Interview with Anuska Lago Rey, Butler, House Manager PA and lecturer at TLI Postgraduate Course

"Without training it is impossible to move forward"

Editorial The Lifestyle Institute | Author: María José Núñez | September 2022

Anuska Lago Rey is a Butler and House Manager PA in a private home in London, and also teaches four modules of the TLI Postgraduate course.  We have had an interesting conversation with Anuska about the importance of training, her extensive experience in high performance teaching and, of course, several curiosities that you will enjoy learning about, whether you are thinking of dedicating yourself to this profession or you are thinking about hiring a Personal Angel or even if you simply want to learn more about this exciting world!

(Sigue en español)

To begin this chat with Anuska, we would like to tell you more about her career: as mentioned, she currently lives in London, where she works as a House Manager-PA-Butler in private homes. Quality, service and management are important factors in her life, which explains her professional leap into private service in 2016. She started her career in the hospitality sector, rising to Hotel General Manager, during which she launched two resorts. Finance, staff management, hotel operations and guest relations have shaped her day-to-day life for almost 15 years.


-Now, Anuska, to kick off this interview, could you tell us what your day-to-day work is like? What are your roles and what brought you into this profession and ultimately to where you are now?

My functions are: the day-to-day running of the house, in other words, making sure that everything runs smoothly and that everything goes well; and on the other hand, my role as a personal assistant. There is no specific percentage… There are days when I do 10% and 90%; others when I do 50-50%. It depends on the day of the week. You can make a forecast but then during the day a lot of things come up that change the priority of your tasks during the day. Those would be the two basic branches: the house management (all the operations in the house, staff management, events, shopping, children’s activities…); and everything that the client asks for (for their properties, their family, some memberships, etc.). As for the day-to-day, on Mondays I look at the schedule for that week to make a forecast. Then, throughout the day, I check emails, WhatsApps, and organise the day, always having a routine that I have to keep to. Otherwise, it would be chaos. You have to be disciplined, having certain fixed points, although there are continuous changes and you have to be flexible so you don’t get overwhelmed by it. Regarding the daily routine, once I manage to Schedule the household tasks, I talk to the staff, manage lunch, dinner and event times, laundry… I take care of tasks around the house when the other staff are not there. I check my email and phone constantly because there is a continuous ‘stream’ of messages. Another important thing is to check once a task has been done, that it has been done properly.



-As a lecturer in the Postgraduate course on subjects such as Residence Management for UHNWI and Table Etiquette, how important would you say training is for a career in Lifestyle Management?

Training is essential. Unless you already have experience because you started working at a very young age or you have the ability to learn and absorb all the information you are receiving, you need training. It’s very good to have someone to open doors for you. In this case, the teachers, who are going to open up new paths for you. It’s also up to you to decide what direction you’re going to take afterwards… I mean, whether you specialise or go into something else. But without training it’s impossible to advance, unless you’re a brainbox (she jokes) and you know how to learn well from the people around you.


 -After training comes experience, to what degree would you say both factors are important?

I think they are both important, 50/50. I have come across cases of people who have a lot of experience but little training; they know how to do the job but refuse to change because they have been doing their job in a certain way for 15 years and it works well for them, so they are not very flexible and want to continue doing everything their own way. On the other hand, I have come across people who have very good training but then I have started working with them and they are difficult or they don’t know how to communicate, they keep information to themselves, or they don’t work well in a team. I think here there needs to be a combination of the two.

For me, the basis (whether or not you have experience) is the personality of each person and their skills. That’s the crux every time I hire people. I don’t hire for one thing or another (education or experience). The first thing is the person, and then, I value experience and training, and I see how to complement it once hired, giving it 50% of the importance.


“The basis for this profession – whether you have experience or not – is the personality of each person and their skills”


-And going back to training, what key points would you say every PA or Residential Concierge needs to know in the process of acquiring knowledge in the Postgraduate course?

The first thing to do is a SWOT analysis, asking yourself what you like about this profession, what you are good at… Another question you should ask yourself once you start the course, is whether you are open to learning many things that you may have 0 interest in. The range is so wide that you have to absorb a bit of everything and, later on, when you are in a situation where you can choose, you do it. When you start from 0 you can’t choose because you have to learn subjects as diverse as how a building works, IT Skills, domotics, air conditioning in houses, swimming pools, pest control, private jets, clubs, clothes maintenance, managing different properties and staff… You have to have a minimum idea of how everything works. This is what the student really needs to ask themselves before starting the course.

