Spear's Black Book

Spears 2020

ATHENA DUNCAN & MAIREAD CURTIN

REBEL REBEL

Athena Duncan and Mairead Curtin joined forces in 2000, and have since maintained a natural but distinctly brave approach to floristry, true to the venture’s name. They prefer to use seasonal British grown flowers where possible, and frequently use wild… Read More

THE BUS BUSINESS

Where better to host a memorable social gathering than aboard a striking, evergreen-hued vintage Routemaster bus, revamped with a classic and evocative interior? ‘It’s one of the world’s most iconic and beautiful vehicles,’ the company says. The downstairs is home… Read More

LADY ELIZABETH ANSON

PARTY PLANNERS

‘For me, the next party is always the best,’ Lady Elizabeth Anson declares. The Queen’s cousin has been her party planner for more than 50 years, and was recently responsible for Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding breakfast. But it’s not only… Read More

MARC AHMED

SCARLET EVENTS

Marc Ahmed is the director of Scarlet Events, responsible for conjuring up anything from a private beach wedding or Michelin starred menu to an ‘out-of-thisworld’ party for some of the most discerning clients in the world. These include royal families,… Read More

PEREGRINE ARMSTRONG-JONES

BENTLEY’S ENTERTAINMENTS

‘Entertaining is the ultimate way to show your friends and family how much you value their friendship,’ says Bentley’s founder Peregrine Armstrong-Jones, who is lauded by colleagues as ‘one of the most innovative thinkers’ in the party planning world. He… Read More

JAMIE ASTON

JAMIE ASTON FLOWERS

A master of modern floral design, Jamie Aston opened his original shop in 2005 and has curated an elite client list: he counts the Hotel Café Royal among his clients as well as top names in the film and music… Read More

CAROLINE BAKER

CAROLINE BAKER

Caroline Baker claims to be able to ‘make the impossible happen’. Indeed, HNWs flock to the firm for its discreet family office support and expert property management services. ‘Focusing purely on the administration of some of the most high-net-worth families… Read More

HARRY BECHER

BHB PRIVATE

Harry Becher once told Spear’s that in his world ‘there’s no such thing as a normal request’ – and the chief fixer is prepared to go to any lengths to deliver for his clients, which include a wide range of… Read More

LISA CAPLAN

NUTMEG

Digital wealth management firm Nutmeg began the year with a bang by securing £45 million in Series E funding from an existing shareholder, while also welcoming Goldman Sachs as a cornerstone investor. At just seven years old, the company now… Read More

SHANE CONNOLLY

SHANE CONNOLLY & CO

Shane Connolly was catapulted into the spotlight after supplying and designing the flowers for the 2011 royal wedding, and continues to obsess over the fundamentals of conscientious floral design. ‘Seasonality is really important to me,’ he tells Spear’s. ‘When you… Read More

LADY COSIMA SOMERSET

CONCIERGE LONDON

Anything is possible at Concierge London, as its clients – who include Lord and Lady Windsor, Tamara Mellon and the Goldsmiths – will readily testify. Called ‘ruthlessly efficient’ with ‘perfect manners’ by one happy customer, Lady Cosima Somerset’s girls are… Read More

PHILIPPA CRADDOCK

PHILIPPA CRADDOCK FLOWERS

Philippa Craddock, who describes her craft as a form of escapism, took her time to carefully decorate George’s Chapel in Windsor for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The displays were ‘jaw-dropping’, The Telegraph reported. Royalty aside, her clients include… Read More

PAOLA DIANA

SIGILLUS

Paola Diana is ever dynamic and tireless – useful characteristics for the founder of leading lifestyle concierge service Sigillus. The ‘private office’ firm provides inner circle access to experts in every sector, from VIP red carpet events and corporate consultancy… Read More

JULIA DOWLING

SNAPDRAGON

‘Events are like theatre productions delivered without rehearsal,’ says Julia Dowling, listing ‘extraordinary attention to detail, style, flawless logistics and commercial savvy’ as ‘the qualities that distinguish the merely creative from the truly excellent event planner.’ Dowling founded Snapdragon after… Read More

KALLY ELLIS

MCQUEENS

Kally Ellis started her acclaimed business in 1991, after a corporate marketing career at an international bank. ‘After a few years I decided it just wasn’t for me,’ she told us, renouncing the ‘suits and Hermès scarves’ of the finance… Read More

JULIAN FARROW

JULIAN FARROW LTD

Julian Farrow knows the UHNW world inside and out. Formerly the global head of Sotheby’s Preferred, Farrow provides an unprecedented strategic business development service for global brands across the art, luxury, lifestyle and hospitality sectors. When he’s not hosting events… Read More

