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In this issue: • Balanced budget by 2014, says Minister of State • easyJet to upgrade Nice as regional hub • Radicals are close at hand • When art becomes a life • Air Partner : Private Jets offer the ‘Best of the Best’ in travel solutions November 2011 Issue 14
• Great jewellery collectors make lunchtime theme • Spotlight : A Profile of Guy Thomas Levy-Soussan
Specialising in luxury turn-key projects in the Principality of Monaco and the Cote dâ€™Azur
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November 2011 Contributing editors: Juliet Cullinan and Anna Fill
Editorial : A Pause for reflection
News you may have missed
Palestinian blogger wins Special Mention at Lindh Awards 7
Balanced budget by 2014, says Minister of State
easyJet to upgrade Nice as regional hub
Born in Monaco, stranded in former Soviet Union
Jailed UK con-man claimed Monaco connection
Radicals are close at hand
When art becomes a life
Making the deal not as easy as it looks
Cigar Evening at Davidoff
Great jewellery collectors make lunchtime theme
Private jets offer the ‘Best of the Best’ in travel solutions 22
Spotlight : A Profile of Guy Thomas Levy-Soussan
Frankie meets Cinderella
Monaco Life is published 10 times a year, each month and with combined July/August and December/January issues. The magazine is available on newsstands throughout the Principality and in surrounding towns in France and at Nice International Airport. The daily newsletter, Monaco Today, the website www.monacolife.net, and Monaco Life are published by Brodie Media (UK). We can be contacted at monacotoday@ gmail.com. Our business address is: Brodie Media (UK), 1 Clifford Villas, Wellington, TA21 8PH, United Kingdom. To receive Monaco Today and to subscribe to Monaco Life (€39 euros per year), please send an email with the word “subscribe” in the subject matter to monacotoday@ gmail.com.You can speed the process of subscribing by including your postal address for invoicing and mailing purposes. Your subscription will be activated as soon as we receive payment. Cover photo courtesy of Air Partner
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MONACO LIFE – NOVEMBER 2011
A pause for reflection The departure in the first week of November of the CEO of Monaco’s most prominent entity, the Société des Bains de Mer, may not have been a seismic event, but it certainly sent a ripple through the administration and the Principality in general. Mr Bernard Lambert had been in office for almost 10 years, and in the first seven his performance as chief executive officer was in keeping with the fortunes of the company he headed on a daily basis. There was steady, almost certain growth. However, the advent of the global economic crisis left nothing and nobody untouched, not even the SBM. Hotel receipts tumbled and gambling - and SBM’s adventurous acquisitions looked like a very uncertain bet indeed.
Fortunately, the hotel trade has more or less rebounded. Gambling has not. Mr Lambert was forthright about the downturn, and yet SBM continued with an ambitious, almost aggressive campaign of expansion at home and abroad. Whatever the truth of the matter, many people perceived that the leadership of SBM was out of touch with reality. Perhaps there was some truth in that view. Certainly, the sudden and unexpected nature of Mr Lambert’s departure left open the question:
“Did he jump or was he pushed?” The answer may never be known, but the importance of the fact that the question is there should not be underestimated. It may well be the case that boards of management and other interested parties will be
emboldened by the fact that a job at the top is not necessarily a job for life, that continued service will depend on continued success. And while such external events as a global economic downturn cannot be avoided, the reaction to them must be seen to be measured, sobre, and realistic.
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News you may have missed Substantial damages for Lady Moore The wife of Monaco resident and actor Sir Roger Moore accepted substantial undisclosed libel damages yesterday over a claim that she lived with a “playboy” while living in the French Riviera in her youth and married a 90 year-old Frenchman for his fortune. The allegations relating to Lady Kristina Moore, stemming from an article by Taki in the Spectator, and later re-published in the Daily Mail in October 2010 were completely untrue and seriously defamatory, solicitor Catherine Rhind told Mr Justice Tugendhat at London’s High Court. Ms Rhind said the article was illustrated by a photo of Lady Moore. She added: “The true position is that Lady Moore was 18 in 1958 and was living in Sweden with her mother and father and at that time had never visited France. Associated Newspapers has apologised and agreed to pay Lady Moore substantial damages and her legal costs.
Earthquake advice – pop under a strong table Philippe Mondielli, technical director of the Albert II Foundation, has again pointed out the risk of earthquakes affecting Monaco and how to deal with them. The Principality is very well-equipped with sensitive seismic detectors that record earth tremors across the world, but not even the best technology can predict earthquakes. The last major earthquake that did damage in Monaco was in 1887, when a tsunami on the Ligurian coast killed many people and caused considerable
damage. Lieutenant Colonel Tony Varo, commanding officer of Monaco’s firefighters, has reminded residents that the best option in the case of a major earthquake is to stay in the open away from tall buildings if possible, or if inside, take shelter under a sturdy table, a corner of a wall or door frame.
Big Debate showcased English skills The Big Debate – organised by the British Association of Monaco and the Junior Chamber of Commerce - attracted a bigger audience than last year, despite the heavy rain in Monaco on the night. Anne Batt, who trained the speakers over several weeks and compered the event, said that the standard of spoken English as a second or third language has been rising steadily in recent years. Amongst the judges was Dr Michelle Haslem, First Secretary of the British Embassy in Paris.
Moscow to Monte-Carlo, direct by train The French Riviera has enjoyed the hottest month since 1987, with a daily average of 22.9, compared to 23.4 degrees 24 years ago. The excellent weather is set to last for at least one more week, according to France Meteo. The good weather has been a late boost to the tourist trade along the coast.
Two-wheelers account for 70% of accidents At the start of Road Safety Week in the Principality, the chief traffic officer said that so far in 2011 there have been 167 accidents on the streets of Monaco, of which 120 involved motorbikes or scooters. Eight percent of riders tested positive after an accident, compared with three percent of drivers. Pedestrian crossings were the scene of 21 percent of accidents, followed by junctions (14 percent).
