FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
For information on Company Policies and Fees, see Items 8 and 10 below.
1 Is there anyone else who does what you do?
No. In the 19 years since I founded this business I have never met anyone who knows anyone who does what I do. I wish there was, because it would make it easier for people to understand just how useful it is to have a Fixer in their lives. Of course there are specialist fixers in certain fields, but no one I have come across handles as extensive and varied range of work as I have.
2 Who do you work for?
- Private individuals and families from around the world, and those who directly assist them (EA, PA, Spouse, ADC, etc)
- Family offices, private bankers, private equity and hedge funds, wealth managers, law firms and professional service providers.
- Companies, invariably at CEO or Board level.
3 What do you actually do?
I act on behalf of my clients in the UK and abroad to take care of any important matter - a dream or a nightmare - which they are unable or unwilling to deal with. They either engage me because they require my network, experience, imagination, ability, discretion and confidentiality, or because they wish to save the time, hassle, expense or reputational risk of doing it themselves. Whenever possible, I seek to protect or enhance their reputation.
I also do whatever I can to give them a more interesting, exciting, different, or better option than the one they otherwise might have to go with. I like to bring something unique, original and memorable to their lives. I want to improve the quality of their lives, and whenever possible I seek to turn the ordinary into the special. We only get one life, and I want my clients and their families to have the best.
Finally, I am a trusted advisor. I often spot things that the client isn't dealing with and can advise and asist the client accordingly. Sometimes this prevents situations from getting worse, or it improves them; sometimes I create value and at other times I save unecessary expense; sometimes I simply read between the lines and work out what the client really wants but is unable to express.
4 Why do you do it?
I do this because I really like people and I enjoy making them happy (though frankly sometimes the only possible outcome of a nightmare situation such as a blackmail is to make them less unhappy than they might otherwise have been).
Being a Fixer is an extraordinary, perhaps unique, profession - better than when I was a barrister - because it allows me to work with a wide variety of interesting people on an incredible range of interesting projects, sometimes fun and sometimes extremely stressful. And because this is my own business, I can pick my work and I can choose when I wish to take time out to be with my family. Although I need to earn a living, I don't just do it for the money. I do it because I love it.
5 What is the difference between a Fixer and a concierge service?
Concierges and concierge companies handle large numbers of very similar requests from numerous clients which are mostly about dining, entertainment or travel. By contrast, as a Fixer, I take on unique projects - either intense short-term matters or complicated long-term issues - that require a high degree of bespoke input, decision-making, discretion and, most importantly, trust. I am often asked to deal with extremely personal issues that my clients - for good reasons - are perhaps unable or unwilling to discuss with their spouse, family, friends, colleagues, lawyers or other trusted advisors.
Unlike with a concierge's clientele, my clients ask for my help to realise their dreams or resolve their nightmares, and my work can therefore take a lot of time and require a great deal of very personalised input.
6 Why don't I just use my PA or trusted advisor?
Whenever you can, you should. I really don't want or need to do the work that someone else can already do for you. My speciality, my service, is in handling projects for you that you - or your PA / Trusted Advisor / Lawyer / Partner / Colleagues - don't have the time, ability, resources, imagination or inclination to do yourselves. With 17 years' experience in this business, I can also be counted on to recognise and handle those aspects of your request that you and your PA hadn't even thought of.
I'm definitely not here to do the jobs that you can get done yourself; I'm here to do the jobs that you can't.
7 How do you protect my privacy?
Confidentiality and discretion are at the very core of my service. My business lives or dies on whether I keep information confidential. Many of my clients move in the same circles and the vast majority of my work has come from them through word of mouth. I know that if I breach that trust then my business will effectively come to an end.
8 What policies do you have?
Open Book Policy
I operate an Open Book Policy: Except where discretion or anonymity are required, I share all information about my suppliers and contractors with you. You have the choice of negotiating with them directly should you wish, or I will gladly do it for you.
Full Disclosure Policy
I operate a Full Disclosure Policy and present all supplier invoices to my clients. I never solicit a commission or other benefit where that would be at your expense. I sincerely believe it is my job always to act in your best interests as though I am you. And it means I sleep easily at night. Simple.
Best Price policy
Anything that I buy on your behalf will be the same price or less expensive than if you bought it yourself. I only charge for the service I provide.
9 What is your Engagement Model with clients?
I engage with clients in two ways:
- On a project basis to address a single issue involving a specific request or problem, be it short- or long-term.
- On an 'on call' basis to help with whatever the client wishes.
10 What is your fee structure?
Fees are determined on a case by case basis in a clear and transparent manner - often looking to undercut industry norms - depending on the scope, location, timing and complexity of the request. This may be on an hourly rate, an agreed percentage or a contingency fee.
The greater part of my work - though only for a very small number of clients at any one time - is conducted on a monthly project fee retainer to provide an 'on call' service. (Note: If I'm offered a commission by a supplier at no cost to my client then I always offset this against that month's project fee. This effectively means that in certain areas of the work that I do I can provide a cost-neutral service: i.e. I can do a lot of work for a client at no cost to them because the supplier is willing to pay me. I always discuss this clearly with clients to ensure they are happy that there is no conflict of interest.)
In appropriate cases where there is a defined outcome I am willing to consider a success-based fee.
However, as mentioned above, the majority of my clients choose the 'on call' fee. The terms are simple: my clients pay monthly in advance and can stop at any time, though for obvious reasons timely notice is always really appreciated.
The fee options are:
- 'On call' monthly fees start from £12,000pm
- Hourly fees are £250ph
- A fixed percentage (usually the industry standard for that particular project)
- A retainer fee and a success fee for property purchases, rentals or sales (the success fee will always be lower than the industry standard)
- Success-based fees where there is a clearly defined outcome
- A per diem is charged for overnight stays outside London or for trips abroad
- VAT is charged when applicable
The 'on call' fee covers all my work and all my reasonable expenses. Any other expenses are cleared with the client first.
A client is always welcome to reward excellent work with a bonus. It is never expected, but - like words of thanks - it is always incredibly appreciated.
11 How do I know that you won’t choose the most expensive suppliers of services or products?
I always put my clients' interests first and this means I keep a close eye on costs as well as focusing on the best possible solutions. As mentioned above, I operate a Full Disclosure Policy, sharing all information about the suppliers and contractors I recommend, and presenting all supplier invoices to my clients (except where discretion or anonymity are requested). I hide nothing. If my clients prefer another supplier to one I have recommended then I will gladly use them. As part of the Full Disclosure Policy you can speak to my suppliers at any time.
I am commission and supplier neutral. This means that I will never ask for a commission as a reason for choosing a supplier. (Remember: if I am offered a commission, I will tell my retained client and offset this against my invoice for that month).
And the Best Price Policy means you will never pay more for anything by using me than you will by doing it yourself.
12 Do you promote businesses, products and events that I didn't ask for?
No. I'm entirely client-driven. I have no commercial relationships with any individuals or companies to propose services or products to clients. In fact, over the past 19 years I have repeatedly declined endless but understandable requests from service providers to pitch my wealthy clients. The only things I ever contact you about are the things you have asked me for.
13 Is there anything you wouldn't do?
I wouldn't do anything unethical, immoral or illegal. I obviously couldn't do anything that is impossible, but I will often find an innovative solution to achieve the same or a similar outcome. And I don't take on boring work, because life is too short.
Now, here's my question: Is there anything useful I can do for you?