On another level, I would mention time. This profession is very similar to the hotel industry where there are no working hours, unless you have a basic position in which you have shifts, such as hotel receptionists or floor maids. However, if you are a department head or PA, it is not a Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm working day. Flexibility of working hours is another issue that students need to consider.

-Of the subjects you teach, how would you define each of them in a nutshell?

I teach four modules. The first is ‘How to work in a private home’; the second is ‘PA (Personal Angel)’; the third is ‘Butler’ and the fourth is ‘Laundry and cleaning’. The first one consists of all the operations of a house, the structure, the people you deal with every day, the departments and the basics. In the second one, the PA one, I share a lot of real examples that have happened to me, so that you can imagine how many topics are covered. In the ‘Butler’ module, I give more theory because in general people don’t know what this figure really is. It has nothing to do with being a waiter, nor does it consist of waiting tables. In fact, it is totally different. Here I share suppliers, how to set a table, how to provide great service, how to enter and leave a room, attitude, how to manage orders, shifts, fabrics, etc. Finally, laundry and cleaning consists of an explanation of the structure, fabrics, wardrobes, wardrobe changes, external and internal laundry, the staff you deal with, the shifts to be done and the calendar of all the families, who chooses the cutlery and table linen to be used at each meal, etc…

Curiosities or anecdotes that you have come across in training or in your day-to-day professional life.

Students, when they start out, know nothing about the world of butlers. They do have some idea about the PAs. I remember a course I did before I moved to England to work as a butler; I read all the books I could find on the market because I was curious and wanted to learn – the more, the better. I see that here people start the course from 0, but they don’t prepare themselves on the subject either. This surprises me and I find it quite curious, Another recent anecdote in London is that I had arranged to meet to meet a client outside an embassy, arriving separately. We met outside to do some paperwork, as I was carrying the documentation and representing the client. She was just coming to sign. We went in and the man who attended us from the embassy talked to me all the time and thought I was the client and that she was a friend of mine or because I was dressed in formal business clothes and she was in a T-shirt, leggings and flip-flops.

And the third is that a family I worked for was totally convinced that the house had ghosts in it. It was a serious matter. They didn’t tell anyone and, the same evening, they turned up at the door dressed in black with black visors. There was a similar programme on TV and that’s the first thing I thought. They had gas canisters on their backs. They told me they were coming to the house because they had an appointment. And I closed the door twice because I didn’t know anything. I contacted my client and she said: “yes, yes, let them through the front door”. I opened the door, they came in, and it turned out that they were coming to kill the ghosts room by room. At that time there were about 12 members of staff, excluding the security people. All of them had to move from room to room. The point was that everyone was asking me what was going on and I didn’t want to tell them the truth. In fact, I said that it was orders from above and little else and that this should not leave the four walls of the house.


“If you like management and service, and also like quality, standards and luxury, being a PA is a perfect profession.”

-To those who are undecided and are starting to look at the world of Lifestyle Management and Private PA as a career option, what would you say to encourage them to take the plunge?

To take the plunge now, don’t think about it too much, because it is an exciting profession and one of the few that combines management with service. If you like both, and you also like quality, standards and luxury, it’s a perfect profession. If you enter and you regret it or there is something that is not as you thought, it doesn’t matter… Don’t worry! Once you are there, there are so many places to move once you are immersed… If you prefer a more stable or office job you can move to the Family Office or you can ask to move to their second or third residence, where you have an office schedule when they are not there, and when they are there, you are ‘full time’. There is so much scope that – for me – it is really exciting. Above all, it is worth it because you see things you wouldn’t see otherwise, being in a very unique and special environment, always learning things, seeing something new and being very up to date. The least important thing for me is to meet famous people and the most important thing is that if you have skills in private service you will be fulfilled because you reach very high standards and you are surrounded by great professionals. This is what motivates you the most because it pushes you to keep going upwards and to improve in your work. It is very rewarding because the family is very grateful when they find people who are worthwhile, motivated and dedicated. You are a driving force for the whole team because you have reached a position of responsibility where people look up to you, it is very satisfying. I don’t think there is any other profession that combines these two factors.

Copyright ©by Alberta La Grup

If you wish to re-print this article or photos, that’s fine. Just include the biography at the end of the article. Thank you!


