Conference Speaker profiles.


Alastair Laidlaw | Managing Director | Lux Worldwide

0e20e92CEO at www.luxworldwide.com : The definitive guide to the world’s finest luxury brands. Our readers and members include affluent and ultra-high net worth consumers. Independent editorial provides in-depth coverage of all aspects of luxury lifestyle and the world’s most desirable luxury products and services.

Formerly co-founder and director of Jura Watches, Mayfair; taking the business from start-up in 2007 to become the UK’s Number 1 online retailer of luxury watches.

Specialties: The luxury sector, brand communications, e-commerce, social media and multichannel marketing.

Katie Shapley | Managing Director | The Organisers Limited

Katie Shapley - Managing Director, The Organisers Ltd

Katie founded The Organisers as one of the pioneers of London’s Lifestyle Management industry in 1998. Together with her team of super PA’s, Katie launched The Organisers to provide a more bespoke experience than a simple concierge service could provide.

With an exceptional record of achievements and utilising expert organisational skills and wide-ranging contacts, The Organisers have over 17 years’ experience offering the services of a discreet private office to high net worth individuals and businesses worldwide.

Great emphasis is placed on going that extra mile for clients and Katie’s team is committed to delivering good value for money whilst ensuring service excellence.

Vikash Gupta | Director | Key Clients Barclay's Wealth and Investment Management


Vikash joined Barclays Wealth in 2008, and is part of the UK and Europe Private Bank. He offers his clients the entire services of Barclays Group including wealth planning and investment management, corporate and investment banking.

He leads a team of four providing world class service and advice to Global families with connections to the UK. They have in-depth relationships with a small number of clients and their family offices.

Vikash was earlier part of the Barclays Capital Strategy team, where his responsibility included defining the firm’s overall direction, identifying M&A opportunities and shaping the Wealth business. His assignments included setting up of an Ultra High Net Worth organisation and advising on the sale of iShares to Blackrock. Prior to Barclays, Vikash provided corporate and M&A advisory to UK’s leading firms while working for Booz & Company. Vikash also spent five years of his career in technology consulting across North America.

Vikash holds an MBA degree from Carnegie Mellon University, USA and an Engineering degree from India besides the necessary qualifications needed to advice clients on investments and lending.

Stephanie Cardot | Co-founder and CEO | TO DO TODAY

Stephanie Cardot Convinced that work/life balance can help companies attract and retain talent, Stephanie founded TO DO TODAY in 2001. The Concierge services proposed by TO DO TODAY are characterised by dedicated service areas in the heart of a building or business park. The service programs contribute to employee wellbeing in the workplace and to the development of Corporate Social Responsibility. TO DO TODAY serves some 90 high-level corporate clients from law firms to retailers; banks to industrial enterprises. Today, with a 60% national market share, TO DO TODAY brings services to over 50,000 employees in France.

Andrea Osborne | Director | cushion the impact

andrea osborne cushion the impactAndrea is a born organiser so the creation of cushion the impact in 2000 was a natural progression from her earlier career as a consultant project manager. The award winning company now has offices in London and Scotland, providing both domestic and business support services which are professional and proactive, yet always personal. Andrea is soon to be a published author, when her book on time management, “There Is Enough Time” is released later this year.

Richard Howarth | Wealth Management Consultant | African Private Office LLP

RJH Richard Howarth is an experienced banking professional. He spent the first 31 years of his career with Barclays, firstly in the domestic corporate market and then running the international corporate business at the bank’s Northumberland Avenue International Branch. He migrated to Private Banking in the mid 90s and began building a book of HNW clients in West Africa, travelling to the continent on a regular basis. He assumed leadership of Barclays’ Private Banking team for Africa which gave him the opportunity to travel in and understand all of the major Anglophone markets in Sub-Saharan Africa. Richard moved to Standard Chartered in 2009 to plan and develop an African Private Banking business. He set up African Private Office in July 2012 to offer the benefit of his experience in Africa and the Financial Services industry to private individuals, businesses and professional firms.