Tax stand-off with France no impediment to plot The Hollywood Reporter is close to breathless with news that producer Pierre-Ange Le Pogam has acquired Grace of Monaco, a script by Arash Amel that sets Grace Kelly’s personal story amid the politics of the time, in the vein of “The King’s Speech.” The focus of the movie will be a sixmonth period in 1962 when Princess Grace stood up for the Principality in a showdown with France over the issue of Monaco being an alleged tax haven. Le Pogam won the script in a competitive situation, and the project is already generating heated interest
from filmmakers itching to tell Kelly¹s tale, the Reporter said.The $15 million budget is in place, but who will play the Princess?
Mad Men’s January Jones, a hot tip for Grace Kelly role
Two-part TV drama on life of Princess Grace Munich-based producer-distributor Beta Film is working on a new twopart drama on the life of Princess Grace Kelly. The production, which has the simple working title Grace Kelly, is being readied for 2012, with Italian net RAI, German net ZDF and Spanish net Telecinco already committed. An actress is yet to be cast for the role of the Princess.
Palestinian blogger wins Special Mention at Lindh Awards Palestinian blogger and writer from the Gaza Strip, Asma Al Ghoul, received the Honorary Anna Lindh Mediterranean Journalist Award for 2011 in Monaco. Ms Al Ghoul’s blog, (http://asmagaza.wordpress. com/) tackles political and social life in the Palestinian Territory and the Middle East. She was given the award for commitment to freedom of expression and her courage in facing repression, said a press
release from the Foundation. The Anna Lindh Mediterranean Journalist Awards were presented by Prince Albert II and the International Award Jury at a ceremony in the Principality, bringing together media and civil society from the two shores of the Mediterranean region. Also among the prize recipients was Mohamed El-Dahshan. The Egyptian writer who was at the forefront of the Egyptian revolution was
recognised for his exceptional writings on social change in Egypt, published in many international publications, and which spread the voice of young Egyptian activists all over the world.
Balanced budget by 2014, says Minister of State The aim of the government is to return to a balanced budget in three years time, Minister of State Michel Roger said. “The crisis of the euro area could affect us. We must exercise caution in returning to fiscal discipline and put an end to a deficit which tends to become structural and weakens us.” Mr Roger said that in recent years spending had become out of control, and in order to rectify this trend more discipline was needed. He added that every department of Government must be able to manage a cut of five prevent of expenditure. PAGE 7 MONACO LIFE – NOVEMBER 2011
It is mainly the areas of discretionary spending that will see the most belt-tightening next year, namely culture and international cooperation. There is some good news. In 2012 the fiscal deficit will be 40% smaller than in 2011. The total state budget will be €833 million, with receipts expected to be the same. The more modest deficit in 2012 will arise with the earmarking of capital expenditure funds, particularly for the new hospital.
easyJet to upgrade Nice as regional hub The low-cost UK airline easyJet is opening two new regional bases, in Nice and Toulouse. The announcement came hot on the heels of Air France saying that it will open a regional base in Marseille next spring. easyJet, the number-two airline in France, said the move will “increase opportunities for routes from both airports.” “These new capabilities will allow us to open 10 new routes from those cities, which should mean half a million extra passengers a year,” said François Bacchetta, easyJet Chief Executive Officer for France.
From Nice, easyJet will provide 250 flights a week with 5 new destinations in France and Europe and from Toulouse, it will operate 140 flights per week with 5 additional links to the province and Europe. The low-cost continuing its policy of grid areas in developing on “inter-market” which, he said, is “far from saturated.” easyJet says its starting price will be “cheaper” than those of Air France. The market is now awaiting developments from Ryanair, which concentrates its southern French operations in Marseille.
easyJet is also adding flights to Naples and Venice from Nice, starting in spring next year. The two Italian cities will be served by three flights each week, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Flights from Nice to Toulouse, Nantes and Bordeaux were announced a few weeks ago as part of the low-cost carrier’s strategy of using Nice as a regional hub, rather than mainly as a destination from UK airports. easyJet is close on the heels of Air France as the dominant carrier in Nice, the second-busiest airport in France.
More UK flights added for the winter season Nice Airport is offering a total of 64 destinations this winter season, a decrease of three since last year. There is good news for those travelling to and from the UK, with BMI adding 14 flights to Heathrow. BA operates 35 flights a week to London airports, including City, and Easyjet has frequent flights to Gatwick and other UK destinations, including Bristol and Liverpool. Geneva will benefit from two new daily flights with Swiss. A number of North African destinations have been cancelled, due to the political situation.
Nice Côte d’Azur airport recorded 924,473 passengers in October, an increase of 6.4% (7.9% for international) from October 2010. The month saw its fastest growth since 2007, despite the Air France strikes. Since the beginning of the year, traffic reached 9,151,510 passengers (+9.1%). In the meantime, the battle between easyJet and Air France has intensified. The French flag carrier by the end of October had carried 2,254,000 passengers (+2.5%), while the low cost carrier had 2,013,000 million passengers (+18.6%) compared to the same period of 2010. It is now expected that easyJet will overtake Air France by the end of the year.
Born in Monaco, stranded in former Soviet Union A heart-warming report of a Monacoborn woman,Yvonne, being ‘found’ in Azerbaijan by a reporter from the International War and Peace Reporting organisation has been doing the rounds of the world’s press. Yvonne was born in Monaco on July 1, 1928, to an Italian father and a French mother. It isn’t clear when the young Yvonne left the Principality to live near Lyon, but in 1944 she met and fell in love with an Azerbaijani resistance fighter.
They married and moved to the Soviet Union where living conditions at the time, especially in rural areas, were appalling. Her husband died soon afterwards, and according to local custom Yvonna – her new name – married her dead husband’s cousin. Over the years a number of attempts
to visit France have been frustrated by red tape. On one occasion she was told she was free to leave, but would have to leave her son behind. She now has 30 grandchildren and 22 great grand-children, but her wish to return to France remains as strong as ever.