Translation: Emily Benton


“Sin la formación es imposible avanzar”

Editorial The Lifestyle Institute | Autora: María José Núñez |  Septiembre 2022

Ella es Mayordomo y House Manager PA en una casa particular de Londres, y además, profesora de cuatro módulos del Postgrado de TLI. Se trata de Anuska Lago Rey, con quien tuvimos una interesante conversación acerca de la importancia de la formación, de su amplia experiencia en la enseñanza en alto rendimiento y, por supuesto, de diversas curiosidades que te encantará conocer, tanto si estás planteándote dedicarte a esto como si estás pensando en contratar un Personal Angel; o a ti, que necesitas saber más acerca de este apasionante mundo.


Para comenzar esta charla con Anuska, queremos te contamos más cosas sobre su trayectoria: tal y como te hemos adelantado, actualmente vive en Londres, donde  trabaja como House Manager-PA-Butler en casas privadas. La calidad, el servicio y la gestión rigen su vida, lo que explica su salto profesional al servicio privado en 2016. Comenzó su carrera en el sector de la hostelería, ascendiendo a Directora General de Hotel, para poner en marcha dos complejos turísticos. Las finanzas, la gestión del personal, las operaciones del hotel y las relaciones con los huéspedes han conformado su día a día a lo largo de casi 15 años.


 -Ahora sí, Anuska, para dar el pistoletazo de salida a esta entrevista, ¿podrías explicarnos cómo es tu día a día profesional? ¿Cuáles son tus funciones y qué te llevó a dedicarte a ello y, en definitiva, a donde estás ahora?

Mis funciones son: el día a día de la casa, es decir, encargarme de que todo funcione bien y salga adelante; y por otra parte, asistente personal. No hay un porcentaje… Hay días que hago un 10% y un 90%; otros, que hago un 50-50%. Ello depende del día de la semana. Puedes hacer una previsión pero luego durante el día surgen muchísimas cosas que hacen cambiar la prioridad de tus tareas durante el día. Esas serían las dos ramas básicas: el house management (toda la operativa de la casa, gestión de personal, eventos, compras, actividades de niños…); y todo lo que pide el cliente (para sus propiedades, su familia, cosas de algunos memberships, etcétera). En cuanto al día a día, yo los lunes veo toda la programación que hay para esa semana para hacerme una previsión. Y después, a lo largo del día, veo los emails, WhatsApps, y organizo la jornada, siempre teniendo una rutina que has de mantener. De lo contrario, sería un caos. Has de mantener una disciplina, teniendo ciertos puntos inamovibles, aunque los cambios son continuos y has de tener flexibilidad para no agobiarte por ello. Respecto a la rutina diaria, una vez puedo programar lo que hay en la casa, hablo con el personal, gestiono horas de comida, cena y eventos, lavandería… También ando por la casa arriba y abajo cuando ellos no están, chequeo email y teléfono constantemente porque es un ‘chorreo’ continuo de mensajes. Otro tema importante es chequear una vez que se ha realizado una tarea, comprobando que realmente se ha ejecutado.

-Como profesora en el Postgrado de asignaturas como Gestión de residencias para los UHNWI y Etiqueta en la mesa, ¿cómo dirías que es de importante la formación para para dedicarse al mundo del Lifestyle Management?

La formación es fundamental. A no ser que tengas ya experiencia porque has empezado a trabajar desde muy joven o tengas la capacidad de ir aprendiendo y absorber toda la información que estás recibiendo, necesitas formación. Es muy bueno tener a alguien que te abra puertas. En este caso, los profesores, quienes te van a proporcionar otros caminos. Y luego, es tu decisión la dirección que vayas a tomar después… Es decir, si te especializas o te dedicas a otra cosa. Pero sin la formación es imposible avanzar, a no ser que seas un cerebrito (bromea) y sepas aprender bien de la gente que te rodea.


Después de la formación viene la experiencia. ¿En qué grado dirías que son importantes ambos factores?

Creo que son los dos importantes, al 50%. Yo me he encontrado con casos de gente que tiene mucha experiencia y poca formación; saben hacer el trabajo pero se niegan a los cambios porque llevan 15 años ejerciendo su labor de una manera determinada y les funciona bien, con lo cual, son poco flexibles y quieren seguir haciendo todo a su manera. Y, por otro lado, me he encontrado a gente que tiene muy buena formación pero luego he empezado a trabajar con ellos y son difíciles o no saben comunicar, ocultan información para ellos o no trabajan bien en equipo. Con lo cual, creo que tiene que haber una combinación.