George Evans | Managing Director | John Paul (UK)

george evans

Following a successful 5 year stint with another concierge provider, George launched the UK division of John Paul with his partner and co-founder, David Amsellem. John Paul is Europe’s fastest growing provider of employee and customer engagement solutions and is leading the way in the sector in the deployment of behavioural profiling (big data) analytics to derive high levels of customer and employee insight.

Prior to his time in concierge, George was one of the pioneers of email marketing during the dotcom era in the late 90s when he founded and exited Clic2mail, a corporate email service provider to UK corporates.

George is also the co-founder of a start-up in the cloud based business productivity space. 

Pierre Desaunettes | Co-founder and CEO | ICI-CONCIERGERIES

PierreDesaunettes After 12 years at the head of the Paris “International Concierge Institute” during which he enlarged the scope of the concierge profession to all industrial sectors, Pierre set up ICI-CONCIERGERIES, a service engineering company offering a new vision of both concierge services and guest experience. He specifically applies these skills to the health industry (private hospitals and retirement homes). Working both in Canada and Europe, he recognises that the traditional concierge approach is not necessarily fully responding to the changing needs and acute personal stresses of individuals. Today he is the author of a new economic methodology called the ‘Global Experience Environments’, which looks to mitigate all forms of depression by instituting a global ‘Life Valorization Space’ into a service establishment.

Deborah Aringoli | Business Development Director | TO DO TODAY

HD Photo Deborah_Aringoli 2013After 15 years of international marketing within large organisations, Deborah founded “La 25eme Heure” (the 25th Hour) in 2005, which became one of France’s leading corporate concierge companies, before merging with TO DO TODAY in 2008.In her role as Business Development Director, Deborah has seen the market for corporate concierge services grow tremendously in France. Building on this experience, she is she is now looking further afield to take TO DO TODAY into new markets abroad.

Alessandra Bolzagni | Founder | My Special Guest

monastero zen Alessandra is a creative entrepreneur, whose passion and commitment are reflected in her job. Her love of her city, Milan, the Italian way of life and her desire to reach and satisfy different markets led her to set up My Special Guest in 2004. My Special Guest is an Italian Concierge Service Tour Operator that provides special interest packages and exclusive offers. With a team of leading professionals from the tourism and hotel business, she has the perfect knowledge and expertise from which to draw in order to provide an excellent service.

James T Cooke | Founder | Standing Start Solutions

James picJames is an experienced Operations Manager, having recently completed a 33 year career as a police officer at Scotland Yard. He was latterly responsible for developing several pioneering programmes of work to counter the growing threat of gun and gang violence in London. He has now established a new business, Standing Start Solutions, which provides operations training and VIP Close Protection security services. He has also authored a book, ‘Operations Management – The Art & Science of Making Things Happen’.

Wyn Nathan Davis | Managing Director | The Sales Experts Ltd

 Wyn Nathan Davis - Managing Director, The Sales Experts LtdMarketing and selling to the affluent!The idea of being better absolutely consumes my life, from my daily 5:00am runs to a day filled with voracious reading, writing and challenging myself. Everyday I want to be better, stronger and more effective than yesterday. Selling provides the best opportunity I know for independently minded individuals to challenge and reward themselves without constraint.A person can do nothing better than build a business, to create something of value where nothing existed!I am passionate about building business – recruitment, brand, sales, marketing, and everything that touches on business growth. I have sold to a wide variety of sectors in 28 countries. Selling and business creation is my passion and I regularly speak on sales. Sales recruitment, sales training and sales process development truly inspire my work.

Julie Besson | Managing Director | Time For You Services

 Julie Besson - Managing Director, Time For You ServicesJULIE BESSON, co-founder and Managing Director of TimeForYou Services – TO DO TODAY Switzerland Julie has a postgraduate degree specialized in European Business Law.  After 15 years spent in a prestigious hotel group in London then in Paris, Julie founded TimeForYou in 2007, leader in the marketing of Concierge services in Switzerland which became TO DO TODAY Switzerland in January 2015.

