Monday 19 August 2019

Party with Oprah, dinner at Donald's or some Xi time

'Fixer' to the stars Ciara Egan reveals some of the more outrageous requests of the mega-rich that she's had to make happen, writes Niamh Horan

Ciara Egan has heard some strange requests from her mega-rich clients.
Ciara Egan has heard some strange requests from her mega-rich clients.
Ciara Egan.
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

The super-rich can be quite coy about their lifestyles and the extraordinary perks that their wealth can deliver. But one person who knows all about the demands of those with many millions of euro in their bank accounts is Kildare woman Ciara Egan.

She and fellow Irish woman Lisa Murray own the Atlas Club, which promises to make every dream of the rich and famous come true.

Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.

Log In

Although tight-lipped on their list of top-secret clients, the VIPs on their books are said to include a number of Hollywood and sporting A-listers as well as a host of super-wealthy families and Chinese billionaires.

Event organising is just one aspect of the business. "Last year, one of our clients rented out one of the biggest homes in Beverly Hills and said to me, 'I want to get Oprah Winfrey in and I want to do a huge big party and create a theme in this 34,000sqft house'. And that's what we did. I got to meet Oprah Winfrey," Ciara laughs. "These are the perks of the job."

For the full list of the 250 wealthiest people in Ireland, click here

Day-to-day life means she always has to be two steps ahead of her clients.

"I often set up their wardrobes ahead of time, working with designers to complete entire collection capsules and then some clients might want certain wines in their fridge, they want the New York Times waiting for them, they want all the magazines, they want the TV up and running and we get a shopping list as long as our arm of whatever they need so that, when they are ready to turn the key, it's all there for them. We have to make sure their lives are running beautifully."

As for her wildest request, Ciara (below) says it came from a Far East businessman.

2019-01-20_bus_47176102_I2.JPG
Ciara Egan.

"A Chinese billionaire once called me and said, 'I want to meet President Xi at the United Nations general assembly. Make it happen.' I think - of all the requests I have ever done in my entire life - that was the most stressful. But we made it happen."

Which brings us to her own political views. She says: "I have to keep them to myself. Someone might say, 'Ciara, can you get me a dinner at Mar-a-Lago with Donald Trump?' That was asked of me by a new member recently, so I have spent several weeks in Washington DC, making it our business to get to know every political figure who can make it happen."

As for her Irish clients, she says the Celtic Tiger certainly threw up some eyebrow-raising requests.

"I do remember getting a call from an Irish member and the woman said, 'Ciara, I am in the Gallery Lafayette in Milano. I have just gone by the Versace store and there is a 16ft ceramic crocodile in the Versace display that I want in my house this weekend for my BBQ.' So I rang Versace's headquarters and they told me they were getting rid of the crocodile and that we could have it for €10,000. So I organised a 16ft purple ceramic crocodile and then we literally couldn't get it in her front door," she laughs.

Sometimes the love lives of the rich and famous often need a helping hand. "Some of our clients are young and eligible so we do lovely events where they can meet people and get to know them.

"They have to be careful, both women and men, because the dollar signs are in a lot of men and women's eyes and it's very hard for them to find love - they definitely wonder, 'are you with me for me or what I have?' Many wealthy men and women reflect on that from time to time and that can be a very lonely place.

"I have been thinking recently that it would be a good idea to set up a side business to give life advice to successful young people who have earned a lot of money but then need to know how to navigate the world," she says.

One of the perks of running the Atlas Club is travelling to the most exclusive luxury resorts in the world.

"As part of the job, we have to go ahead of clients and carry out recces," says Ciara. "So I have seen the most beautiful places and private islands I had never even heard of and then we come back and we file a report on different islands."

On her most important lesson to date, she says: "I think one thing that has definitely improved is my patience. I couldn't believe the way people were spending money during the Celtic Tiger but now I realise I need more tolerance, more patience, get the job done and keep the train moving.

"At the end of the day, you just have to smile and realise in my business, the customer is always right. It's that simple. Because they are entrusting their life with you. I'm proud to say we have a 100pc renewal rate every year."

Sunday Independent

Also in Business