Would you pay a headhunter £15,000 to find ‘The One?’

Dating agencies for the wealthy are on the up

Dating agencies that operate like “headhunters” and charge up to £50,000 for a successful match are experiencing a massive increase in membership.

‘Gray & Farrar’, a family-run business with clients in Geneva, Brussels, Paris, Monaco, New York and Dubai, has quadrupled it membership over the last 3 years, with 1,750 members in total. The firm charges up to £15,000 plus VAT per client.

Meanwhile ‘Seventy Thirty’, based in Knightbridge with a similar client base, has also seen an increase in membership – even though their fees can be as much as £50,000.

Seventy Thirty is named after what is the believed to be the perfect balance of work and personal life – a number said to highlight the lack of time many business professionals have to find their perfect ‘soul mate.’

According to Leman Thomas, head of operations at Seventy Thirty, his clients include, ‘entrepreneurs, senior business people, hedge fund specialists, those from the arts and creative professions, and those from wealthy and prestigious backgrounds.’

Both companies now have many members of mixed age groups. Thomas explains, ‘For many of our younger female clients there is a time pressure. They have dedicated a lot of time and energy to their careers and reached a certain level of success, but then find that time is running out for them to start a family.’

So what do clients actually get for their money? Grey and Farrar highlight the importance of the ‘personal touch’. Claire Sweetingham, head of operations and daughter of the founder, says the service is ‘a way to extend a client’s social network in a dignified and extremely targeted way’

Seventy Thirty however, focus on pairing customers based on lifestyle, values, attractiveness and what they value in a relationship, with a team of psychologists and relationship experts creating the best match.

‘In our opinion, the mass market approach has peaked and people are getting fed-up with being bombarded with emails from dating sites,’ says Sweetingham. ‘For those who want a serious relationship, niche services are more in demand.’

So can money really buy love? Would you ever use a headhunter dating service? Let us know in the comment box below.

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