Ever stayed at a nice hotel and had a concierge who managed to get you ungettable tickets to the latest show, garner last-minute reservations at the hottest restaurant, or miraculously acquire a suit in your size when all the stores were closed? Imagine having that kind of access and hands-on attention every day.A new lifestyle company based in New York is providing just that. Called Four Hundred, after the secret list of New York elite that was kept by socialite Caroline Astor in the late 1800s, it is the brainchild of 27-year-old entrepreneur Tony Abrams. He launched the members-only club in February with partners Mark Birnbaum and Eugene Remm, who co-own Tenjune, one of New York City's most exclusive nightclubs.
For $7,500 a year, Four Hundred members have access to "an army of lifestylists" who can assist them with everything from finding a gift for their spouse to catering a client dinner to getting invites to the hottest parties and events, says Abrams. Members also have access to a "guild of experts" - specialists in the fields of fine cars, fashion, interior design, nutrition, golf, real estate, and the like.
"Our clients can afford membership," says Abrams. "What they can't afford is time." There is no minimum financial requirement to join, but potential clients must be approved by the company's 12- person review board.
"We have to know what kind of people they are," Abrams says. "If someone doesn't act appropriately in a restaurant we got them into, it can ruin our reputation with that restaurant." Of the "high-net individuals" who do pass muster, most work in the financial world, but some work in professional sports, the entertainment business, or another high-profile profession.
So just what is that "it" factor that makes Four Hundred different from other concierge companies? "Other firms don't offer the same personal attention we do," says Abrams. "We're not only reactive but proactive. For instance, if we have a client who's really into contemporary art and we know about a cool new exhibit, then we'll call him or her about it."
Another mantra at Four Hundred is discretion. Abrams not only won't name a single client, he also adds, "We handle different things that a client may not even want their personal assistant knowing about." Like setting up an appointment with Four Hundred's plastic-surgery expert, perhaps? - Jaye Revell