We are news in the newspaper EL MUNDO

We are the news in the newspaper EL MUNDO

📰 Did you read the newspaper the day after the elections in Spain?


You probably found this…



Yes, we are news too!


💥 Although we live immersed in the world of silent luxury, sometimes we know how to generate buzz.

Editor: Marisa del Bosque


Here is the interview translated into English ↘




The manager who pulls the strings of Spain’s super millionaires: “Sometimes you have to stop and put your feet on the ground”

Behind the main fortunes of our country is Lourdes Carbó, a ‘personal angel’ who attends  their needs and whims at all costs. In one week they can spend up to two million euros. This is the regular basis of her profession at the highest demand.

Carbó at the terrace of the Antares Tower, one of the most luxurious skyscrapers in Barcelona




From arranging a private plane to getting an invitation to the exclusive Monaco Rose Ball, where Lana del Rey was giving her only concert of the season, specifically the one a teenager wanted to see to celebrate a special date. Lourdes Carbó is capable of achieving that and almost everything, from the simplest to the most complicated requests. “Sometimes so much that you don’t even know where to begin,” she assures.


Carbó works as a personal angel, the unknown figure in the shadows who makes life easier for that tiny percentage of millionaires who make their fortunes in our country. A small club that, on the same day,  can afford breakfast on deck with French champagne at Miami’s coastline along with oysters for dinner, while watching the sunset in a mansion in Tuscany, without, of course, worrying about moving or packing a suitcase, booking a hotel, buying a ticket or any of the other mundane tasks faced by those who already consider it a luxury to take a few days off the calendar to spread out their towel on a beach.


Far from that condition, for the tiny segment of the population with six zeros in their current account – almost 3% of Spaniards, according to Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report – ,enjoying a well-deserved holiday is stress-free since there is nothing to think about: their favourite flowers will be in the vase, cut to the right size and placed in the right position, the caviar will be cooling in the fridge and the yacht will be ready to set sail.


We are talking about rich, very rich. “They are families exceptionally distinct with the rest of society, with very complicated and extraordinary lives, who take 22 people to the other side of the world, to the Hamptons, to celebrate their grandmother’s birthday. As expected, none of the invited pack a suitcase and when they get there they have nothing to do, since everything is already done. That’s part of their tranquility and our duty to fulfill,” remarks Lourdes Carbó, founder of Alberta La Grup, a Spanish company that has become the world’s third largest personal assistant agency for high net worth individuals, social elites and the very successful.


How big? Huge. Last year, Forbes magazine counted 28 multimillionaires in Spain, considering only those with assets worth more than one billion dollars. Far behind them, but also in the economic stratosphere, another 246,500 people exceed one million, according to the consultancy Cap Gemini, with figures from 2021. “These are families who may have 400 domestic servants on their payroll and own an average of five residences – some as many as 12 – around the world, people who don’t hesistate to spend 6,000 euros for a night in a hotel or a bottle of wine”.


Carbó’s clients, eight at the moment, have a “brutal” economic level. “We don’t wonder what they want, we just make it happen,” she claims. “We are the CEO of their private lives, because we don’t deal with any corporate issues, we are there to make the company, the family, work”.


Furthermore, Carbó’s clients have all sorts of requests, specially in summer, when these angels hit the working peak. “The turnover is huge, we operate with a lot of money: a family can spend two million euros in a week,” she states. “So, although we have our own holidays and private lives, like everyone else, we never rest, because things are always happening and you are there to sort them out, whatever it takes; it’s very difficult to separate private life from work.


“We are like the validos of the 21st century, the right hand of the powerful”

As an anecdote, she recalls interrupting her days off to drive a luxury car to a villa where a family was demanding it. “It’s not that much of a sacrifice to drive that kind of car, is it? Specially with the gas is paid for. You don’t get that opportunity every day,” she says. “This profession allows you to travel in a different way and to live experiences that would otherwise be unattainable”.


Her company, which she set up as a limited company in 2011 after capitalising the Spanish unemployement, began by providing services to three families. Now 18 multilingual people work for her – some speak up to seven languages, including Arabic, and Lourdes, five – and they are mainly operate in Switzerland, Dubai, Paris, Monaco, New York and Miami. They manage a network capable of handling anything and anywhere in the world: “The important thing is to know how to move around and contact the expert who can help you; the key is your agenda, if you have contacts, everything is easier,” she says.


These types of companies follow a pyramid scheme: only the angel staff deal with the family, while behind them a whole network of professionals manage any need. For example: solving the theft of the yacht’s dinghy, organising an extra weekend on a Greek island for a teenage girl with her friends or organising 12 dinners with as many different chefs. “But under one condition:  that they have to be the best in the world, all with Michelin stars. Families know very well what they want and will pay whatever it takes. And we don’t question it, we manage it. I like to say that we are like the validos of the 21st century, the right hand of the powerful”.


And doesn’t that go to one’s head? “We know what’s in that world, but we are not part of it, it’s not ours. The families we serve make decisions without accounting money, they are looking for experiences. But we also get them discounts, and they like it. Sometimes when we say: ‘It’s a great price’, we stop to weigh and…. Sheesh, you have to stop and put your feet on the ground,” Carbó replies confidently.


She is the best definition of silent luxury, stealth wealth disguised as simplicity. “In this social stratum there are many symbols that make it clear what category you belong to, whether you are nouveau riche, rich de pedigree or just plain rich. And, yes, you can learn them. In fact, you should learn them, because they are decisive, for example, when it comes to hiring a yacht: “You have to know which one to look for; there are some basic minimums that you need to acknowledge”.


It is something so simple yet so complicated for those who do not move in these circles, like checking that the measurements of a private plane are sufficient to allow you to enter it standing upright. “Imagine the situation if the family has to bend down when the day comes,” she remarks.


At what point does someone consider being an achiever? Carbó worked at the corporate level, as as Presidence secretary, and was often asked to help with private matters. “I had colleagues who hated it, but I enjoyed doing it, I found it a challenge. Later, when the family left for North America, I decided to stay and work for them from here, on a personal level. I had discovered this type of business:  Concierge companies, in London, and I already had the idea in my mind, I wasn’t discovering fire.


After that, word of mouth did the job, because in this kind of business nothing is advertised. “Our clients only know what’s going on at home, nothing else; we even work for the families of two brothers who don’t know about it.


Anyone who wants to start a service like this can do so without a problem, Carbó insists. “You don’t need much: a computer, a mobile phone and contacts. And work long hours. Has it been easy? No. Can anyone do it? Yes. We work 24/7, but it’s well paid. I’m very ant-like and cautious,” she argues, playing it down.


But the reality is that their work is very well paid: again, another six figure payroll. These are the ones that reward responsibility; the angel staff know the family’s sensitive information, they know what side of the bed everyone sleeps on, whether they will want the yellow or green dishes, how they like to organise their clothes in the drawers, they have the house keys and passwords…. And, above all, they pay for “absolute discretion”, the key to the success of their work.


“Without it, you have little future,” she says. “It’s about achieving the objective (whatever the request) without collateral damage. We are not experts in anything, but we know where to find them. Our job is similar to that of a journalist: we know where to look. There is money to be made, but there is also a lot of stress, you never finish.


Part of the merit lies, also, in moving on two sides. “You have to know perfectly what the family is like, their tastes, but you also need to persuade those on the other side. For example, the person who has to go down to the beach to check whether the sand is white or black. And you also need to get them to come down to check it happily and to want to collaborate with you, so that you don’t get an unpleasant surprise afterwards. You depend on them and you have to use their language.