Para mi, la base (da igual si tienes experiencia o no) es la personalidad de cada uno y sus habilidades. Ese es el quid cada vez que contrato a gente. No contrato por una cosa o por otra (formación o experiencia). Lo primero es la persona, y entonces, valoro la experiencia y formación, y veo cómo complementarlo una vez contratados, dándole importancia en un 50%.

“La base para ejercer esta profesión -da igual si tienes experiencia o no- es la personalidad de cada uno y sus habilidades”


-Y volviendo a la formación, qué claves dirías que ha de saber todo PA o Residential Concierge en su proceso de adquisición de conocimientos en el Postgrado?

Lo primero es hacerse cada uno un análisis DAFO, preguntándote qué es lo que te gusta de esta profesión, en qué eres bueno… Y otra cuestión que debes hacerte es, una vez que entras, has de tener claro que tienes que estar abierto a aprender muchas cosas que igual tienes interés 0, pero el abanico es tan amplio que tienes que absorber un poco de todo y, más adelante, cuando estés en una situación en la que tú puedas elegir, ya lo haces. Cuando empiezas de 0 no puedes elegir porque tienes que aprender temas tan diversos como saber cómo funciona un edificio, bastante informática, domótica, aire acondicionado en las casas, piscinas, el control de plagas, jets privados, clubs, mantenimiento de ropa, gestionar distintas propiedades y al personal… Has de tener una idea mínima de cómo funciona todo. Y esto es lo que se tiene que cuestionar el alumno antes de entrar.

Y en otro plano quedaría el tiempo, ya que es una profesión muy parecida a la hostelería donde no hay horarios, a no ser que tengas un puesto base en el que sí tengas turnos, como los recepcionistas de hotel o las camareras de piso. Sin embargo, si eres jefe de departamento o PA, no es una jornada de lunes a viernes de 9 a 18.00. La flexibilidad de horarios es otra de las cuestiones que ha de plantearse el estudiante.

-De las asignaturas que impartes, ¿cómo podrías definir cada una de estas en breves palabras?

Yo imparto cuatro módulos. El primero es ‘Cómo trabajar en una casa privada’; el segundo es ‘PA (Personal Angel)’; el tercero es ‘Mayordomo’ y el cuarto es ‘Lavandería y limpieza’. El primero consiste en toda la operativa de una casa, la estructura que hay, la gente con la que te relacionas cada día, los departamentos y lo más básico. En el segundo, el de PA, cuento un montón de ejemplos reales que me han ocurrido a mi, con el objetivo de que vean la cantidad de temas que se tratan. En el de ‘Mayordomo’ doy más teoría porque en general no se conoce lo que es realmente esta figura. No tiene nada que ver con ser camarero ni consiste en servir mesas. De hecho, es totalmente distinto. Aquí doy proveedores, cómo montarse una mesa, cómo dar un servicio, cómo entras y sales de una habitación, actitud, cómo gestionar pedidos, turnos, tejidos, etcétera. Y el de lavandería y limpieza consiste en explicación de la estructura, de los tejidos, de los guardarropas, el cambio de armario, lavandería externa e interna, personal con el que tratas, turnos que se deben hacer y el calendario de todas las familias, quién elige la cubertería y la mantelería que vas a servir en cada servicio de comida…

-Curiosidades o anécdotas con las que te hayas encontrado dando formación o en tu día a día profesional. 

Los estudiantes, cuando empiezan, no saben nada del mundo de los mayordomos. De los PAs sí que tienen algo de idea. Me acuerdo de un curso que hice antes de mudarme a Inglaterra para trabajar como Mayordomo; yo me leía todos los libros que encontraba en el mercado porque tenía curiosidad y quería saber cuanto más, mejor. Veo que aquí la gente empieza el curso y viene de 0 pero tampoco venían preparados en la materia. Y esto es lo que me sorprende como curiosidad. Otra anécdota reciente en Londres es que habíamos quedado en la puerta de una embajada, llegando por separado. Nos encontramos fuera para hacer un papeleo, pues yo llevaba la documentación y la representaba. Ella venía solamente a firmar. Entramos y el señor que nos atendió de la Embajada me hablaba a mi todo el rato y se pensaba que era yo mi clienta y que ella era amiga mía o una hija de la familia porque yo venía vestida formal y de trabajo y ella con una camiseta, unos leggins y unas chanclas.