Yvonne (Joanna) Botteau Jacques at her home in Murguzalli. (Photo: Sabuhi Mammadli) and as a young woman.
Jailed UK con-man claimed Monaco connection A so-called lord who stole vast sums of money through an upfront fees scam has been jailed in
MONACO LIFE – NOVEMBER 2011
London. Edward Davenport made regular appearances in the social pages and in the Rich Lists of various UK newspapers. His own website says: “Davenport is one of Britain’s most flamboyant entrepreneurs, a businessman renowned for taking chances and living a life of adventure. A man who has earned his own wealth, Davenport enjoys the rewards his successes bring while remaining utterly dedicated to his businesses. He lives the high life in Monaco and London, rubbing shoulders with celebrity friends such as Jean-Claude Van Damme, Pink and Fifty Cent. He has a jet, beautiful
homes and a collection of sports cars which would make any man jealous – including a Ferrari 360 Spider, an Aston Martin Virage Volante, a Rolls Royce Phantom and a Lamborghini.” Apparently not without his own substantial fortune, he also claims to have set up the Davenport Trust in Monaco. He was sentenced to eight years in prison several weeks ago after being found guilty of cheating scores of people out of up-front fees for arranging multimillion pound loans. A London judge imposed an order restricting reporting. The gagging order was lifted in mid-October.
A Serious Track Car which is Radical Man Jean-Paul Goodwin, Monaco Life’s motoring correspondent, is introduced to the fastest street legal car in the world. After being wowed by the Radicals last month in Monza, I was further amazed to learn that these cars are being distributed in Monaco & France, with the H.Q. being based just 30 minutes from Monaco. Couple this with rumours of a French Radical Cup, prompted me investigate further. For those of you not already familiar with Radical Cars, they are a British made hardcore, 2-seater, open racing car, which believe it or not can be supplied in road legal trim. (see below)
The market for track cars that can be driven to-and-from the track is fairly mature but - and once you’ve seen the stats - this is truly in a whole new league. The Stats The Radical smashed the Nordschliefe lap record for a production car. It is available with an RPE ultra light 2.7 litre N/A V8 developing an astronomical 450bhp. The aero is so good, more than 650kg of downforce is generated, in a total package tipping just over 650kg,
The ‘tame’ road legal Radical SL’s - only 300bhp
which translates to a car which can theoretically be driven upside down. The Results After putting a race spec version through its paces around the beautiful - and safe - Castellet (Paul Ricard F1) circuit, it was simply embarrassing how quick this ‘Scalectric’ car is. We zipped around the outside of Scuderia’s, brushed GT3-RS cups away down the straight, and even undertook a Ferrari Challenge running on slicks.
The mechanics and the business partners of Radical France Racing (Romain, Franck and Willy)
The Team Apart from the sheer performance, these cars and their owners form part of a cracking team. The mechanics watch with enthusiasm, checking tyre pressures, downloading statistics on their laptops and offering useful advice on how to maximise the cars’ seemingly limitless potential. The owners and drivers - like the mechanics - are friendly, forthcoming and a passionate bunch of car
enthusiasts. Most of them have been there and done it with much more expensive and bigger brand cars, then realised how much more fun and speed you can get out of these Radicals. The cars are stripped down, checked, packed up and transported to each track as part of the package. So no need for a trailer or truck.You simply turn up at the weekend, and your mechanics have your car ready to go.
Conclusion With cars starting at a mere €70,000, this is a very accessible and fun team to be part of. If you’re looking for the next buzz or to have some serious fun, then why not join Romain and his mad ‘friends’ at Radical, only 30 minutes drive from Monaco. For more information please email me email@example.com or Romain firstname.lastname@example.org.
Radical Heaven, spot the road going car?
Another blistering lap time set by another Radical
MONACO LIFE – NOVEMBER 2011
When art becomes a life By Jeff Daniels
Behind every shop window lies a personal story. But this is no ordinary shop window, and no ordinary tale, made all the more interesting because by the end of the year Monaco Fine Arts in the Sporting d’Hiver will have closed its elegant doors for the very last time. Monaco Fine Arts has been an institution in Monte-Carlo for 35 years, and the man behind it has become one of Monaco’s legendary figures. Mike McKee first came to Monte-Carlo to drive in the 1961 Junior Grand Prix, behind the wheel of a Lotus 20. With typical modesty he points out that he wasn’t by any means the first past the chequered flag, but he liked what he saw of Monaco and vowed to return one day.
He sold his interest in two art galleries in London in the midseventies and took a lease on a shop in the Sporting d’Hiver that had previously served as a cloakroom for the health spa – a storeroom in the gallery leads to an underground passage from the Hotel de Paris, so patrons wouldn’t be disturbed by venturing into the open air. Shortly after Mike took over the space, in 1976, Sotheby’s moved in opposite very soon afterwards, and together Monaco Fine Arts and the auctioneers made up the total retail presence in the fine Art Deco building that now faces the wrath of SBM’s wrecking ball. The cinema, since moved underground, occupied the rest of the ground floor and there was no way through to the other side of the building.
Now 78, Mike has decided to sell the key back to SBM, but it is with a heavy heart. “I can’t imagine life without an art gallery. I’ve had one for 50 years.” He adds that this summer has been good for trade, but the previous three years were difficult.”