Carbó describes it in a way that seems simple, but it may not be so simple when it is a profession within the reach of few. What do you have to have to be able to do this? I insist. “We have made a list that includes 137 skills. We could think of more, but never less. And it doesn’t mean you have to have all of them, although there are some that are fundamental, in addition to discretion, languages and empathy”.


That is why they set up The Lifestyle Institute, a unique school in the world directed by her which is the first in Europe to train these discreet and efficient professionals who manage the private lives of the elite. “It came about out of necessity, we couldn’t find qualified people to do the job. I have been self-taught, anyone can, but it takes longer and you’d suffer, hence our course,” she says.

“If you once jump through the hoop of something you don’t like, you’ll have to do it every time”


No matter how talented they were, it took an average of four to six months for those aspiring to find a job with Lourdes Carbó to become somewhat comofortable, a time she did not have. “That’s why the postgraduate thing started. I started with the intention of outlining what is needed to enhance the skills of those who are interested in becoming angels so that they would be up to the task. This profession is exciting, but only for a minority, even though there are a few thousand millionaires. It must be preserved”. So far, there have already been two official calls for applications for her master’s degree, last one being this past June.


In all this time, hasn’t there been anything that has made you think that it has got out of hand? I ask her. “Yes, of course. For example, the day I had to ship bottles of water of a certain brand to the other side of the world, to a Eurasian country. They needed it to wash their hair, because it had the right mineral composition to give them the texture they wanted”.


Along with this frivolity, there are other extravagances that don’t work out, such as when she had to fill a house with 6,000 little glasses each containing a rosebud. “He wanted to surprise his partner, a much younger woman, but he didn’t get the effect he was looking for and she didn’t like to come in and see all that. We had to make them disappear almost immediately, we had to destroy something that had cost us millions in seconds”.


There are many other moments that fill her with pride. For example, when she managed, in extremis, to find lost medical tests at MD Anderson Cancer Center: “We felt it was crucial to find them and we did it thanks to the help of a nurse who went around the building opening drawers left and right. We are there on a day-to-day basis, both during festive events and in delicate situations.


Have you ever had to stop your client and say ‘this is it’? “Of course, if you once jump through the hoop of something you don’t like, you will have to do it every time. I have had to stop working with three families, because there are also some families that you don’t like. And the way you leave also has to be precise; it’s not as simple as saying goodbye”.


-Are we talking about a request that borders on the law?


-No, I simply understood that it was not the way of doing things. And I didn’t do it,” she concludes.


Translation: Mario Ruiz Blanco

Lourdes Carbó talks about the Personal Angels with Luis Herrero on ES RADIO

Lourdes Carbó, founder and CEO at Alberta La Grup and The Lifestyle Institute, spoke in ‘En Casa de Herrero’, from ES RADIO.

➡️ The whole programme:

Cristina Martí in the magazine “Juntos” on TeleMadrid

Cristina Martí, Personal Angel and Lifestyle Manager at Alberta La Grup and lecturer at The Lifestyle Institute, spoke for ‘Juntos’, a magazine on Telemadrid.

We share with you an excerpt from the interview, where she explained the important role played by Personal Angels. ⤵️

March, 2023

➡️ The whole programme: Juntos 21.03.2023 (telemadrid.es)
(from the 53rd minute)


TLI in the magazine “MESA DE ANÁLISIS” of the andalusian TV Channel Canal Sur

🗞️ Cristina Martí, Personal Angel and Lifestyle Manager at Alberta La Grup and lecturer at The Lifestyle Institute, took part in the magazine Mesa de Análisis on the Andalusian television channel Canal Sur. We leave you with a fragment of the interview, where she talked about the role of Personal Angels. ⤵️

Interview in Nius Diario

Cristina, assistant to millionaires: “We don’t judge what they ask of us. As long as it is legal and moral, we will do our best to resolve it”

Read this interesting interview with Cristina Martí about Alberta La Grup and The Lifestyle Institute at NIUS DIARIO!

21 March, 2023

The original article: ¿Qué hace un asistente personal de millonarios? (niusdiario.es)

And read it in english here: 

·        These professionals are dedicated to assisting “high net worth individuals” to ensure that they don’t need to worry about anything
·        There services fall under at least 300 categories which are provided according to the clients’ needs
·        They estimate taking care of around 5,600 tasks per family each year.

Their job is to always be one step ahead and to help their clients avoid worrying about trivial tasks such as buying birthday presents, sorting out boxes after a house move or looking for cleaning staff. They are know as personal assistants or, as they like to refer to themselves, personal angels as they consider themselves to be guardian angels for those whose lives they make easier.

Certainly, some of the tasks they have to take care of are challenges that would seemingly require some help from above, although they take care of them without batting an eyelid: picking up a forgotten teddy bear from a villa in the middle of the mountains, convincing the Little Mermaid herself to appear in the private pool at the birthday party of a little American girl in Spain, or taking a specific brand of bottled water from Geneva to Kazakhstan for clients who only like to drink that particular brand.

Cristina Martí (42) is one of them main protagonists when it comes to these achievements. She has been working as a personal assistant for high net worth clients for the last ten years and she talks about these challenges (that she faces on a daily basis) as though they were totally natural. As she explains, it is her job: the client makes their requests and she (and her team) make them happen.

For example, when she travelled to New York to decorate a hotel room for Halloween to surprise the family’s children, or when she had to pick up a car in Rome and drive it to Geneva so that the top executive she was assisting could arrive on time to his meeting without having to worry about his sports car. Of course, Cristina delivered it looking spotless and with a full tank of petrol.

These are the kinds of requests that arrive to Alberta La Grup Lifestyle Business, SL, the agency in which she works and where they carry out services in at least 300 categories such as home and family, care for the elderly, shopping, travel, family activities or taking care of properties.

The client chooses what kind of service and the amount of hours they want to contract and from there, the magic starts to happen. It could be anything from doing the shopping to what is called a ‘soft landing’ (one of the most requested services) which is simply helping with the ‘landing’ of someone who is getting set up in a new country.

“That was one of my first jobs and I remember it fondly. A client was moving to Spain and they hired us to handle to move. She needed to travel for a month in Europe so we got the house ready, we put away the clothes in the way she liked, and we filled the fridge with her favourite food. We got everything ready: the garden had been taken care of, her pet was at home, the housekeeping staff were hired, her children had a school ready. When she arrived, she found a home that was ready to be lived in”, she explains.

It’s the work of a fairy godmother that she has taken care of many times since she started. “We take care of everything, so that when they move that don’t miss their home country. We try to make sure that their arrival is not traumatic.”

That’s why among their clients (of whom they won’t give us any details) there are footballers who have recently moved from other countries, executives without much time on their hands and other people who prefer to pay and free themselves of their worries.

“The first thing we do is send them a survey that allows us to get to know them better. This way we know what their needs are, whether it will be just for that person or for the whole family, how many hours they need, what they are like and what their tastes and preferences are.”

Question: And from that point on do you offer personalized services?

A: We become their circle of trust, without being their friends. Everything they ask of us, we take care of it. We show them hairdressers, schools that meet the criteria they are looking for, we help the to do all the paperwork for the school, we find them a gym or a personal trainer. We also remind them when they have a doctor’s appointment or when their kids have extra-curricular activities. That’s why a lot of what we do involves anticipating their needs.

Question: So in addition to what they request, do you propose things too?
A: For example, we know when their partner’s birthday is so we can suggest that they go for dinner to a certain restaurant and we will have informed the restaurant beforehand so that they are aware and can put flowers on the table or take care of any special requests. Or perhaps the client has let us know that they love F1 and the Red Bull team so we might suggest that they go to the Red Bull paddock in Miami and we can take care of organizing the trip if they want us to.