SIMON GIDDINS

BLACKSTONE CONSULTANCY

A veteran adviser, accustomed to addressing the most complex client needs and security situations, managing director Simon Giddins heads up esteemed security experts Blackstone Consultancy. The firm is involved in ‘challenging and evolving’ risks domestically and internationally, highly private investigations,… Read More

OLIVER GORTON

ALACO

When dealing in investigations rather than security, as Alaco does, it can lead to an interesting client base – as company director Oliver Gorton has previously told Spear’s. ‘Our client base is pretty broad,’ he says, noting that those paying… Read More

RORY HACKETT

COMMUNITEC

The last 12 months have been ‘the best year yet’ for Communitec – according to its founder and CEO Rory Hackett, who began the firm in 2006, initially to provide IT support. The firm has since morphed into a one-stop… Read More

SAM BOMPAS AND HARRY PARR

BOMPAS & PARR

For those curious about the past, present and future of ice-cream, Bompas & Parr’s 2018 exhibition at the British Museum of Food was a real treat. SCOOP: A Wonderful Ice Cream World was the innovative firm’s real highlight of the… Read More

MOSHE HOGEG

SIRIN LABS

‘[We are] bridging the gap between the blockchain economy and the mass market through multi-layered cybersecurity,’ says Sirin Labs, the company which has recently created the Finney, a blockchain smartphone with built in P2P sharing, a ‘crypto wallet’ and a… Read More

NEIL KIRTON

KROLL

Neil Kirton began his career as an investment banker, and now he’s a managing director of Kroll’s investigations and disputes department. It’s not quite ‘hunter’ to ‘hunted’, but it’s close. Kirton admits he can see both sides of the fence… Read More

RUTH LAWTON-OWEN

THE ADMIRABLE CRICHTON

80 years after Peter Pan novelist JM Barrie wrote The Admirable Crichton – a play about a butler who uses his resourcefulness to supply his employers with their preferred luxury after a shipwreck – The Admirable Crichton Events Company was… Read More

ALEX LONGTON

NUTMEG

Alex Longton’s first foray into wealth management was when he interned in Geneva at ABN AMRO Private Bank while at Exeter University. This paved the way for his joining Coutts & Co, where he was a portfolio manager for HNW… Read More

PIERRE MARCOLINI

MAISON PIERRE MARCOLINI

There’s only one doorway that separates dreams from reality, and that’s courage,’ says Belgian chocolatier Pierre Marcolini, who recently presented handcrafted collections of chocolates, fruit pastes, macarons, and a range of sumptuous ice creams at The Ned. ‘Each day is… Read More

ELIZABETH MARSH

ELIZABETH MARSH FLORAL DESIGN

‘We think outside the vase,’ is the motto of Elizabeth Marsh Floral Design. Its philosophy is to inspire people and ‘touch their souls’ with creative designs. Marsh believes flowers have a profound impact on people, and she seeks to turn… Read More

DARREN MATTHEWS

K2 INTELLIGENCE

Darren Matthews joined the K2 Intelligence team from rival Nexus Risk Management in 2010 – and he hasn’t looked back since. So what attracted him to K2? As he tells Spear’s: ‘The philosophy of the company in providing quality work,… Read More

STUART MCNEILL

KNIGHTSBRIDGE CIRCLE

What do you give those who have everything? Stuart McNeill has two answers. The first is ‘exactly what they want’: be that a helicopter to courtside seats at a Lakers game, a private serenading by Jennifer Lopez, or simply the… Read More

DARIUS NAMDAR

MARK’S CLUB

The lead cigar sommelier of the Birley Clubs has made headlines for winning the annual ‘world cup’ of Havana cigars in Cuba against its local champion. The feat, which took five months to complete, has turned Darius Namdar, the director… Read More

ODAY NIAMA

ADAM PHONES

As Adam Phones’ director of business in the Middle East, Oday Niama is an invaluable resource for his high-profile clients, many of whom have remained loyal over his 20-year-plus tenure at the company, which integrates advanced products and services from… Read More

FIONA NOBLE

QUINTESSENTIALLY

Fiona Noble joined Quintessentially in the UK in 2013 to develop the agency side of the business. She has 30 years of experience in building and transforming brand reputations, gained in senior and leadership roles in international and UK agency… Read More

MIKE O’NEILL

OPTIMAL RISK

Mike O’Neill doesn’t like to refer to Reading-based Optimal Risk as a security firm, but a ‘risk management’ company, that helps clients looking for ‘discreet advice’ and support mitigating the risks of their lifestyle. Within the usual security offering there… Read More

PAOLA PAOLILLO

SLOW BURNING

Paola Paolillo is the first woman recognised as a Master of Havana Cigars in the UK, and she has run lounges in prestige locations such as Corinthia Hotel, The Hari Hotel and The Club at Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square…. Read More