All images © Molly Brown 2011
The clientele has changed dramatically over the 35 years. “At the start it was mainly Americans, English, French, some Dutch, but mostly Americans, and a few Italians. Then it moved more towards Italy, then slowly the US market went away when the dollar went soft in the 80s. Then it was the Arabs for fifteen to twenty years. Many of them were ultra-prominent.” “It’s been a very, very interesting life. Recently, of course, it has been the Russians. What we would have done without them in the last few years, I don’t know. Some are charming, and some of them are the rudest people in the world.” “There’s always something happening in Monte-Carlo, even in February, when all the restaurants in places like Beaulieu and Cap-Ferrat are closed.” Not only has the clientele changed over the years, but the art itself. “Until 10 years ago I had a lot of nineteenth century paintings. At one point I had five Renoirs. Nowadays people are looking for colour. Noone wants to live in the sun and then look at north European landscapes with cows wallowing in brown rivers. The artists whose work is on show include Russian, Spanish, French, English, Belgian, Dutch and Polish. Many of the artists have become firm friends. Not all of them, but the vast majority.” Very soon Mike McKee will bid a big farewell. It will be the Christmas Exhibition: “Our last after more than 30 years. I intend to make big reductions in the prices. I want to sell them. It’s a way of saying ‘farewell.’ ” Mike will have more time for his grandchildren, but the closure of Monaco Fine Arts - and the departure of the man who made it all happen - will leave a void impossible to fill. Monte-Carlo will miss Mike McKee’s gallery, just as Mike will miss his beloved gallery.
MONACO LIFE – NOVEMBER 2011
Above: The Gallery. “I love to walk past my window” – Mike McKee.
Business briefs Specific tax system at core of Monaco’s future
Bedrock opens Monaco office
Jose Badia, the Government’s Counsellor for Foreign Relations, has confirmed that Monaco’s lack of a tax on income will continue to be central to the Principality’s place in Europe. Speaking at CREM, the Club for Foreign Residents of Monaco, Mr Badia said that while all of the microstates in Europe have had talks with the European Union concerning the basis for future relations, each one is different. “It is important to maintain our particularity while at the same time trying to find solutions to the small problems that occur.” During questions to Mr Badia, one member of the audience referred to the crisis in the euro-zone and suggested that if the currency were to collapse, Monaco might adopt the Swiss franc.
Bedrock, an investment house with offices in London and Geneva, has opened a new branch in Monaco as demand for family office services increases in the European principality, the company said in a press release. “Monaco alone holds more than €100 billion of private wealth deposited in local private banks and probably more in institutions elsewhere,” Ariel Arazi, managing partner and co-founder of Bedrock said. Bedrock Monaco, which opened in September, is headed by new managing director and partner Jihad Tabbara, who has over 24 years of private banking experience. Between 2000 and 2011, he directed HSBC Private Bank Monaco’s investment operations in the Middle East and north Africa. He also previously worked for Republic National Bank of New York for 13 years before it was acquired by HSBC at the end of 1999.
Qatari stake in SBM now close to six percent
QD Hotel & Property Investment Ltd. Of Qatar now owns 5.94 percent of Societe des bains de mer, according to the Financial Markets Authority (AMF) The company, registered in Malta, is controlled by the Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, which is owned 100 percent by the Government of Qatar. QD Hotel & Property crossed the five-percent shareholder threshold on October 14 and now has 1,078,390 shares representing 5.94 percent of SBM’s share capital. QD Hotel & Property Investment also holds 80 percent of a limited liability Monegasque company, a joint venture with a capital of five million euros.
Rowland family bank takes over Dexia in Monaco In Monaco last month recentlyestablished Banque Havilland completed its acquisition of Dexia Private Bank Monaco from Dexia Banque Internationale à Luxembourg. The acquisition is part of Banque Havilland’s strategy to develop an international private banking group aimed at ultra high net worth individuals, Havilland said. Jonathan Rowland, its director, said Monaco “is the perfect location for us to grow and drive our business forward. In Monaco we have direct access to the people who we feel will really appreciate what Banque Havilland has to offer.” The new subsidiary will be renamed Banque Havilland (Monaco).
Monaco firm invents portable water desalinator A portable water desalinator has been developed by Monaco company Eaunergie.The SeaMob has important roles to play in military applications, in mobile camping, and in humanitarian aid situations, said Mehdi Hadj Abed. The machine can produce in one hour 30 litres of purified and salt-free water for every 300 litres treated. The system operates on 24v electrical power or solar panels. At present, the SeaMob can not deal with seaborne pollutants such as oil. The plan is to merchandise the SeaMob at a price of €6,500. Eaunergie has been operating the system for several years at its premises below the Rainier III auditorium, and is now looking for investors.
BA to fly again from Gatwick to Nice
Altana Wealth opens up to new investors
British Airways has announced a new route to Nice from Gatwick. Flights will be available from March 2012, three times a day. The carrier previously served Nice from Gatwick up until March 2008, and currently flies up to seven times-daily from Heathrow and daily from London City. easyJet flies from Gatwick to Nice four times a day during the summer, and usually twice a day during the winter.
Trafalgar Asset Management co-founder Lee Robinson’s new firm is set to launch its maiden hedge fund. Monaco-based Altana Wealth has been running its Sovereign Diversity Fund with $25 million of Robinson’s capital. But the firm is set to open the fund to external investors. Robinson founded Altana earlier this year after Trafalgar liquidated his Catalyst Fund. Altana runs a global macro strategy investing in sovereign debt, one that he had hoped to launch at Trafalgar until he dropped those plans due to opposition from Trafalgar investors and Goldman Sachs’ Petershill Fund, which owns a stake in the firm.
Estonia sets example on e-transactions
Mecaplast targets Serbian car market
Michel Dotta, Chairman of the CDE, Monaco’s Chamber of Commerce, has urged political and business leaders in the Principality to adopt a similar approach to Estonia in developing e-government and e-services. The Baltic state has been the front-runner in adopting the Internet to public services, and now nearly 90% of the population is equipped with an E-Card, a smart card that acts as an identity card and electronic signature, enabling the holder to not only carry out banking operations but also to vote.
Mécaplast, the Monaco-based automotive components manufacturer, has started construction of a new plant in Belgrade, Serbia. The company is planning to launch the new plastics interior car parts facility on a site in the outskirts of the town of Zrenjanin by 2012. A workforce of 120 is expected to be employed by Mécaplast, which has a presence in China, India, Mexico, Brazil and Poland.