Question: Are you available 24 hours?
Answer: There are many different situations: some clients only need assistance until 6pm, whereas others contract our services for 24h. That’s why we work as a team – this way, we know that they will never be without the assistance they need.

It’s very important that there is always someone available. A client may call to tell us that they have forgotten their medication and that they are travelling and therefore we would need to get on a plane and “take it to Dubai”. Or maybe the pipes in their mountain home burst in the middle of the night and we need to “put the family up in a hotel and 3am” and take care of resolving the issue with the insurance.

Question: Have you ever rejected any requests?
A: We are not here to judge what they request, as long as it is legal and moral we will do our best to resolve it. It’s a challenge for the team. A while ago, a client told us that their daughter was very sad because in the U.S. she had been a friend of the Little Mermaid who she had met at a birthday party and to whom she wrote letters. When she came to live in Spain, that relationship became complicated, so we looked for a Spanish Little Mermaid. We organized a pool party and the little girl found the new Little Mermaid their. The client and their daughter were delighted.

Q: It sounds like things never get boring!
A: Not everything is so exciting. We also deal with more simple requests. We take care of paying fines, sending a taxi with a phone charger when the client forgets it, taking the children to their basketball practice or helping to organize a dinner with friends. But of course, we do have very exciting requests. Right now we are taking care of a trip to Disney for a family and not only do we need to take care of flights, arrival, accommodation, etc. The planning starts before all this: who will take care of the house, the pets, the garden, who to call in case the alarm goes off, who will take them to the airport, etc.

Q: Have you ever failed to resolve a request?
A: We try our best not to. We have a great deal of the work already done and we take good care of our relationships with suppliers. If the client needs a reservation in an exclusive restaurant, the staff there already know who we are. If they urgently need their suit dry-cleaned, we already know where to take it. When we don’t find what they need, we can adapt. It could be a case in which the client likes their household staff, but they don’t know how to cook what they want or they don’t know how to iron their shirt the way they like it, in this case we would show them how.

Q: Have you ever rejected a client for being rude or inappropriate?
A: Our clients know who we are and we understand them well. If some of them don’t ask for things in a polite way, we know that it’s nothing personal and we always work in a professional manner, unless it was somebody who was constantly disrespectful. We have said ‘no’ to many people.

Q: What are the requirements to become a personal assistant?
A: We once got together to count them and there were 137 skills that were required as an assistant, but basically we can summarize it as showing willing or excitement to do this job because it is a vocation, and a demanding one at that. Furthermore, you need to have professional ethics, good time management skills, know how to handle your emotions, politeness, languages, know how and be multi-talented. One day you might be organizing a top itinerary, and the next running to pick up a bag from the gym.

It is a job that, according to what Lourdes Carbó, the CEO of the agency in Barcelona told NIUS, is very well compensated. “We take in at least 60,000 euros a year, but it all depends on the family we are working with”, she says. What is certain is that it is well earned. According to their calculations, throughout the year they carry out on average 5,600 tasks per family.

Interview with Jesús Prudencio, the prestigious illustrator who has collaborated with us

“In both professions (illustration and Personal Angel), creativity is essential”

We have interviewer Jesús Prudencio, the prestigious illustrator who has collaborated with us on one of our editiorials (as well as many more to come in the future…)


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

Jesús Prudencio is the author of the magnificent illustration of our editorial about the difference between Caretakers and Concierge. His long and prolific career as an illustrator for magazines such as monocle or M magazine for the French newspaper Le Monde led us to contact him and that he could embody, with his particular vision and creativity, this primordial distinction regarding our line of work. That’s exactly what happened – please feel free to take a sneak peek of the excellent end result! To thank him for his professionalism and excellent work, we wanted to talk to him about his creative process and inspiration – two fundamental aspects of his career (design), as well as ours (lifestyle management). We invite you to take a look!

(Sigue en español)

-What has your collaboration with Alberta La Grup and The Lifestyle Institute involved?

It has involved the creation of an illustration that demonstrated the difference between a Concierge and a Caretaker. I really hope it won’t be the last one!

– How would you express the importance of CREATIVITY in the different areas of life, and of course, in your professional life?

Creativity has been, and continues to be, very important for the evolution of humanity. Creativity brings us solutions and ideas that make society move forward. Anyone can be creative – to do so, we just need to dare to think differently and challenge ourselves on a daily basis. Of course, it’s also very important in my professional life. Creativity is key to solving problems and being able to put forward different solutions.


“Creativity is key to solving problems and being able to put forward different solutions”


– You collaborate with Monocle, the British magazine specialized in lifestyle, which is a big draw to wanting to work with you… Where do you get inspiration for your illustrations from, both those you do for magazines to those you do for clients like us?

Yes, I have worked with them on several occasions. So that I can work on each illustration, the clients sends me a briefing which is basically a series of instructions regarding what they want.

A goof briefing is very important, as well a the communication with the client. Both my illustrations for Monocle and the one done for you are products of a good briefing. Once I have the briefing, I start to work on them.

I find inspiration everywhere: it could come to you when working, studying, reading, investigating, looking around…

– Finally, could you tell us about your creative process? Once you are inspired, how does the work evolve?

Based on the briefing, I carry out an investigation and some documentation. Then I create a mood board or a map of inspiration in which I select images that could be a point of reference for my illustration. Based on the mood board, I start to do some mock-ups. Once I start doing the mock-ups, I keep changing them until I have something that is convincing and fits the briefing. After, I show the mock-ups to the client. Their feedback is very important in order to be able to adapt to what they want and afterwards I carry out a round of revisions. After the revisions, I would share the final approved version with the client.  

-Do you think Personal Angels and your profession are linked somehow? Both involve some craftsmanship and knowhow… The Personal Angel is based on ‘service craftsmanship’ and, finally, CREATIVITY is essential for both. Do you agree with this?

Yes, they definitely share some common ground and of course, in both cases creativity is essential.

About Jesús
Jesús Prudencio studied Graphic Design and Seville University. On finishing his degree, he was working at various design studios as well as setting up his own with a follow student at the university. He is currently a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. As a freelancer, he has worked with various advertising agencies such as Bassat & Ogilvy (Spain), Arnold (USA), DDB Tandem (Spain), TRIBAL (UK), Blue Hive Canada (Canada) or Metric Design (Norway) and with different magazines such as Monocle magazine (UK), GQ (Germany and Japan), Le Parisien Week-End (France) or in the M magazine from the Le Monde newspaper (France).

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

“En ambas profesiones (ilustrador y Personal Angel), la creatividad es esencial”

Entrevistamos a Jesús Prudencio, el prestigioso ilustrador que ha colaborado con nosotros en uno de nuestros editoriales (y los que vendrán…)


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

Jesús Prudencio es el artífice de la magnífica ilustración de nuestro editorial sobre la diferencia entre Concierge y Conserje. Su larga y prolífica carrera como ilustrador en revistas de la talla de Monocle o el magazine M del diario francés Le Monde nos llevaron a contactar con él y ponernos en sus manos para que plasmara, con su particular visión y creatividad, lo que para nosotros es una distinción primordial para entender nuestro trabajo. ¡Y así fue y a la vista está, si queréis echarle un vistazo previamente al excelente resultado obtenido! Para agradecerle su profesionalidad y buen hacer, quisimos tener una charla con él acerca del proceso creativo y la inspiración, fundamentales tanto en su vocación (el diseño) como en la nuestra (el lifestyle management). ¡Te invitamos a leerla!


-¿En qué ha consistido tu colaboración con Alberta la Grup y The Lifestyle Institute? 