Professor David Foskett MBE | Head of the London School of Hospitality and Tourism

 00fb508Professor David Foskett MBE | Head of the London School of Hospitality and Tourism  – University of West London | Head of the London School of Hospitality and Tourism Professor Foskett is a member of the Academy of Culinary Arts, Craft Guild of Chefs and a Fellow of The Institute of Hospitality and has worked in the hospitality industry for over 40 years. Professor Foskett sits on various guiding committees advising on hospitality training and education. He has conducted extensive research on trends and growth within the hospitality industry and worked on innovative creative product development for a number of international companies.  His awards include an MBE, the ‘Chevalier dans l’ordre du Mérite Agricole’ from the President of France and a special award from the Craft Guild of Chefs for outstanding recognition. He is a judge for the Catey Awards, receiving an award himself in 2003 for education and training. 

Patricia Paskins | Int'l Training Director| London School of Hospitality and Tourism

 Patricia PaskinsPatricia Paskins | International Training Director| London School of Hospitality and Tourism – University of West London | UK| 

Pierre-Jules Zing-Talsa | Managing Partner | PJ & T Consulting

 0260b8cPierre-Jules is an innovative senior strategist with great analytics skills. He spent the first 24 years of his career with the France Telecom Group, Fleming Premier Banking and Orange Group PLC. He travelled to EMEA region regularly. He set up PJ & T Consulting in November 2004 to help CEOs and Senior executives improve their personal and their organizations’ performances. Pierre-Jules is a valuable Non-Executive Director for Prestige Concierge. A result oriented Strategy and Business Development professional with a proven track record in delivering relevant advice to a wide range of clients, and in orchestrating successful strategy and operational plans in International operations. He is a member of the UK Chartered Management Institute, the Strategic Planning Society and holds a number of professional qualifications.

Lesley Morgan | Principal Lawyer | AGG Legal Services


Lesley Morgan is Principal Lawyer and Head of Legal Services at AAG Legal Services Ltd. She originally qualified as a State Registered Nurse and has founded and run a number of businesses since that time, including a chain of successful dental surgeries, three schools and various other businesses.She is a highly respected UK qualified lawyer, who has forged her reputation on providing pragmatic, sound, practical advice and supporting clients through a broad range of legal matters. She has extensive experience that enables her to provide a wide gamut of legal services, from employment, corporate, litigation, Powers of Attorney and Will drafting, to name just a few.

AAG Legal Services Ltd. is an advice driven organisation offering an expeditious, secure and confidential service that is cost effective and provided with due regard to proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles. All work is carried out with due regard to Data Protection and Money Laundering Regulations, and in such a way that the rule of law and proper administration of justice is upheld.

Lesley has close links with renowned legal specialists and can call on their expertise where necessary.

Michele Essam | Founder & Director | Prestige Lifestyle Management

33670a8Michèle is a leading pioneer in Lifestyle Management in Europe and has headed businesses in the High Net Worth (HNW) sector in Romania, France and the UK which have had positive and significant impact upon the super-rich private client world over the last 18 years.

Successfully transferred from an IT Operational role to a General Management role with responsibility for Lifestyle Management & Concierge Service across European countries.

As a dynamic entrepreneur, Michele also holds investment and consulting roles in other London-based businesses which are focused on the delivery of high quality services to the luxury marketplace. She is also the founder of the EMEA-Lifestyle Management & Concierge Association.

The LMCA is an association of Concierge Professionals, Concierge Businesses and related business partners from various hospitality, service and professional companies. They are united in a desire to develop their industry, raise standards, recognise achievement and create fellowship in a positive business environment.

The aim of the Association is to create and maintain a forum for responsible industry members to share professional information for the benefit of themselves and their clients.