The celebrity entrepreneur Amanda Staveley is involved in a consortium of investors bidding for three leading London hotels: Claridge’s, The Connaught and The Berkeley
One report suggests that the bid is from Middle East investors.
An earlier LWD post traced her background and rise to business success. Staveley, a former girlfriend of Prince Andrew, and one-time beauty model as student at Cambridge University, has a credible reputation for broking billion dollar deals through her networking skills. In 2008, she was instrumental in negotiating a £12 billion investment in Barclays Bank using money from Abu Dhabi and Qatar, before helping broker the purchase of Manchester City Football Club by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour .
Doing well what bankers do badly
Members of her network of wealthy contacts invest not only their cash, but also invest their trust in Staveley’s council and advice. The London Evening Standard speculates on important qualities that help her to deliver successful outcomes for her clients:
So how does she do it? As a woman, Staveley is negotiating uncertain terrain. She attributes her success to luck and an ability to assess and evaluate information quickly. “I can see an opportunity or a problem faster than any lawyer,” she says. “I can see a document and find a hole in it, or I can understand what I can put in to make the contract work.”
Private-equity veteran Guy Hands, who has known Staveley for years, says: “Amanda acts as a confidante to some very wealthy individuals and funds in the Middle East. She finds opportunities for them, which fit what they are trying to do. She has a very good track record and she realizes what her place is; she doesn’t tell her clients what they should want, instead she distils their wishes for them. She does what most investment bankers are bad at — she listens.”
Courage in adversity
The enviable story of success conceals personal misfortune. The Daily Standard also reports that Ms Staveley has been diagnosed as carrying the gene for Huntington’s disease, a degenerative condition which will progressively restrict her career. She has responded with courage and determination:
“It definitely gets me to the gym every day. When I have done all my exercises, I work with a therapist doing balance exercises, and I inhale antioxidants. I also shout at God occasionally.”
Paul is a regular contributor to LWD on sporting, business and technology stories. His post on Apple Foxconn is the most visited, since its publication in 2012