Y la tercera es que una familia para lo que yo trabajé estaba convencida del todo de que la casa tenía fantasmas. Era un asunto serio. No nos avisaron a nadie y, la misma tarde, aparecieron en la puerta vestidos de negro con unas viseras negras. Había un programa parecido en la TV y yo es lo primero que pensé. Y llevaban unas bombonas de gas en la espalda. Me dijeron que venían a la casa que tenían una cita. Y les cerré la puerta dos veces porque yo no sabía nada. Contacté con mi clienta y me dijo: “sí, sí, hazles pasar por la puerta principal”. Les abrí la puerta, entraron, y resultó que venían a matar a los fantasmas habitación por habitación. A esa hora estábamos alrededor de 12 personas de personal, exceptuando a los de seguridad. Y a todos ellos los tuve que mover de estancia a estancia. La cuestión fue que todo el mundo me preguntaba que qué pasaba y yo no les quería decir la verdad. De hecho, dije que eran órdenes de arriba y poco más. Y que esto no se podía contar fuera de allí.

“Si te gusta el management y el servicio, y además, te agrada la calidad, los estándares y el lujo, ser PA es una profesión perfecta”


-A aquellos indecisos que empiezan a ver el mundo del Lifestyle Management y de PA privado como opción profesional, ¿cómo decirles que se lancen?

Que se lancen ya, que no se lo piensen mucho pues es una profesión apasionante porque es de las pocas que combinan management con servicio. Si te gustan ambos, y aparte, te agrada la calidad, los estándares y el lujo es una profesión perfecta. Una vez entras y te arrepientes o hay algo que no es como tú pensabas, no importa… ¡No te preocupes! Una vez entras hay tantos donde moverte una vez estás inmerso… Si prefieres un trabajo más estable o de oficina puedes pasarte al Family Office o puedes pedir el traslado a una casa que tengan de segunda o tercera residencia, donde tienes un horario de oficina cuando no están ellos, y cuando están, estás ‘full time’. Hay tanto campo que -para mi-realmente es apasionante. Sobre todo, porque ves cosas que no verías de otra manera, estando en un entorno muy único y especial, siempre aprendiendo cosas, viendo algo nuevo y estando muy al día. A lo que menos importancia le doy es a conocer gente famosa. Para mi lo importante es que si tienes unas habilidades en servicio privado te vas a realizar porque llegas a unos estándares muy altos y te rodeas de grandes profesionales. Esto es lo que más motiva porque te impulsa a seguir hacia arriba y mejorar en tu trabajo. Y es muy agradecido porque la familia es muy agradecida cuando encuentra a gente que vale, motivada y entregada. Y tú eres un motor para todo el equipo pues has llegado a un puesto de responsabilidad en el que la gente te mira, es muy gratificante. No creo que haya ninguna empresa que combine estos dos factores.



Copyright © by Alberta La Grup. If you wish to re-print this article or photos, that’s fine. Just include the biography at the end of the article. Thank you!

Translation: Emily Benton

Copyright ©by Alberta La Grup

If you wish to re-print this article or photos, that’s fine. Just include the biography at the end of the article. Thank you!

Traducción: Emily Benton

🗞️ We share with you an article about Alberta LaGrup and The Lifestile Institute, in L’econòmic

PA: Personal Assistant, Personal Angel

A different philosophy. “Without a doubt, our philosophy of work is different.” Lourdes Carbó claims.

by Elena Castelló | Editorial Alberta La Grup | December 2018

Lourdes Carbó, founder and director of Alberta La Grup, had a great intuition: a “personal assistant” is like a personal guardian, an “angel”. Just like in the finance world where we speak about “business angels” – the figure who helps entrepreneurs start their business investments and supports them – a “personal assistant” is much more than merely an “assistant”: it is an “all round helper”, who watches over their client. Therefore, Lourdes has created the expression “personal angels”. “We wanted to deepen the the scope of the concept of a personal assistant.” explains Lourdes Carbó. The quality of service at Alberta La Grup and their 360 degree attention requires a new title.

“There is no law establishing what the functions of a “personal assistant” are. But, our work provides a much broader vision of their tasks. Therefore, our professionals are “Personal Angels”. What type of work defines a “personal angel”? From receptionist to managers secretay or secretary of the department, up to “Office Manager” or “Executive Assistant”. A “Personal Angel” does more than just organising travel, answering phone calls or managing important documents” adds Lourdes Carbó. A “Personal Angel” also carries out all the personal affairs for a client. It is a complex job that requires a lot of sensitivity and intuition.