Ha consistido en realizar una ilustración en la que se viera la diferencia entre Concierge y Conserje. Y espero que no sea la última.

– ¿Cómo podrías expresar la importancia de la CREATIVIDAD en todos los ámbitos de la vida, y por supuesto, de la vida profesional?

La creatividad ha sido y es muy importante para la evolución de la humanidad. La creatividad nos aporta soluciones e ideas que hacen que nuestra sociedad avance. Cualquier persona puede ser creativa; para ello tenemos que atrevernos a pensar diferente y desafiarnos a nosotros mismos en nuestro día a día. Y por supuesto, es muy importante en la vida profesional. La creatividad es la base para solucionar problemas y poder plantear diferentes soluciones.

“La creatividad es muy importante en la vida profesional; es la base para solucionar problemas y plantear diversas soluciones”


– Colaboras con Monocle, la revista británica especializada en lifestyle, una razón de peso para contar contigo… ¿De dónde extraes la inspiración para tus ilustraciones, tanto de este magazine de cabecera como con nosotros?

Sí, he colaborado varias veces con ellos. Para ponerme a trabajar en la ilustración el cliente me envía un briefing, una serie de instrucciones de lo que quiere el cliente.

Un buen briefing es muy importante, al igual que la comunicación con el cliente. Tanto mis ilustraciones para Monocle como para vosotros parten de un buen briefing; y a partir de ahí me pongo a trabajar en ellas.

La inspiración está por todos lados; te puede venir trabajando, estudiando, leyendo, investigando, mirando…

 –Y por último, ¿nos podrías hablar de tu proceso creativo? Una vez te llega la inspiración, ¿cómo transcurre la evolución de tu trabajo? 

En base al briefing realizo una investigación y documentación previa. Después, creo un moodboard o mapa de inspiración, en el que selecciono imágenes que me pueden servir de referencia para la ilustración, y en base a ese moodboard, me pongo a realizar bocetos previos. A medida que voy realizando bocetos, voy cambiando hasta que tengo alguno que me convence y que se adapte al briefing. Después de mostrarle esos bocetos al cliente es muy importante su feedback para ajustarme a lo que ellos quieren, y después, hacer una ronda de revisiones. Después de esa ronda de revisiones se llega a la ilustración definitiva aprobada por el cliente.

-De alguna manera, la profesión de Personal Angel y la tuya están ligadas. Ambas suponen una artesanía, un saber hacer… El Personal Angel se basa en una ‘artesanía del servicio’, y al final, en ambas la CREATIVIDAD es esencial. ¿Estás de acuerdo en ello?

Sí, tienen algún punto en común, y por supuesto, para ambas la creatividad es esencial.

Su trayectoria
Jesús Prudencio estudió la licenciatura de Bellas Artes en Diseño Gráfico y Grabado en la Universidad de Sevilla. Cuando terminó la carrera estuvo en diferentes estudios de diseño y también creando uno propio con una compañera de Facultad. Actualmente es diseñador gráfico e ilustrador freelance, colaborando Como freelance ha trabajado para diversas agencias de publicidad como Bassat & Ogilvy (España), Arnold (USA), DDB Tandem (España), TRIBAL (UK), Blue Hive Canada (Canadá) o Metric Design (Noruega) y en diversas revistas como Monocle magazine (UK), GQ (Alemania y Japón), Le Parisien Week-End (Francia) o en el magazine M del periódico Le Monde (Francia).

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

Caretaker vs Concierge

Caretaker vs Concierge

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

Although both terms could appear to mean the same thing, there are some basic differences that separate them, which we will be exploring in this article.

Caretakers and concierge are two completely different professions and, although the second may seem very similar to the first, this is not actually the case…      

(Sigue en español) 

A caretaker is the professional that is best known for taking care of the entrance and communal areas of a building and will typically wear blue overalls when working. For many decades, these caretakers lived in the same building, and in some luxury residences in big cities, this is still the case… we have come across it in Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, London and Milan.

Their tasks include: control of who enters the building, waste management, cleaning – usually of the lobby and staircase, picking up the mail… A caretaker also takes care of opening and closing the door, dealing with the building lighting, the heating system, delivering the mail and making sure the building is up to hygienic standards. 99% of the time, they are not multilingual as their role doesn’t require them to be, except for when they come from different countries, as often may be the case in this profession. They are dedicated professionals but with a lower qualification level required for jobs with lower remuneration due to not requiring a high skill level.

“In the end, the term ‘concierge’ is a word that, although many insist otherwise, does not have a translation.”

(Lourdes Carbó, Director of Alberta La Grup and The Lifestyle Institute)


Regarding Concierge, their job is inspired by the concierge that can be found at a 5* hotel. However, professional concierge, although the meaning may seem the same, comes from the Latin word  ‘conservous’, which means something along the lines of ‘the guardian of the chandeliers’, which in the past were those who took charge of fulfilling the wishes and requests of the royal visitors to the palace. If we translate that into the present time, it would be an extension of this role but within a luxury residential building: restaurant reservations, managing house moves, coordinating visits to different prestigious places, finding tickets to sold out events, managing travel requests and solving complex situations with a high level of skill in order to provide and exquisite service to the residents.

We can break these two concepts down in a more visual way:


-Can be translated as the FR word ‘Concierge’. Defined as: a person that takes care of security, cleaning and keys to a building or public establishment.
– Someone who works in a residential building or community of private owners.
-Someone who provides reception services in various buildings.
-Their competencies: from the control of access to and cleaning of a building to the mail delivery and many of other tasks related to this traditional role of the doorperson to a building.


-Comes from the Latin ‘conservous’ (the guardian of the chandeliers), who took care of the needs and requests of royal visitors to the palace.
-When we refer to a ‘Conceirge’ instead of a ‘caretaker’ , we are refe rring to those who work in a luxury hotel or a prestigious residential building.
– We may also be referring to a Lifestyle Concierge who is a professional who works on similar tasks, but in a residential building. In these cases, we can consider it to be a 7* services given the difficulty of offering an excellent service, comparable to that of a 5* hotel, but within a private home environment and with fewer staff available.
-Their competencies: Restaurant recommendations and reservations in the places that are almost impossible to book, managing travel coordination, house move services, access to sporting events, finding sold out tickets, etc. In short, they are ‘resolvers’ who find solutions in very specific and complex circumstances with efficiency, speed and always with the final objective of providing the best service possible to the owner.

We have recently seen the caretaker figure dressed in a suit and tie in some luxury residential buildings, but despite the smarter appearance, the tasks they handle are still very different to those of a Concierge. In the case of Alberta La Grup, we have been the leaders of this sector in Spain since 2012 and we refer to this service as Residential Lifestyle Concierge in order to differentiate it.

Only the most prestigious residential buildings offer this services for their residents. It has become a differentiating asset in marketing processes and in cities like NY there are even buildings that use more than one Concierge agency in order to stand out among the most luxurious properties and offer undisputable added value.

You can find out more about our services at the following link:



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Illustration: Jesús Prudencio
Translation: Emily Benton

Conserje vs Concièrge

Autora:  María José Núñez | Barcelona, Octubre 2022

Aparentemente ambos términos pueden significar lo mismo pero existen significativos matices clave que marcan entre ellos la diferencia y los desglosamos a continuación.      

Se trata de dos profesiones: conserje y concierge; y puede parecer que la segunda es la traducción exacta de la primera, pero no es así…

El conserje, propiamente dicho, es lo que conocemos como el profesional que ejerce su quehacer en la portería de una finca y, de forma habitual, usan la bata azul de uniforme. Hace décadas que los porteros habitaban en el mismo edificio y no es extraño que aún sea así en edificios de lujo en grandes ciudades… lo hemos visto en Madrid, en Barcelona, París, Londres o Milán.