UK’s tax investigators target affluent Commodity traders are next on the hit-list for the UK’s Revenue & Customs service, together with owners of properties abroad, the service said. A task force of 200 investigators is already in place to “identify wealthy tax avoiders,” the service said. The ‘affluent unit’ will look at the tax affairs of people earning more than £150,000, but excluding the wealthiest 5,000 who have at least £20 million in assets, which are already handled MONACO LIFE – NOVEMBER 2011
by the services ‘high net-worth unit.’ The setting-up of the unit follows hot on the heels of the announcement by Chief Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander at the Liberal Democrat conference in September that the search was on for “the small minority who don’t pay what they owe.” The affluent unit is expected to produce £560 million over the next few years, although this
is a small part of the £7 billion annually the Revenue is aiming to raise. Next on the list will be commodity traders, and later next year holders of offshore accounts. Trusts and estates will also come under scrutiny. The Revenue said it will use sophisticated date mining techniques to identify holders of assets who appear not to be able to afford them on the taxes they pay.
Making the deal not as easy as it looks The world of corporate transactions, mergers and acquisitions can look quite simple to outsiders, but actually it’s quite a unique and intense event, Gert Van der Linden of donedeal says. donedeal is a corporate finance boutique. “There’s a lot of emotion involved throughout and before the process, and this underlines the need for advisors as they can de-emotionalise at every point in the process.” Companies and principals need to be very well prepared for every phase of the process - going to market, deal-making, due diligence, and closing. “ That’s why we never wait till late in the process to come to the conclusion that the company is not prepared for sale. In our model, we do a rigorous screening and sanity check before the start of the process. If needed, we will streamline the company, structure or re-structure it, or do a turnaround if the situation so requires. We will do this because we want to minimize the risk of anything going wrong during the process, but also because investors and buyers are looking beside a good business opportunity for high quality investments. This means that the decision to invest into a company, or buy it, is also driven by the overall professional
level of the company, its management and organization. We have seen that there’s much more realism and demand for quality, and this means the investors and buyers are less interested in opportunities where a lot of work needs to be done. Our close network of private equity firms allows us to employ much more targeted processes, resulting in more competitive processes with quality investors.” Next to developing an in-depth understanding of the company and its value drivers, donedeal’s model of being close and trusted advisors. We act as a true “consigliere”, supporting our client at every step of the process, clarify its dynamics, put positions and tactics into perspective. We feel it’s important to know what makes our client “tick”, so that we can approach negotiations during the deal-making and closing phases more creatively and can put emphasis on the elements that are important to our client, hence maximizing value. For many people, allowing investors
into their company, or selling their company is a once-in-a-lifetime experience which obviously can be very stressful and emotional. At donedeal, we try to make the process as smooth as possible, strictly managing the process, while limiting the myriad of things that can go wrong. Very importantly, the quality investors referred to earlier, also means those investors and buyers with the right profile and with whom the right “chemistry” can be established.
MONACO LIFE – OCTOBER 2011
Real Estate Property sales recover some ground, despite crisis
“It’s a very strong result considering today’s serious economic worries,” Alexander Kraft, head of Sotherby’s International Realty France and Monaco told the Guardian daily. “In fact, it seems that the eurozone crisis and the slowdown in the global economy has not had much of an effect of the luxury housing market in France… Of course some buyers have hesitated, but the large majority have followed through to a sale. Generally speaking we can say that buyers have become less worried compared with previous years.”
Many of the sales were second homes, in areas like the Perigord, Biarritz, La Baule, Dinard and Evian as well as traditional locations like Paris and its surroundings, and the Cote d’Azur. Sotheby’s said that for the remaining three months of the year, it already had lined up more than 30 transactions worth, all of which were worth more than €1m. Considering all factors, we feel that 2011 will end in beauty,” said Mr Kraft. Trend confirmed by JCC Irene Luke, of JCC Properties Monaco, which represents Savills in the Principality, said: “We can definitely say that the market for good properties in the best locations does seem to be showing signs of
life, especially where large habitable surface areas are concerned. There have been several high-end sales, over €20million, so far this year which would indicate that the top-end of the market is still buoyant despite the crisis. There is still a market for large properties in the best areas where vendors are willing to be a little more realistic on asking price. Lower down the scale, sales are still occurring but again at prices which really do reflect the current market. What is encouraging is that Monaco is still attracting investors. And the rental market is good also: large apartments are much sought after and go very quickly. © Ed Wright Images - all rights reserved
Sotheby’s in France and Monaco has reported strong activity in sales, “despite the fall of world stock exchanges in August 2011 and worrying international economic results and the European and American debt crisis”. The auctioneers boast of having carried out 130 sales for a total sum of €113m.
Major sale from the Safra collection
otheby’s has announced a sale from the collection of Lily and Edmond Safra, focusing on European furniture, Russian works of art, silver, bookbindings, and 19th century paintings. The sale at Sotheby’s New York is expected to bring in over $40 million and will last four days, from October 18 through the 21. Safra was a successful banker and one of the world’s wealthiest men who died tragically in 1999 in bizarre circumstances following a fire in his luxurious home in Monaco. Sotheby’s previously sold works from the Safra collection six years ago. Sotheby’s chairman Robin Woodhead said: “It’s a great privilege to offer works from one of the finest collections assembled in the 20th century, Lily and Edmond Safra’s collecting passion was directed towards the most important works of art, where beauty and rarity were the cornerstones. True collectors, they brought together only the best and created magical settings that were as comfortable as they were refined.” The auction will be held at Sotheby’s (1334 York Ave. at 72nd St.).