The right hand

A “personal angel” is a professional with compete confidentiality, the first person to go, because they are the person you confide in more than anyone, to resolve all aspects of your personal and professional life, and because they are the most capable of doing so, as if it was done by the client themselves: this is one of the definitions that Lourdes Carbó likes the most. “Yes, a personal angel is your absolute right hand” she explains. “They are the figure that you delegate any management to”  Therefore, their work goes beyond the agenda, flights, calendar, calls or bureaucratic procedures. They also tackle more personal tasks, medical appointments, leisure… “They are like the eyes and the hands of the client” says Lourdes, “Always by your side to coordinate and execute.”

An endless list…

The attitudes and capacities that a “personal angel” that can develop when working with a demanding client are infinite. They have to deal with not only their intellectual, but also their psychology. The “personal angel” is always available to respond in the best way. At Alberta La Grup we have complied up to 137 skills and abilities that characterise what this means. Listed below are only a few of them: Good manners, diplomacy, discretion, confidentiality, a good memory, the ability to multitask, multilingual training, complete availability, – especially to travel-, ability to react quickly, have a network of contacts.. These are characteristics that you learn with good training and experience, but that are also part of a persons character and personality, such as emotions, self control, the capacity to organise and anticipate, the intuition to understand situations and capture the needs of the client.

A “Guardian Angel”

Our “personal angel” watches over and cares for their client (like an angel does, of course!) How? Putting their needs first and looking after their interests. “A “personal angel” is always one step ahead, says Lourdes. Negotiating to obtain the best possible results. Therefore, it is essential when defining them to use words such as fidelity, honesty, and above all, loyalty.

What are the clients like who demand a “personal angel”?

At Alberta La Grup, we work, above all with personal and private needs. We take care of the organisation of private trips, medical appointments, family agendas, domestic life, activities for children, the international arrival of guests, extensive changing rooms or private celebrations…”We travel with the children, we know who has an allergy, what they like”, describes Lourdes. “A good “personal angel” can get to know all the brands and models of private planes and helicopters. Or the Jimmy Choo collection from the past three years. Not an expert in fashion, but has the right contacts.”

A good contacts list

Therefore, a “personal angel” responds daily, getting rid of stress.The everyday life of a “personal angel” is a permanent challenge, but the preparation and professionalism allows them to resolve everything efficiently and without nerves. The key aspect: a “personal angel” always knows where to find the necessary information. From where to repair a delicate piece of jewellery for a family, to where to find fencing classes, the best flowers in the city or to make a reservation in the most demanded restaurant at the moment.

Implication within a discreet and intelligent distance

A “personal angel” is always accessible and has a very close relationship with their client – which is essential, given that they manage confidential information-, but at the same time, they know that they do not belong in the environment. Between closeness and intimacy there is a fine line which you must not cross, and a “personal angel” knows this very well.  “I always say that we are like ballerinas, because we enter, tip-toeing into a house, but we are not part of it.” says Lourdes.The formula: you have to distance yourself to not lose the perspective, whilst being close enough to understand the necessities of the client. It is only in this way that the results will be impeccable.

If you wish to re-print this article or photos, that’s fine. Just include the biography at the end of the article. Thank you! Copyright © by Alberta La Grup

What is a Personal Assistant?

“Many clients don’t want to seem rich, but rather express their personality and feel emotions.”  Gilles Lipovetsky, in the introduction to La fórmula del lujo (The Luxury Formula) by Susana Campuzano

by Elena Castelló | Editorial Alberta La Grup | February 2020

To better understand what a Personal Assistant is, we can start by discussing luxury itself. With their discreet and efficient demeanour, the Personal Assistant becomes a somewhat vague figure whom nobody is quite sure what exactly it is that they do.

Do they help manage paperwork?

Do they organize the day-to-day tasks of someone’s professional and domestic life?

Are they in charge of all those small details that someone with a very busy life can’t take care of?

The answer to all these questions is yes, but a Personal Assistant is so much more than that: their mission is to make all the experiences that a client has stored in their imagine possible.