Sus funciones son: el control de accesos al edificio, la gestión de los residuos, la limpieza -en muchas ocasiones- de la portería y la escalera, recoger el correo… Un conserje es quien realiza el control de la entrada y salida de las personas de un edificio, de abrir y cerrar un portal, del encendido y programación de alumbrados, de la calefacción, del reparto de la  correspondencia e higiene del edificio… En el 99% de las ocasiones no hablan  idiomas, pues su cometido no lo requiere, excepto cuando el trabajo lo ejercen personas venidas de otros países, ya que son estos perfiles quienes ejercen mayoritariamente esta profesión. Son profesionales dedicados pero cuya calificación es de trabajos con baja remuneración, por su escasa exigencia de capacidades y habilidades.

“Al final, el término ‘concierge’ es una palabra que, aunque muchos insistan en lo contrario, no tiene traducción”

(Lourdes Carbó, Directora de Alberta La Grup y The Lifestyle Institute)


En cuanto al concièrge, su trabajo se inspira en el concièrge de hotel de 5*. Sin embargo, la profesión de concièrge, aunque el significado pueda parecer el mismo, proviene del latín “conservous”, algo así como el ‘guardián de los candiles’, que en la antigüedad era quien se encargaba de complacer los deseos y solicitudes de las visitas reales de los palacios. Con lo cual, si lo extrapolamos a la actualidad, sería una extensión de esas funciones pero en la gestión de un edificio de lujo: reservas de restaurantes, gestión de traslados, coordinar visitas a algún establecimiento de prestigio, conseguir entradas agotadas en eventos de ocio y entretenimiento, gestionar peticiones relacionadas con viajes, y en definitiva, resolver situaciones complejas con gran habilidad y un servicio exquisito al residente.

Pero desgranemos aún más ambos conceptos de un modo más visual:



-Proviene del francés ‘concierge’. En la RAE está definido como: persona que tiene a su cuidado la custodia, limpieza y llaves de un edificio o establecimiento público”.
-Trabaja en un edificio de viviendas o una comunidad de propietarios.
-Presta sus servicios en la recepción de dichos recintos.
-Sus competencias: desde el control de acceso y limpieza de un edificio hasta el reparto de la correspondencia, y otras muchas funciones propias del tradicional puesto de portero de una finca.


-Proviene del latín ‘conservous’ (el guardián de los candiles), quien atendía los requerimientos y solicitudes de visitas reales a los palacios.
-Cuando nos referimos a ‘concièrge’ en lugar de conserje estamos refiriéndonos a quienes trabajan en un hotel de lujo o un edificio de viviendas de prestigio.
-También hablamos de Lifestyle Concierge, que es una persona que realiza las mismas funciones pero en un edificio o conjunto residencial de prestigio. En éstos, el servicio recibe la catalogación de 7* por la dificultad que conlleva ofrecer un servicio excelente equiparable al de un establecimiento de 5* pero en su propio hogar y con menos personal a su servicio.
-Sus competencias: Reservas, sugerencias en restaurantes imposibles de conseguir y gestión de tareas de viajes, coordinación de traslados, acceso a eventos deportivos, conseguir entradas agotadas, recomendaciones y conexiones a nivel internacional, etcétera. En definitiva, son ‘conseguidores’, solucionando circunstancias concretas y complejas, con eficacia, rapidez y siempre con el objetivo final de dar el mejor de servicio al propietario.

Últimamente hemos conocido en algunos edificios de nueva construcción o reforma esta figura de Conserje vistiendo uniforme de traje y corbata, si bien, a pesar de su lustre exterior, sus funciones difieren mucho de las del Concierge.  En el caso de Alberta La Grup, lideramos este sector en España desde 2012, y que nosotros denominamos Residential Lifestyle Concierge para diferenciarlo.

Sólo los edificios y residenciales de prestigio, contratan este servicio para sus propietarios y residentes. Se ha convertido en un asset diferenciador en marketing. En ciudades como NY, hay edificios que incluso cuentan con más de una agencia de Concierge, con el objetivo de diferenciar a los propietarios de residencias más lujosas de las unidades con menos superficie, y ofrecer así un valor añadido indiscutible.

En este enlace, se pueden conocer nuestros servicios de www.residentiallifestyleconcierge.com


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Ilustración:  Jesús Prudencio

Traducción: Emily Benton

The ‘haute couture’ of the personal assistants

🗞️ Read this interesting article about Alberta La Grup and The Lifestyle Institute in the business newspaper VIA EMPRESA!

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The ‘haute couture’ of the personal assistants

The Catalan agency, Alberta La Grup, focused on the business of ‘personal angels’ is targeted at the economically elite and has a client base that is 95% international

David Rodríguez



“I want to come to Barcelona for a sabbatical year and live in a house that has parking for seven cars”. This request, that for most mere mortals may seem overly exaggerated, is just one of many that Alberta La Grup, an agency specialized in personal assistants and with services aimed at the ultra wealthy, have received.  The company is one of very few around the world that have an area of their business focused on the personal angel. The agency’s founder, Lourdes Carbó, mentions that “the profile of the personal assistant that we have known until now was recognized as a corporate figure, but we have now incorporated that personal element too. Usually a managerial secretary would not be involved with the domestic tasks of the given manager”. As a result of this necessity, which is very focused on a specific segment of the population, Alberta La Grup emerged in 2007. “The pioneer companies in this sector were mostly abroad, especially in the English-speaking market”, Carbó says. Bottom of Form

The clients of the Catalan agency could be described as those who are at the top of the economic pyramid. 95 % are from abroad and opportunities tend to arise from the international market. Lourdes Carbó describes that “in our work, the economic level and lifestyle really stand out, revolving around their acquisitive power”. These are people that have properties, children who study at international schools and who are constantly travelling and taking care of their businesses. Many of these profiles are celebrities, sports personalities or investors. In global terms, they are around 1-10% of the population. As Carbó mentions, “they have very different necessities to the rest”.

Lourdes Carbó: “In our work, the economic level and lifestyle really stand out, revolving around their acquisitive power “

Alberta La Grup’s business model is oriented around these requirements. Through a personalized service, their CEO explains that by limiting the number of clients, they are able to provide maximum availability. In this way “we can get to know their preferences and give them everything that they need”.


The only school in the world

As can be seen in the typical client profile of Alberta La Grub, Carbó says that on many occasions they need to coordinate with the family office of a client – the person who coordinates sometimes more than 30 staff working for the family. “I often say that we are like haute couture in fashion and since we have to live up to these high standards, we discovered that there wasn’t any kind of formal training for this line of work”. That  is when they came up with the idea for The Lifestyle Institute, a school that is almost the only one of its kind in the world and that could be defined as a place where personal assistants who are in charge of taking care of the social and economical elite are trained. Despite having offices on the central Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona, Carbó admits that there is still a certain lack of knowledge regarding their services within their target audience. Alberta La Grup currently has 24 members of staff on their payroll and bills around one million euros each year.

These services should be considered within the context of a growing number of multimillionaires, despite the pandemic. The number of ‘superrich’, those who have a net worth of more than 30 million euros, increased in 2020 and has doubled in the last decade. This year, a study by EsadeEcPol determined that the 1% of the richest people in Spain had increased their participation in the national income from 13% in 2007 to 16.9% in 2019, which is more than the poorest 50%.

