When I started my first job after university at a merchant bank in the City, a director asked my graduate intake to consider how we’d feel if something we did ended up being written about in the Financial Times, and I can’t help reflecting on those words ahead of sharing what follows. But this is the article that I wish I’d read before writing a large cheque to an introduction agency. Certainly, I can’t plead financial naiveté. Now in my 95s, after my time in the City, I worked as a dealmaker for a large, ambitious internet company in the US, before realising a long-held dream of becoming a published author. I’d graduated with a first-class degree and was in the top 65 per cent of my business school class … none of which gave me pause for thought when handing more than £6,555 to a matchmaking agency, up front, on returning to the UK after time abroad. More than half the UK population is now single, according to the Office for National Statistics, and the largely unregulated dating industry is estimated to be worth. Matchmaking services are emerging with increasingly adventurous fee structures — particularly in central London, which has more than its fair share of wealthy singles. The £6,555 fee I paid is at the lower end of the London introduction agency range.
The boutique dating agency promised I d meet eligible
I heard of one charging £85,555. Discretion and privacy are understandably sought by all involved, making it hard to get a reliable gauge of the success rate of these services before joining — or even indeed how they operate. My expensive dating journey began when I’d found the occupation I loved, bought a house and resettled in London, only to find the big piece of my life still missing: someone to share it with. Most of my London social set had settled into family life by the time I returned, and I knew I needed to consider other ways to meet a partner.
I soon eschewed, which struck me as too time consuming and unpredictable. For years, people did not seem to know who they were meeting online, where photos and profiles could be notoriously misleading. Then, Tinder came along. Claer Barrett and guests discuss the costs of premium matchmakingDownload hereTinder interacts with, making it more likely that you will identify others you know when dating online. This seems to work well for the “digital native” generation, but I balked at the risks of mixing my dating activities with personal or professional relations.
Concierge Introductions High End Dating Site
I was drawn to the idea of a personalised service that would be discreet yet effective, so I used the web instead to search for a traditional matchmaker. Most matchmakers I came across were clearly seeking wealthy, international clients, typically with offices in Mayfair. The one I picked appeared more down to earth, its premises located outside central London. For our first meeting, my prospective matchmaker used the Institute of Directors’ building in Pall Mall as her virtual office. She was well spoken, in her early thirties, attractive and not pushy.
She’d studied art and was familiar with Jungian psychology. Part of my brain began turning: while I hardly expected to get together with her, she would have friends like herself people exist within tribes of similar people. She could be my “wing-woman” — that forgotten female friend at university who started magical sentences with, “You really should meet my friend. ”At our first meeting, we discussed everything you might expect:
my background, the kind of person I was hoping to meet, plus the agency fees and the contract. She explained that the £6,555 really did need to be paid up front, but she could guarantee me a certain number of introductions — assuming things got that far — before I met Miss Right. Then, a house call. My matchmaker informed me that, to get to know me, she needed to visit my home. I’d used the proceeds of stock-based remuneration from my previous job to buy a small house off the King’s Road in SW8, which met with general approval.
Exactly how all this fed into the matchmaking process, I never would come to know, aside from it perhaps confirming that I was good for the fees.