Creating time so that the client can live each moment with maximum intensity. The classic values – exclusivity, excellence, the private client philosophy, attention to detail, sense of urgency and discretion are at the crux of what a Personal Assistant does in in their daily work (which is why at Alberta La Grup we refer to them as Personal Angels).  But it is also vital for them to search for sensations, emotions and the pleasure in every moment. A Personal Assistant is not only there to help, they are there to create dreams. They perfectly embody luxury in the way that we have come to understand it today: experiential, exciting, precise and well informed. However, if we look at the evolution of luxury over the last century, we can also understand what the true essence of a Personal Assistant is and why at Alberta La Grup, we refer to them as Personal Angels.

Quality, exclusivity, innovation, tailor-made care and high prices: these are the elements that define luxury, according to what researcher Susana Campuzano explains in her book, La fórmula del lujo (The Luxury Formula). In the beginning, with the focus being on haute couture, it wasn’t difficult to identify these values. The world of luxury was directed solely towards the social elite, who wanted tailor-made products that were completely handcrafted. This remains much the same today and lives on in the DNA of the greatest brands, which have nowadays become century-old institutions. The definition of luxury, however, has become somewhat more complex. The need to adapt to a globalized market and earn the trust of new millennial clients is paramount to keep progressing and not get stuck in the past with the older generations, meaning that with their long-serving elegance, the big brands have started to seek out new strategies. With this change, ‘new luxury’ was born in the sense that a product alone is no longer enough; clients have changed their perception and the kind of things that they long for.

Choosing a brand means feeling identified with the story that they have created, which nowadays is a message of experience, imagination and, on occasion, defiance, much in line with the culture of the younger generations of today. Of course, the classic values of luxury still have their place, but without this new kind of philosophy, they would lose their touch. It is essential to demonstrate a lifestyle that takes the consumer away from the habitual and allows them to become the protagonist in their own story; the hero of their own life.

And this is where a Personal Assistant’s work lies: in earning trust, fulfilling wishes, making life easier and bringing what is most longer for to life.

Could there be more of a dream job than this? Without a doubt, the answer is no.

If you wish to re-print this article or photos, that’s fine. Just include the biography at the end of the article. Thank you! Copyright © by Alberta La Grup


Mayordomos del S.XXI

Personal Assistant
“No oirá nada ni verá nada, sólo servirá”.  “El mayordomo” Lee Daniels (2013)

por Elena Castelló | editorial Alberta La Grup | Febrero 2020

El anciano Cecil Gaines, interpretado por el actor Forest Whitaker, rememora en la película “El Mayordomo”, de Lee Daniels, su vida en el servicio doméstico, desde su adolescencia en una plantación de algodón de Georgia, en la que sus padres eran aparceros, hasta 2008, cuando es recibido por el Presidente Obama, tras trabajar medio siglo en la Casa Blanca para las familias presidenciales, desde finales de los años cincuenta, cuando es contratado como mayordomo del presidente Eisenhower. La historia está basada en hechos reales y describe la evolución de la sociedad norteamericana y del problema racial a través de la mirada de este hombre siempre “al servicio de”.

Pero, además de este retrato social y racial, la historia de Cecil como mayordomo tiene mucho que aportar sobre cómo han cambiado algunos papeles esenciales en el funcionamiento de una gran casa y sobre el papel que hoy desempeñan los nuevos mayordomos.

Cecil recibe como formación la frase lapidaria que encabeza este texto y que describe una forma de servir antigua en la que la entrega del mayordomo y su discreción son absolutas. Una mentalidad de corte británico que invisibiliza al mayordomo y le somete a una férrea disciplina.

Hoy, esta caracterización resulta difícil de compatibilizar con el servicio moderno. La misma palabra servicio resulta obsoleta. El concepto contemporáneo de la mayordomía es el del asistente: un profesional que es un cómplice activo, un ejecutor, alguien capaz de resolver todos los problemas que puedan surgir. En este concepto ya no caben definiciones por sexos y, aunque la discreción sigue siendo un requisito esencial, el trato es igualitario.

¿Qué otros rasgos definen a este mayordomo del siglo XXI?