Folon paintings valued at €2.5 million
he total value of a cache of paintings stolen five years ago from Paola Folon of Monaco has been put at €2.5 million, the website artinfo.com reported. The paintings were discovered in May after a routine stop of a car driven by two Italians, aged 46 and 50, near Milan. A number of works were found in the vehicle, and a later search of a flat in Albenga led to the discovery of two painting by Andy Warhol, a Léger painting from 1935, a work by Italian painter Virginio Ghiringhelli, a Balthus portrait, and other works. A 36-year-old Romanian woman believed to be an accomplice was also arrested. Paola Folon is the daughter of the prominent Italian dealer Gino Ghiringhelli and the widow of Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon. PHOTO: Jean-Michel Folon
Magnificent duplex apartment, located in Monte-Carlo. swimming pool Approx 240sqm Roof terrace of approx. 385sqm. 3 bedrooms 3 bathrooms Studio Cellar Closed double garages and 2 closed single garages Price on request.
Cigar Evening at Davidoff A demonstration of the work of a torcedor, a roller of cigars, and a tasting of cigars provided an excellent mix at the Davidoff shop at the Metropole Centre in midOctober. Among those attending were Georges Marsan, the mayor of Monaco, and Gerard Spinelli, third from left and second from right respectively in picture at bottom right, the mayor of Beausoleil, and many members of the Monte-Carlo Epicure Club and the Monaco Cigar Club. The evening was made complete by unlimited champagne and exquisite nibbles www.davidoff.com. For more information about Monaco Cigar Club, please email email@example.com or www.monacocigarclub.com
Left: Members of Monaco Cigar Club
Great jewellery collectors make lunchtime theme Lunch & Arts, the event created by the Five Stars Agency, held its second edition at the Sem Art Gallery in Monaco. The theme was “Famous Jewellery Collectors,” presented by Alexandra Rhodes of Sotheby’s, and the conference was followed by lunch.
Famous Jewellery Collectors, presented by Alexandra Rhodes of Sotheby’s
Inna Maier, David Joseph (Bochic), Sandrine Garbagnati (Organiser)
Roberto Tucci (Bochic), Sandrine Garbagnati (Organiser), Douglas Walker (Sotheby’s), Alexandra Rhodes (Sotheby’s), Mark Armstrong (Sotheby’s)
Showcase of Jewels by Bochic MONACO LIFE – NOVEMBER 2011
Lunch PAGE 21
Air Partner : Private Jets offer the ‘Best of the Best’ in travel solutions Ben Stein, lawyer, writer, actor and economist, once famously said of private jet travel: “No one who has tasted that kind of life can be expected to let it go while he still has fingernails to clutch the cabin door…it’s so good you shouldn’t even try it once.” This famous US personality told readers of The New York Times: “A route that is torture for commercial travellers – even in first class – is paradise to the passenger of a private jet.” For many of today’s celebrities, sports stars and business travellers, private jets offer the “best of the best” in modern travel. From bespoke schedules, lavish terminals, and state-of-the-art aircraft, the benefits of private jet travel abound.
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Plus, with boarding time taking as little as ten minutes, private jet hire is the most efficient form of travel available. And for today’s traveller, more free time is simply priceless. The two most cost-effective forms of private jet hire are undoubtedly ad hoc charter and the JetCard scheme. With an ad hoc charter and the JetCard scheme the price agreed is the price you pay based on aircraft type, flight distance and length of the trip. Issues that arise in the case of outright or fractional jet ownership - such as membership fees, management charges, acquisition costs, maintenance and crew concerns – are non-existent. Ad hoc hire is the easiest way to gain access to any private jet, at any time, and to any destination in the world. It is certainly the most flexible. With Air Partner’s JetCard, which appeals to those who know they will be making several trips in short succession and want to pre-plan their budgeting, the customer buys flight hours in advance, typically 25, for travel in a chosen private jet category. Aircraft availability is guaranteed.
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Air Partner T: +377 97 97 96 77 E: Monaco@airpartner.com W: www.airpartner.com
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MONACO LIFE – OCTOBER 2011
Spotlight A Profile of Guy Thomas Levy-Soussan By Juliet Cullinan
“Do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. Find what you love. You will know it when you find it. Don’t settle.” Steve Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) The recent sad death of Steve Jobs leads me to reflect that in our lives. I am inspired by people who are driven by a passion that inspires all around them and who have the power to change lives. I am fortunate to have met and worked with one such example here in Monaco. Guy Thomas Levy-Soussan has masterminded
major transactions on Wall Street, built-up his own finance boutique, successfully sold it, headed up the international group of a major bank, and is now the co-head of private banking at the prestigious J. Safra bank in Monaco. Throughout all of this, Levy-Soussan has respected his intuition, desired the finest and refused to settle. His professional career has been a whirlwind of success from its early beginnings in 1990 auditing major French companies; onto the Mergers & Acquisitions department of Nomura London before moving to New York into the Financial Asset Structured Transactions group with Bear Stearns. After several years on Wall Street, he created a marketing and financial “ boutique” specialising in crossborder deals with European manufacturing companies in Manhattan. He sold his company to one of its trading partners in 1997 and returned to the banking industry as Head of European Private Banking in North America at HSBC Americas (Formerly Republic National Bank of New York), in 1999. In 2002 he returned to his hometown, Monaco, to join HSBC Private Bank Monaco
before moving to his current role at Bank J. Safra Monaco. His boundless creative energy is expressed in his clubs and societies as co-founder and General Secretary of MCVA (Monaco Venture Capital & Private Equity Association), President of the Wine & Business Club of Monaco,Vice-President of CREM (Club des Résidents Étranger de Monaco) and member of AMAF (Commission des Activités de Gestion). It was in New York that he discovered the magic world of wine. He launched the Monaco branch of the Wine & Business Club in 2009. In 1991, Alain Marty had founded the Wine & Business Club, which currently has 2,500 members in Paris, Reims, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Genève, Monte-Carlo, Tours and Strasbourg. In Monaco the tastings are held in the haloed Caves of the Hôtel de Paris. Entering these cellars dug into
Left: Guy Thomas Levy-Soussan
the rock, one feel as though one is stepping back in time to another generation, to a period where time can be taken for the appreciation of the arts. Rows of icon dusty wines are matured, and avenues are home to the wooden boxes featuring great Growths. The avenues are named after distinguished parcels of some of the most valuable vineyards in France. They are the biggest, most sumptuous in the world. This is a cellar where wine has to be ordered the day before, where bins reserve special vintages for Monaco’s grand occasions, where the SBM holds more Champagne than is sold in the rest of France and where the love of wine can be touched and appreciated. It is in the hosting of these tastings that Levy-Soussan expresses his true character; his fine precision, attention to detail and acceptance of the very best. His knowledge of wine has allowed him to select distinguished wineries to present their wines, to introduce and interact with Chateaux owners during the tasting, to question and entice the knowledge and passion from each presenter, while, at the same time, having the gregarious ability to know, to talk and to interact with all his guests. His deep love and knowledge of the vine has enabled him to invite guest speakers from leading wine houses. Vintages of unique wines are paired with a carefully-designed dégustation menu created by Franck Cerutti, Excecutive Chef of the Louis XV of
MONACO LIFE – NOVEMBER 2011
the Hôtel de Paris in Monte-Carlo under the guidance of Michelin Three Star Chef Alain Ducasse. It is with the backdrop of rare grands vins and haute cuisine that guests interact, devise projects and create new ventures. The wines are expressed in a dynamic yet convivial way so epicurean members can learn, appreciate and interact with each other.