According to The Lifestyle Institute’s calculations, there are 137 skills required to do the job of a personal assistant for private lifestyles

With these numbers, Lourdes Carbó sees the personal angel as a profession with a great future that should be given more visibility. “It’s time to enhance the training as this is what will encourage the transfer of corporate assistants towards the personal assistant field”. According to The Lifestyle Institute’s calculations, there are 137 skills required to do the job of a personal assistant for private lifestyles. Although it involves a fairly secretive world, those that move within it see this as one of the inevitable traits of its very essence.



Global concierge service

The segment of the market that is most likely to require personal angel services, according to Alberta La Grup, are those that read publications such as Spear’s Magazine, where some of the articles make references to the search for the best personal trainers or the top allergy specialists in the world. For this kind of profile, Alberta La Grup has spent the last 10 years specialising in another sector: concierge. This involves luxury residential buildings in which you can find all kinds of services, such as a personal trainer, a masseuse or a dog walker. “It’s as though it were a hotel resort, but actually it is their home”, Carbó explains. This global orientation already contributes to 40% of the agency’s business and is where the agency is positioning itself in the global sphere and receiving more and more requests from foreign investors.

Another example of the areas in which this profession is moving can be seen in the training courses, for the time being delivered online, that are given by The Lifestyle Institute. Aimed at people who will later pass through recruitment agencies who are looking for nannies, butlers or bodyguards, the school delivers classes on topics such as ‘The Psychology of Flowers’, ‘Private Aviation’ or ‘How to Manage a Mega-yacht’. This is the reality of a profession that is evermore in demand and that needs to increase its professional level given that it is a high-pressure job that requires preparation that is similar in some aspects to that required by an elite athlete.


La 'alta costura' de los asistentes personales

La agencia catalana Alberta La Grup, posicionada en el negocio del ‘personal angel’, se orienta a las élites económicas y tiene un 95% de clientes internacionales


David Rodríguez 

“Quiero venir a Barcelona un año sabático y vivir en una casa con siete parkings”. Esta petición, que a ojos de la mayoría de los mortales puede parecer una exageración, es una de las tantas que puede llegar a recibir Alberta La Grup, una agencia catalana especializada en la figura del asistente personal, dirigido a personas con un poder adquisitivo alto. La empresa es una de las pocas a nivel mundial que tiene un área de negocio centrada en el personal angel. La fundadora de la agencia, Lourdes Carbó, comenta que “el perfil del asistente hasta ahora se le conocía por la vertiente corporativa, pero nosotros hemos incorporado al personal, ya que una secretaria de dirección no puede dedicarse a hacer gestiones domésticas de un directivo concreto”. Fruto de esta necesidad, muy focalizada en un segmento concreto de la población, en el año 2007 surgió Alberta La Grup. “Los pioneros estaban en el extranjero, especialmente en el mercado anglosajón”, recuerda Carbó.

Los clientes de la agencia catalana podrían definirse como los que se encuentran en el pico de la pirámide de la población. Así, el 95% son foránicos y las oportunidades acostumbran a llegar del mercado internacional. Lourdes Carbó matiza que “en nuestro trabajo, marca mucho la capacidad económica y el estilo de vida, cohesionados en torno al poder adquisitivo”. Son personas con propiedades, hijos que estudian en escuelas internacionales y que viajan constantemente, pendientes de sus negocios. De estas características, se concretan perfiles de celebrities, deportistas o grandes inversos. En términos globales, serían entre el 1 y el 10% de la población. Eso sí, tal y como se encarga de remarcar Carbó, “con necesidades muy diferentes del resto”.

Lourdes Carbó: “En nuestro trabajo, marca mucho la capacidad económica y el estilo de vida, cohesionados en torno al poder adquisitivo”


El modelo de negocio de Alberta La Grup se orienta en función de estos requisitos. A través de un servicio personalizado, su CEO explica que la limitación en la cifra de clientes es la que les permite seguir prepararse para la máxima disponibilidad. De esta manera, “conocemos sus preferencias y les damos de forma concreta todo lo que necesitan”.

Escuela única en el mundo

Como muestra del perfil típico de cliente de Alberta La Grup, Carbó asegura que en muchas ocasiones el contacto se produce con el family office de un cliente, un responsable que puede llegar a coordinar a más de 30 personas del servicio. “A menudo me gusta decir que somos la alta costura de la moda y como tenemos esta exigencia, nos encontramos con que no existía una formación específica para este ámbito”. De ahí surgió The Lifestyle Institute, una escuela casi única en todo el mundo, que en pocas palabras, se podría definir como el lugar donde se prepara a los asistentes personales encargados de cuidar de las élites sociales y económicas. A pesar de tener las oficinas en el céntrico Paseo de Gracia de Barcelona, Carbó admite que existe un cierto desconocimiento de los servicios por parte de su público objetivo. En este momento, Alberta La Grup cuenta con 24 personas con nómina y factura alrededor de un millón de euros anuales.

Estos servicios se enmarcan en un contexto de crecimiento de la cifra de multimillonarios, a pesar de la pandemia. El número de ‘superricos’, los que tienen activos valorados en más de 30 millones de euros, se incrementó en 2020 y se ha duplicado en la última década. Ese mismo año, un estudio de EsadeEcPol constató que el 1% de las personas más ricas en el Estado español habían aumentado su participación en la renta nacional del 13% en 2007 al 16,9% en 2019, concentrando más que el 50% más pobre.

Según los cálculos de The Lifestyle Institute, se contabilizan 137 habilidades para desarrollar el trabajo de asistente personal en la vida privada.

Con estas cifras, Lourdes Carbó ve en lo personal angel una profesión de futuro a la que se le debe dar visibilidad. “Es un momento de potenciar la formación, ya que se está produciendo un trasvase de asistentes corporativos hasta el ámbito de la asistencia personal”. Según los cálculos del The Lifestyle Institute, se contabilizan 137 habilidades para desarrollar el trabajo de asistente personal en la vida privada. Aunque se trate de un mundo hermético, los que están dentro, lo ven como uno de los rasgos inevitables de su esencia.

El servicio global del concierge

El segmento de mercado susceptible de recibir los servicios del personal angel, según Alberta La Grup, son las personas que leen publicaciones como Spear’s Magazine, donde algunos de sus artículos hacen referencia a la búsqueda de los mejores entrenadores personales o los especialistas ‘top’ en alergias del mundo. De este perfil, Albert La Grup lleva 10 años especializado en otro sector: el concierge. Se trata de edificios residenciales, de lujo, donde se pueden encontrar todo tipo de servicios, como un entrenador personal, un masajista o un paseador de perros”. “Es como si fuera un hotel y resorte, pero en tu casa”, aclara Carbó. Esta orientación global ya aporta un 40% del volumen de negocio de la agencia. Es aquí donde la empresa catalana se está posicionando en la esfera mundial, recibiendo cada vez más demandas de inversores extranjeros.

Otro ejemplo de los entornos donde se mueve esta profesión se encuentra en los cursos de formación, de momento en línea, que se imparten en The Lifestyle Institute. Dirigidos a personas que luego irán a parar a agencias de reclutamiento que buscan nannys, mayordones o guardaespaldas, en la escuela se hacen asignaturas como ‘Psicología de las flores’, ‘Aviación privada’ o ‘Cómo gestionar un megayot’. Esta es la realidad de una profesión, cada vez más demandada, que necesita incrementar su profesionalización, ya que se trata de un trabajo con un nivel de presión alto y que requiere una preparación parecida, salvando las distancias, a la de un atleta de alta competición.

Is Barcelona ready to receive the superrich?

