treatment. Every day, every individual did as they might normally do on a cazenove+loyd tailored trip to Rajasthan……….never feeling like part of a big group and with as much or as little culture or shopping or adventure or downtime as they felt like. And then in the evening the 100 friends and family gathered for something rather ‘theatrical’ that would only have worked as a larger group.
A very special evening started with tea in an ancient Moghul garden. Not noticed by the guests on arrival but on the edge of the garden was set up some inconspicuous tiered seating………During tea to the surprise and delight of guests six elephant, ridden by mahouts came into view and soon a couple children/teenagers were seated atop of each one as their parents took to their seats in the ‘grandstand’ with an evening drink and witnessed the magical sight of a game of elephant polo as the sun set across the Thar Desert. Only last year, we were planning a birthday party in the same part of Rajasthan and thoughts turned to an evening of fun and surprise. Rather than elephant polo which had worked so well for children a decade before, there was a rather more competitive group of guests and a fair number of men in their twenties with a yearning for excitement. So, rather than elephants appearing on the edge of the desert, the guests came across a fleet of personalised Tuk Tuks, kitted out with helmets, back protectors and roll bars in preparation for tackling a carefully constructed race track set up for them through the desert and semi-desert scrub. To teach our guests how to drive these feisty three-wheelers were a team of ‘Stigs ‘in white helmets but with white kurta pyjamas giving a distinctly Indian accent. A few mandatory safety precautions fell upon the deaf ears of three very competitive brothers but they then demonstrated how best to take the corners at full speed, dodge the circuit’s hay-bales and make it out the other side of the water dip which soon became the focus of the spectators’ attention. Split into two teams, a fun-filled morning was also a hard fought one with the commentator bellowing the scores from his megaphone and stewards’ enquiries were plentiful. Bleary eyed party-goers from the night before were soon stirring up dust clouds and whooping with competitive joy as they tore around the track. Personalised medals were awarded to all participants and the sight of the birthday ‘boy’ boarding the plane home with his ‘gold’ rickshaw trophy held tightly under his arm, was a great reminder at the end of an unforgettable few days.
‘‘Like many businesses, dreamsmith started slightly by chance. However it was only a couple of months ago when looking at photographs of a recent 65th birthday the company organised in Rajasthan that I realised how wonderfully original and slightly mad we can be.’’
A sprinkling of surprises is what it is all about in every event that they plan at
Christopher Wilmot-Sitwell, Chairman, dreamsmith
dreamsmith……….but like the parties themselves, the surprises always come with a distinct sense of place. Flying by private plane can even mean that the destination itself can be a surprise to guests. And on one memorable occasion the host himself was in the dark as to where he was going and who would be there as he walked blindfolded into an elevator and up onto the roof terrace of a Rio De Janeiro hotel to see his oldest friends and his family waiting for him with the cityscape of Rio at night as a backdrop. Dreamsmith have flown in a host’s children separately as a surprise, they have decorated the check-in desks at London Heathrow with temple marigolds and the exterior of a private plane with tantric symbols, they have unveiled a favourite choir in the African bushveld at the end of a dinner beside a private train carriage, they have organised costumes to dance in the Carnaval Winners Parade in the Rio Sambadrome, they have shipped in a local version of Cirque Du Soleil for a surprise wedding anniversary performance on an island on Udaipur’s Lake Pichola, they have set up a 50th birthday dinner in the ruins of Angkor in Cambodia and they have built a nightclub and cigar/shisha bar in Morocco’s Agadir Desert. Everyone has their own version of ‘Extraordinary’ but only Dreamsmith have the imagination, sense of fun, wherewithal and contacts book to deliver it in such spectacular destinations ■
A1 WINE & SPIRITS
With Gin sales increasing year on year, it doesn’t look like this particular tipple has yet reached the top. Words: Amanda Baxter
s new research establishes gin as the number one spirit of choice for both bartenders and bar-goers, we asked Amanda Baxter from Berry Bros. & Rudd to expound upon our insatiable thirst for Mother’s Ruin.
Gin is still on the rise. We get asked every year when the “gin bubble” will burst; however, when you look at the figures, it seems that the question should instead be, how much will the market grow this year? In 2015, gin became the best-selling spirit in bars around the world, and bartenders’ spirit of choice, with the UK’s consumption toppling the £1 billion mark. And this wasn’t down to Aunty Peggy and her pre-prandial G&T; the gin market is being led by 18 to 35-year-olds – educated, experimental and thirsty. Gin has thrown off its image as your parents’ drink and been embraced by Millennials across the country. The question we ponder is, why? Answers from some of our favourite bartenders include the resurrection of the Martini (Dukes), variety (with new releases daily) and marketing; but, digging deeper, it is possible to trace gin’s renaissance back to the constant quest for original cocktail recipes. Cocktail books from Prohibition through to the 1950s often have a surfeit of recipes calling for gin – even if the type of gin required is unclear (Hollands, Old Tom or London Dry?). Its versatility makes it almost promiscuous in the world of cocktails; according to David Embury, author of The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks published in 1948, gin will “blend satisfactorily with all manner of other flavours”. Of course, there is a gin for any purist too. I love our No.3 over ice with just a grapefruit twist.
So, what about those people drinking it? There is certainly an argument that gin is seen as more ‘sophisticated’ than other white spirits (eg vodka), served in its big copas with shovels of ice and exotic garnishes. It is also a spirit with a uniquely British heritage, from the grimy streets of Gin Lane to the upmarket Gin Palaces of Holborn, the British Empire and its malaria-fighting quinine tonic to your local pub, which nowadays undoubtedly stocks at least 3 or 4 different gins. In my opinion, the appeal is in the botanicals – those fruits, spices, herbs and flowers that flavour a gin and make each one unique. Unlike whisky or wine, you do not need to guess what flavours are in your glass, sniffing and swirling and hoping you are identifying them correctly. Gin emerged in the 1980s with clear messages, lists of ingredients and an authentic history, all of which helps you work out which mixer and garnish to pick, or which cocktail it will work best in. So what is next for this ever-growing spirit? We are seeing more flavoured gins on the market – raspberry, elderflower, spiced – which are challenging the definition of gin as first and foremost juniperflavoured. The American craft-distilling movement is not taking a backseat either, with a push for their own American Dry or New Western classification, whose gins often offer a simplicity of flavours and a higher alcohol rate. One thing I am sure of is that excellent quality will always shine through, and the level of quality today is higher than ever before. Find out more about Berry Bros. & Rudd’s No.3 London Dry Gin on bbr.com or explore classic cocktail recipes on the No.3 website ■
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Published on Aug 1, 2017