Levy-Soussan was recently inducted to the exclusive club Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, (Brotherhood of Knights of Wine-Tasting Cups). This exclusive club of Burgundy enthusiasts dates back to 1703 as the Ordre de la Boisson (Order of the Drink). It aims to promote Burgundian wine cuisine, folklore and culture, hosting events in the 12 Century Château du Clos de Vougeot in Burgundy.
In 2010 Pierre Luton, cellar master of Château d’Yquem and Cheval Blanc presented his wines. With wines of this gravitas, prestige and beauty, the evening was sure to be a success. The historical links between Bordeaux and Monte Carlo are intertwined. Until the 1930s, the cellars of the Hôtel de Paris were authorized to bottle the great Cheval Blanc wines of Bordeaux. Today 24 vintages of this great property together with 37 of Château d’Yquem are maturing in the deep, cool cellars of the Hôtel de Paris. The oldest Château d’Yquem available for sale dates from 1949, and an even older vintage 1890, can be found kept under close guard in the cellar’s museum.
Knowing how to make a difference and having the ability to do so has been a theme in Levy-Soussan’s life. In the words of Steve Jobs, “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”
As President of the Wine & Business Club of Monaco Levy-Soussan is able to dovetail his business networking in a social appreciation of wine and food. The evening conveys the mystic of wine as a catalyst in life’s great moments of pleasure, appreciation, sharing of friends, fine gastronomy and business networking.
Contact information:Virginie Servant, Tel: +377-98-06-88-19
Forthcoming major events: December 15: Gala evening. February 2: with Marco Piccinini, Government Counsellor for Finance. March 29: with Christine Benard of Mecaplast, and a special surprise evening on May 10, Wine Business Club Third anniversary. Wine & Business Club Monaco, www.winebusinessclub.com
Hotel de Paris, Email address : firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.montecarloresort. com/!Wine-Business-Club-MonteCarlorhtml © Juliet Cullinan 2011
Frankie meets Cinderella By Liz Lundy Frankie is no ordinary clown. This year, the Chaplinesque funny man is concocting no less an adventure than a Cinderella musical pantomime. Frankie, of course, is the red-nosed mascot of the children’s charity, L’Association Monégasque Enfants de Frankie. And, Cinderella is the musical pantomime, especially written for Monaco, that London producer/director Julius Green is bringing to the Grimaldi Forum on November 23rd to aid the charity. He brings with him a professional cast – all volunteering their talents – that includes Skylar Summer as Cinderella, Corbin Bleu (from ‘High School Musical’) as the Prince and Stella Star as the fairy godmother. The much-loved fairy tale promises to be an explosion of music – classical and contemporary – dance, humour and youthful energy. Stella Star will not only sing, she will fly while Cinderella will be transported in a real horse-drawn carriage. The ballet dancers – 100 of them – are from the Rosella Hightower School. Naturally there will be no dearth of clowning and clowns. Cinderella will be staged three times on the 23rd: two afternoon performances for Frankie’s 4,000 children and a 18:30 repeat for the general public. Each year, along with year-long work with Monaco and area underprivileged children, the charity, presided over by Francien Giraudi, stages a mega Christmas event for the children. But
this year’s stage spectacular is the most ambitious yet. The reason is simple, as Mme Giraudi explains.
“...poverty has increased in many families, we have had to develop our help substantially…we have walls to push…stress, illness, fear, the suffering of children in sub-standard living conditions.” Tickets to the performance are 10 euros for children and 30 euros for adults. Reservations at 99 99 30 00. Wednesday the 23rd is also Red Noses Day in Monaco and environs, the day when the bulbous red appendage, emblematic of the Fankie mascot, will be appended to two-and four-wheeled vehicles. It may be purchased for two euros in pharmacies, news kiosks and post offices from November 8th. And the fun doesn’t end there; a Cinderella benefit ball is planned at the Café Llorca on November 24th when guests will have a chance to meet and mingle with the cast. Tickets to the ball are 180 euros.
About Frankie Francien Giraudi created the Association Monégasque Enfants de Frankie in 1997 to come to the aid of sick and underprivileged children in Monaco and the PACA Region. The Association has, from the beginning, worked at creating a chain of solidarity. It collaborates with social workers, the DASS and regional hospitals, together with more than one hundred associations whose aim it is to help needy children. It also comes to the financial aid of families in need and welcomes handicapped children so that they may benefit from Frankie outings - like the Tennis Masters and Grand Prix - offered to children during the year. The image that identifies it all is Frankie of the wild red wig, yellow hat, enormous hands and feet and startling red proboscis who colours the world of the underprivileged with the best of all music - the sound of children’s laughter.