🗞️ We share with you an article about Alberta LaGrup in Diari Ara

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Barcelona does not yet offer sufficient services to cover the needs of the very wealthy

Barcelona does not yet offer sufficient services to cover the needs of the very wealthy

Mònica Bernabé


A man dressed in a black blazer, white shirt and tie opens the door for clients and welcomes them to the store. There are two floors. On the first one, an Asian shop assistant serves two young clients who appear to be from South Korea and who are interested in purchasing some scarves. On the second floor, there are a few more clients, also from Asia, who are looking at some lipsticks that are on display while they wait to be served. There are also three women in headscarves waiting, seemingly from the Middle East, as well as  another girl, who despite the heat, is wearing some kind of pink slippers – for sure designer ones, otherwise it would not make sense for anyone to be wearing them outside the house. There are also two women taking a rest on the armchairs and who look as though they’ve stepped off a film set: wearing wide-brimmed sunhats and sunglasses, despite there not being much light inside the shop. One of them carries a small, white poodle in her arms. Just like the rest of the clients, they are also waiting.
Although unbelievable, there is a queue for Hermès, one of the most exclusive luxury stores on Passeig de Gràcia in Barcelona. The reason being is that there are people for whom things, quite frankly, are going well, despite the fact that for most people the only remedy is to tighten their belts due to the uncontrollable inflation. These people are the rich and the super rich.

“We have an account in the Las Vegas store”, says one couple who speak Spanish with a Latin American accent, and who want to buy a pair of shoes in Hermès after spending a while trying on a few different pairs. Then there are two girls, with sculpted and tanned bodies who have fallen in love with a tiny white bag that is on display on one of the shelves. The shop assistant puts on a pair of gloves before showing it to them to avoid touching the bag with her bare hands.


A few pairs of shoes, some items of clothing, various accessories and not a whole lot more is what you will find in Hermès. Of course, everything is extremely expensive. For example, a simple beach towel costs 350 euros, a woman’s top costs 850 and a woollen sweater, which is surprising given the time of year, costs 1,300 euros. 



Concierge services


“Barcelona is a very attractive city, there really are many business opportunities”, says Lourdes Carbó, who is the founder and director of Alberta La Grup, a Catalan company that is dedicated specifically to helping make the lives of the very wealthy easier. The company offers what is known as Concierge Sevices, and this year it has become one of the most outstanding agencies in the sector, according to a ranking in Spear’s magazine – a publication aimed at assisting the wealthy with the best services in the market: for example, the best whisky suppliers, the best equestrian suppliers, the best financial advisors when buying a yacht or a private plane, the best babysitters to take care of their children…
“If a family wants their child to study in a private university, we take care of the administrative tasks. Or with they want to take their care from one country to another, we take care of that too. Or if they want us to get their smoking jacket ready for the opera, or for us to fill their fridge” are the examples that Carbó gives to explain what exactly it is that she does. The requests they receive could literally be anything, sometimes involving things that are very extravagant. However, they never get involved with anything related to business, finance or legal topics.



The superrich like Barcelona because they can park up their yacht and be in the centre in 15 minutes. They also like the discretion, the gastronomy, the great private health services and the leisure options. 


As Carbó says, the superrich really like Barcelona for different reasons: “They can park up their yacht and be in the centre in 15 minutes. They also like the discretion, the gastronomy, the great private health services, the good infrastructure, the leisure, the entertainment and the culture”, she specifies. The problem, as she mentions, is that sometimes the city does not meet the high expectations.

“In Barcelona, it is impossible to rent three Aston Martins in the same week. You can find one, but not three. Or you can go to a luxury store on Passeig de Gràcia and they might not have the whole collection. And that means we lose clients, because if they don’t find what they want, they will get on a plane and go to Milan to buy it”, she gives as an example.
“In Barcelona, we also don’t have good agencies to find babysitters, or the babysitters you find don’t speak English. Or there are services that literally do not exist here: for example, we often get requests for a home for the elderly that is like a five star hotel”. Carbó reminds us that Barcelona is in competition with other top cities such as London, New York and Dubai, where you can find all kinds of services.

 “ In Dubai they would even close a shop so that someone can go shopping there”, she says.


In Barcelona, at least at the moment, they don’t tend to close shops for exclusive clients. In fact, in some luxury stores on Passeig de Gràcia, there are even queues in the street to get in. In Gucci, there are so many people just before closing time that one of the shop’s employees to warn the clients that the shop will close in the next half hour and they cannot guarantee that all the clients will have chance to go in. They speak in English, assuming that all of them are from abroad. And they are right – that is the reality.

“Do you already know what you want?” one man asks his wife. “I’m having a look”, she replies whilst taking a look at the Gucci website on her phone. Both of them speak Spanish with a Latin American accent. Once they enter the store, the lady knows what she wants to buy: a small pink bag that costs 2, 650 euros.
Carbó explains that many of her clients are from Venezuela, but she also has clients from Mexico, Colombia, the USA, Germany, Italy… Of course, around 90% of them are from abroad. “These are people that have more than one residency in the world, they usually travel in private jets and they have more than thirty employees working in their homes: butlers, maids, nannies, chauffeurs, personal assistants, security…” Carbó declines to specify what their fortunes are. “Having a yacht is clearly a status symbol as a boat involves constantly spending on maintenance” is the only information she is willing to give.



A port for luxury yachts


In fact, Barcelona has a port destined toward yachts and super yachts: Port Vell Marina, located in the Barceloneta. It has 151 moorings and one of the longest docks in the world, which could attract super yachts of up to 190 metres in length. It is an exclusive area, with private security and to which ARA has not been able to access, despite having requested to do so. The boats moored there belong to members of royal families, directors and CEOs of the most important companies in the world, sources at the Port Vell Marina have told us, without sharing how many of the moorings are currently occupied. “Throughout the year, the Marina hosts around 300 boats”, the same sources tell us, as well as clarifying that the months with the highest occupation are those in “spring and autumn”. Despite there not being so many yachts at the moment, the ones that are there still catch your attention. In fact, it is quite normal to see tourists – the ones that don’t have so much money, of course – taking selfies in front of the port with the yachts in the background.



“If we offered more special services, more wealthy families would come. I’m not suggesting we create a Port Aventura for the rich, but rather that if we want aim for that market, we need to be very well prepared”, says Carbó, who insists that Barcelona has a long way to go in that sense.
One of the new services that is offered in the city is the possibility to buy a luxury apartment that comes with the same services that you would expect at a five star hotel. The Antares tower, located in front of Parc del Fòrum, is one example. It belongs to the Shaftesbury investment fund, but 25% of the apartments have already been sold – all of them to superrich foreigners. The first resident moved in last February. Alberta La Grub is the company that takes care of the services and the director of operations, Thaïs Guerrero, gave ARA a tour of the building.


The tower has 27 floors and 88 luxury apartments. The cheapest one costs 850,000 euros and has a surface area of 115 square metres. The largest one has 795 square metres and the price has not been made public. In any case, the apartments are spectacular, with large windows, views over the sea and huge amounts of space. In some of them, you can even see the Sagrada Familia and Tibidabo from the bathtub, as though it were a viewpoint. They also have a security and cleaning service available, as well as common areas with pools, a gym, a spa… “This kind of residency already existed in Madrid. In that sense, they are more advanced”, says Guerrero.
Barcelona still needs to take a giant leap regarding having staff available that are trained to work for this kind of profile. With this objective in mind, Alberta La Grup also runs courses to train what they call personal angels – also known as personal assistants that help to make the daily lives of the superrich easier. The course, given in English and French, lasts for three and a half months and includes subjects such as household management, managing a macro yacht and organizing family travel. According to Carbó, all the students so far have found a job and are earning generous salaries of between 50,000 and 70,000 euros per year. Perhaps this is the alternative in Barcelona to low cost tourism.


¿Barcelona está preparada para recibir a los superricos?