Y, ¿qué es lo que le anima? ¿Cuál es el espíritu hoy de estos modernos mayordomos? Al contrario de lo que le enseñaron a Cecil, hoy es esencial la iniciativa. El mensaje es “nosotros nos ocuparemos de todo”. Esa es la respuesta inmediata a la petición urgente. El tiempo vuela y las necesidades se multiplican, se hacen más complejas. Y el nuevo mayordomo actúa siempre sin perder de vista lo que es importante y actuando en consecuencia. Y, algo esencial: conservando la dignidad, el respeto y la integridad. El nuevo mayordomo no es un sirviente, es un colaborador. Y su una entrega es profesional, pero también personal. “No hay nada más satisfactorio que esa expresión de plenitud y absoluta confianza que percibes en la cara de nuestro cliente cuando ve sus deseos cumplidos”, explica un Personal Assistant de hoy.

Por eso, al moderno mayordomo le hemos bautizado como Personal Angel.

Él cuida, vela, consigue, resuelve, colma. Sabe que debe enrazarse para conocer el terreno y así ser efectivo, detectando quiénes son las personas que pueden ayudarle. Y así se va construyendo una red de contactos que es uno de los valores más importantes de un Personal Angel. Conoce mejor que nadie el valor del tiempo, que permite obtener el resultado que se busca. Solo así es posible conseguir lo que se pide cuando se pide.

Un equipo bien entrenado lleva a cabo hasta 800 tareas para su cliente. Viajar, traducir, cuidar, comprar, verificar, comprobar, coordinar, cuidar, organizar, planificar, supervisar, comparar, escribir, llamar, describir, explicar, conducir, programar, pagar, notificar diseñar, ejecutar, decidir resumir, investigar, seducir… Son sólo algunas de las acciones del nuevo mayordomo. Y en todos los idiomas posibles.

Si deseas imprimir el artículo total o parcialmente, está bien. Únicamente, incluye la referencia biográfica al final del texto. Gracias! Marca Registrada © Alberta La Grup


21st Century Butlers

“They won’t hear anything, nor see anything, only serve”. The Butler” (2013) – Lee Daniels

by Elena Castelló | Editorial Alberta La Grup | February 2020

Cecil Gaines – played by actor Forest Whitaker – recalls his life in domestic service in Lee Daniels’ The Butler. The film goes from his teenage years on a cotton farm in Georgia, when his parents were sharecroppers, to 2008, when he is hired by President Obama after working in the White House for presidential families for half a century from the late 1950’s; as well as being hired as a butler for President Eisenhower. The storyline is based on real events and it describes the evolution of North American society and the racial issues within it, through the view of a man “always in service”.

However, in addition to this social and racial portrait, the story of Cecil as a butler also has much to say about how essential roles in the functioning of a great home have changed and about the new role that modern butlers play today.

As training, Cecil is told the phrase that heads this text, which describes an old-fashioned way of serving in which the butler’s discretion and services are absolute. This is a British court mentality that makes the butler invisible and subjects them to a strict discipline.

However, today this characterisation cannot be compatible with modern service. The very word ‘service’ is obsolete. The modern concept of the butler is that of the assistant: a professional that is an active helper, an executor, and someone who is capable of resolving all the problems that may arrive. In this concept, there is no longer room for definitions by gender, and although discretion continues to be an essential requirement, the treatment is equal.

What other traits define this concept of a 21st century butler?

And what is it that encourages them? What is the spirit of modern butlers today? On the contrary of what was taught to Cecil, today initiative is essential. The message is “we will take care of everything”.  This is the immediate response to an urgent request. Time flies and needs multiply and become more complicated. The new butler acts always without losing sight of what is important and acting accordingly. And something essential: conserving dignity, respect and integrity. The new butler isn’t a servant, but a collaborator. And their approach is professional, but also personal. “There’s nothing more satisfying than the expression of plenitude and absolute trust that you see on a client’s face when their desires are fulfilled,” explains a Personal Assistant of today.

And thus, we have baptized the modern butler as a Personal Angel.

They care, watch, manage, resolve and fulfil. They know that they always have to be in the know and be aware of their environment, thus being effective, and detecting those who they need to help. Meanwhile building a network of contacts, which is one of the most important values of a Personal Angel. They know better than anyone the value of time, which allows them to find the result that they’re searching for. This is the only way to get what you want, when you ask for it.

A well trained team carries out as many as 800 tasks for their client. Travel, translate, care, purchase, verify, check, coordinate, organize, plan, supervise, write, call, describe, explain, drive, program, pay, notify, design, execute, decide, summarise… These are only some of the actions of the new butler. And in all the possible languages.

If you wish to re-print this article or photos, that’s fine. Just include the biography at the end of the article. Thank you! Copyright © by Alberta La Grup