EDDIE SAHAKIAN

DAVIDOFF LONDON

Eddie Sahakian believes smoking cigars is a happy self-indulgence. ‘The first thing I ascertain is when, where and with whom the customer wishes to enjoy the cigar,’ he has told an industry commentator. ‘Fundamentally what we are selling is not… Read More

DIRK SEYFRIED

JJ FOX

‘I usually enjoy [cigars] with a rum when I’m allowed. Even sometimes when I’m not,’ jokes Dirk Seyfried, manager of the world’s oldest cigar shop, JJ Fox Cigar Merchant, at the No. 19 St James’s Street branch. The cigar aficionado… Read More

MICHAEL SHAW

FRANKLIN LONDON

Franklin London specialises in property management, maintenance, refurbishment, systems upgrades plus the day-to-day management of staff, homes and possessions for the super prime market. Recruiting and training specialist staff for UHNW households, the firm can provide chauffeurs, transport pets and… Read More

SIV SIVASAMY

ADAM PHONES

Siv Sivasamy joined Adam Phones (award-winning supplier of ‘leading edge connectivity solutions’) in 2016, to head up the firm’s family office division. He has more than 17 years’ experience in working within specialist markets that require exemplary service and acute… Read More

ALISON SMITH

KNIGHTSBRIDGE PROPERTY & LIFESTYLE MANAGEMENT

‘We provide seamless, 360-degree solutions to property and lifestyle needs,’ says Knightsbridge Property & Lifestyle Management’s Alison Smith, summing up the firm’s specialism in running high-value London residential real estate. She highlights the ‘unique and tailored’ services for members, from… Read More

ELLY STANCLIFFE

THE HANDBOOK

Founded by Elly Stancliffe when she was just 23, The Handbook’s mission is clear: ‘to offer the best of London.’ ‘There is no better place,’ she declares. Her collection of guides covers everything from the best rooftop terraces to West… Read More

MOYSES STEVENS

MOYSES STEVENS

Founded in 1876, Moyses Stevens is an iconic London brand. Outlets are located in areas such as Sloane Square, Belgravia, Regent Street, Great Portland Street and Temple Fortune, as well as inside Harrods and in St Pancras Station – with… Read More

NEILL STRAIN

NEILL STRAIN FLORAL COUTURE

‘From a bunch of tulips snatched from a neighbour’s garden for my mum after school, to the grandiose rose and lily-laden projects [created] for my first love, I’ve always been infatuated,’ says Neill Strain. After studying floristry, he founded his… Read More

CLAIRE SWEETINGHAM

GRAY & FARRAR

‘We don’t do digital anything,’ says Claire Sweetingham. ‘Our matchmaking simply relies on human expertise, experience and knowing the right people.’ Gray & Farrar was established by Virginia Sweetingham as an independent family business in 2005, and the family remains… Read More

ANTHONY TESAR

LE BECK INTERNATIONAL

The former bomb disposal officer and Iraq UN weapons inspector, now CEO and founder of Le Beck, believes the key to security is an education on the realities of threats and risks, and the illusion of control: ‘[Clients’] vulnerability isn’t… Read More

PAUL THOMAS

PAUL THOMAS FLOWERS

When Paul Thomas was 12, he watched an episode of Upstairs, Downstairs which influenced the course of his life. Watching the decoration of a long table for a visit from Prince Edward VII, Thomas decided to resurrect the romance of… Read More

NIKKI TIBBLES

WILD AT HEART

Every well-versed shopper will recognise Nikki Tibbles’ flowers in pots outside the Liberty department store. Abandoning a career in advertising in the early 1990s, Tibbles’ entrepreneurial success began inside the Turquoise Island shop in Notting Hill. She also has a… Read More

INGA VERBEECK

IVY RELATIONS

Inga Verbeeck is the founder of Ivy Relations, a matchmaking company whose typical clients are worth £20 million, with offices in Antwerp, New York and Geneva. ‘We are a service provider that saves people time,’ she says, ‘and time is… Read More

GALVIN WESTON

CHARBONNEL ET WALKER

‘Social media is crucial in getting your pink truffles to conquer the world,’ says Galvin Weston, who chairs Charbonnel et Walker’s and happens to be the Queen’s favourite chocolatier. The Royal Warrant-holding brand builds on the firm’s long legacy of… Read More

ZIA YUSUF

VELOCITY BLACK

Sleek and tech-driven, Velocity Black is used and endorsed by A-listers such as Gigi Hadid, Millie Mackintosh and Rita Ora. ‘Our mission is not to deliver what you want, when you want it – that’s quite 20th-century!’ says co-founder Zia… Read More