Frankie, always hugely popular
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MONACO LIFE – NOVEMBER 2011
Events Jelly fish BAM netsEvent now in place Forthcoming in December: (Traditionalapereis. Decupiem Christmas Haberferet; Lunch on eto ia? Ditus Thursday December nonsulis15inatnonem L’Auberge terfeconique de la Croix dufur. Pape, Hortemquam above Eze Village nihilii tena, on theP. Grande Nicestiumus Corniche Mariursules starting int? at Nihicio catilin temqua 12:30. Welcome drink, teme starter, iam roast intuam with turkey inat, trimmings, Catquast grario, and dessert, cul vit dit atus cores followed by coffee publintrit. and mince pies, wine and water. Coach transport Decupiem is also included apereis. in the Haberferet; price. There eto is limited ia? Ditus space nonsulis only sointononem avoid terfeconique fur.book disappointment Hortemquam early. Price nihilii for
members tena, P. Nicestiumus €40 and forMariursules non-members int? Nihicio catilin form €50. Booking temqua wasteme enclosed iam intuam with theinat, November Catquastissue grario, of BAM cul vit dit atusand News cores can publintrit. be found at http://www.bam-monaco.org Decupiem apereis. Haberferet; eto ia? Ditus nonsulis in nonem terfeconique fur. Hortemquam nihilii tena, P. Nicestiumus Mariursules int? Nihicio catilin temqua teme iam intuam inat, Catquast grario, cul vit
dit atus cores publintrit. Decupiem apereis. Haberferet; eto ia? Ditus nonsulis in nonem terfeconique fur. Hortemquam nihilii tena, P. Nicestiumus Mariursules int? Nihicio catilin temqua teme iam intuam inat, Catquast grario, cul vit dit atus cores publintrit.
Jelly fish nets now Other November events in in place Monaco:
Decupiem apereis. Haberferet; eto ia? Ditus nonsulis in nonem terfeconique CREM is holding fur. aHortemquam Members’ Cocktail nihilii tena, P. Nicestiumus evening every Wednesday. Mariursules int? Nihicio catilin temqua teme iam intuam inat, Catquast grario, cul vit dit atus cores publintrit. Decupiem apereis. Haberferet; eto ia? Ditus nonsulis in nonem terfeconique fur. Hortemquam nihilii tena, P. Nicestiumus Mariursules int? Nihicio catilin temqua teme iam intuam inat, Catquast grario, cul vit dit atus cores publintrit.
“niu eo, cullartum aus, quo tanum cret imis, vastilint. Vivessa nul hilibusatium vertem, nis, C. Ivehem dius, nonsula cere novehem ta popublicii”
Jelly fish nets now in place Celine and Gianluca Braggiotti, producers Decupiem apereis. Haberferet; eto ia? Ditus nonsulis in nonem terfeconique fur. Hortemquam nihilii tena, P. Nicestiumus Mariursules int? Nihicio catilin temqua teme iam intuam inat, Catquast grario, cul vit dit atus cores publintrit.
of Tenuta Mazzolino wines, and Poppy Hall of Belle Epoque Wines, at an evening of festive wine tasting at CREM.
Other November events in Monaco: NOVEMBER 2011 There will be plenty of roast turkey and all the fixings at MonacoUSA’s Thanksgiving Dinner, Thursday, November 24 at Fusion On The Port. Everyone - members, nonmembers and friends of all nationalities - are invited to share in America’s favourite food holiday. The meal will include an all -you-can-eat buffet and open bar with wine, beer and soft drinks for a total of €45 per adult, €20 per child. It all starts at 19:30 and here’s what you get! Roast Turkey, homemade stuffing and gravy, plus • corn on the cob • cornbread • cranberry sauce creamed onions • sweet potato • green peas • apple, pumpkin & pecan pies & brownies, • free tombola with great prizes! Please reserve early by sending a check payable to Starsn’bars , address 6, quai Antoine 1er, Monaco. Mark ‘Thanksgiving’ on the cheque please. MonLifeInterNettadv
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MONACO LIFE – NOVEMBER 2011
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Money can’t buy you love, love
Just how many billionaires live in Monaco is very difficult to know. Estimates range from two to forty-five. Let me come clean and make that three to forty-six, because it is a little-known fact that I, too, am a billionaire. Like many of my fellow money-bags, I try to hide the fact, because otherwise I would be expected to buy every round of drinks. There. I feel so much better now I’m out of the closet, but don’t expect me to put my hand in my pocket every time I see you at Sass Café. Our numbers fluctuate as some of us fall off the gilded perch. There’s no avoiding the final breath-squeezing embrace of the grim reaper, however many flavours of ice cream we’ve invented. Others have a less glorious exit from our ranks, descending to the level of mere millionaires as the global crisis bites. My fortune remains intact. It is so vast I can’t spend it quickly enough. When I started writing this nonsense I was worth an estimated 80,867,422 euros. By the time I finish, in about two minutes, I will be worth 80,869,538 euros, or is that my telephone number here in the Principality? Money is of very little value. How many of my wives really loved me for myself? How many of the young Russian ladies I meet by accident find my conversation as fascinating as they say it is? I try to hide my wealth, but it’s very difficult. Perhaps it’s the private jet, the helicopter, the otherwise empty office block on blvd des Moulins. I try to hide behind the façade of a penniless journalist, but it’s very hard. Not even the battered too-short green corduroy trousers do the trick. Many have wised up to the trick of the billionaire bum. Living in the Principality helps, of course, because there’s no wealth tax. Income tax isn’t relevant because I have never worked. The security is wonderful and the sun shines on many more days than it doesn’t. I can afford coffees on the ground floor of the Metropole Centre and I have people who keep me a seat. Millions are convenient, but billions make the difference. Although, when I get tired of counting my euros, I can only agree that money can’t buy you love, it just helps with expenses.
Jeff Daniels The views expressed in Monaco Diary do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. The column is published in the interests of editorial diversity and in keeping with the precept of the freedom of the press.
Published on Nov 18, 2011