La ciudad no dispone de suficientes servicios para cubrir las necesidades de las grandes fortunas

Mònica Bernabé


Un hombre con traje de chaqueta negro, camisa blanca y corbata abre solicitando la puerta de entrada a los clientes y les da la bienvenida a la tienda. Hay dos plantas. En la primera, una dependienta de origen asiático atiende a dos jóvenes que parecen surcoreanas y que se interesan por unos pañuelos de cuello. En la segunda, un par de clientas más, también asiáticas, miran los pintalabios expuestos en un mostrador mientras esperan que las atiendan. Un poco más allá también esperan tres mujeres con pañuelo en la cabeza que proceden sin duda de algún país del golfo Pérsico, y una chica de origen indeterminado que, a pesar del calor que hace, lleva una especie de plantofas de pelo de color rosa que deben ser de diseño, porque, si no, no se entiende que alguien salga con eso de casa. En una butaca descansan dos mujeres más que parecen sacadas de una película: llevan pamela y gafas de sol aunque dentro de la tienda no hay mucha luz, y una de ellas tiene en los brazos un caniche de pelo blanco y arriesgado. Como el resto, también se esperan.

Aunque parezca mentira, hay cola en Hermès, una de las tiendas de lujo más exclusivas del paseo de Gràcia de Barcelona. Porque hay gente a la que las cosas le siguen yendo francamente bien, aunque a la mayoría de mortales no les quede más remedio que estrecharse el cinturón por la inflación descontrolada. Son los ricos o superricos.

“Tenemos cuenta de la tienda en Las Vegas”, comenta una pareja que habla español con acento latinoamericano y que se dispone a comprar unos mocasines en Hermès, después de que él haya estado un buen rato emprobándose varios pares. En cambio, dos chicas de cuerpo escultural y bronceado se decantan por un bolso minúsculo de color blanco que hay expuesto en un estante. El dependiente, antes de enseñárselo, se pone unos guantes para no tocar el bolso directamente con las manos.

Unos cuantos zapatos, alguna prenda de vestir, varios accesorios y poca cosa más se puede encontrar en Hermès. Eso sí, todo es extremadamente caro. Por ejemplo, una simple toalla de playa cuesta 350 euros; un top de mujer, 850, y un jersey de lana, que sorprende que lo vendan en esta época del año, 1.300 euros.

Servicios de ‘concierge’

“Barcelona atrae mucho, realmente hay oportunidad de negocio”, asegura Lourdes Carbó, que es fundadora y directora de Alberta La Grup, una empresa catalana que precisamente se dedica a asistir grandes fortunas para hacerles la vida privada un poco más fácil. Es decir, ofrece lo que se llama servicios de concierge, y este año se ha convertido en una de las agencias más destacadas del sector, según un ranking de la revista Spear’s, que es una publicación destinada a asesorar a los ricos sobre los mejores servicios del mercado: por ejemplo, los mejores asesores de whisky, los mejores expertos en equitación, los mejores consejeros financieros para comprar un yate o un avión privado, las mejores niñeras para cuidar a sus hijos…

“Si una familia quiere que su hijo estudie en una universidad privada, nosotros hacemos las gestiones. O si quieren que traslademos un coche de un país a otro, también. O que les preparamos el esmoquin para ir a la ópera, o que les llenemos la nevera”, pone como ejemplos Para explicar a qué se dedican exactamente. Las peticiones que reciben pueden ser de todo tipo, incluso a veces estrambóticas, excepto vinculadas a negocios, finanzas y temas legales, porque estos aspectos no los tocan.

A los superricos les gusta Barcelona porque pueden atracar el yate y en quince minutos estar en el centro de la ciudad, y también por la discreción, la gastronomía, la buena sanidad privada y el ocio.


Y sí, como dice Carbó, Barcelona realmente agrada a los superricos por diferentes razones: “Porque pueden atracar el yate y en quince minutos estar en el centro de la ciudad. Por la discreción, la gastronomía, la buena sanidad privada, las buenas infraestructuras, el ocio, el entretenimiento y la cultura”, detalla. El problema, según asegura, es que a veces la ciudad no está a la altura.

“En Barcelona es imposible alquilar tres Aston Martin en una misma semana. Puedes encontrar uno, pero no tres. O vas a una tienda de lujo del paseo de Gràcia y no tienen toda la colección. Y eso hace que perdamos clientela, porque si no encuentran lo que quieren, cogen un avión y se van a Milán a comprar”, pone como ejemplo. “Tampoco hay buenas agencias para buscar niñeras y las niñeras que encuentras no hablan inglés. O directamente hay servicios que aquí ni existen: por ejemplo, a menudo nos piden una residencia de ancianos que sea como un hotel de cinco estrellas”. Carbó recuerda que Barcelona compite con ciudades de primera liga, como Londres, Nueva York o Dubai, donde sí hay todo tipo de servicios. “En Dubai pueden cerrar una tienda para que alguien vaya a comprar”, afirma.

En Barcelona, de momento, no suelen cerrar establecimientos para clientes exclusivos. De hecho, en otras tiendas de lujo del paseo de Gràcia también se forman colas en la calle. En la de Gucci hay tanta gente a última hora de la tarde que una trabajadora del establecimiento sale al exterior para advertir a los clientes que la tienda cerrará de aquí solo media hora y no puede garantizar que todo el mundo pueda entrar antes. Se dirige a él en inglés, dando por hecho que todos son extranjeros. Y es así, todos lo son.

“¿Ya sabes qué quieres?”, pregunta entonces un hombre a su mujer. “Lo estoy mirando”, responde ella, mientras consulta la web de Gucci en el teléfono móvil. Ambos hablan español con acento latinoamericano. Cuando entran en la tienda, la mujer ya sabe qué quiere comprar: un pequeño bolso de color rosa que vale 2.650 euros.

Carbó explica que muchos de sus clientes son venezolanos, pero también tienen clientes mexicanos, colombianos, norteamericanos, alemanes, italianos… Eso sí, más del 90% son extranjeros. “Se trata de personas que tienen más de una residencia en el mundo, suelen viajar en avión privado y disponen de más de treinta trabajadores [en el hogar] entre mayordomos, criados, niñeras, choferes, asistentes personales, seguridad…” Carbó declina concretar la cuantía de estas fortunas. “Tener un yate es un claro símbolo de estatus, porque un barco supone gastar constantemente dinero en mantenimiento”, se limita a decir.

Un puerto para yates de lujo

De hecho, Barcelona tiene un puerto destinado a yates y superiots: la Marina Port Vell, situada en el barrio de la Barceloneta. Cuenta con 151 amarres y uno de los muelles más largos del mundo donde pueden atracar superiots de hasta 190 metros de eslora. Es una zona exclusiva, con vigilancia privada y a la que el ARA no ha podido acceder a pesar de haberlo solicitado. Los barcos que amarran son “propiedad de miembros de la realeza, directores y CEO de las principales empresas del mundo, así como empresarios de éxito y renombre y personajes conocidos”, han informado fuentes de la Marina Port Vell, que no han precisado cuántos amarres están ocupados actualmente. “A lo largo del año la marina puede albergar hasta 300 embarcaciones”, afirman las mismas fuentes, además de aclarar que los meses de mayor ocupación son los de “primavera y otoño”. Aunque ahora no hay muchos yates, igualmente llaman la atención. De hecho, es habitual ver turistas –los que no tienen tanto dinero, lógicamente– haciéndose selfies ante el puerto con las embarcaciones de fondo.

“Si tuviéramos más servicios especiales, vendrían más familias con poder adquisitivo. No digo que hagamos un Port Aventura para ricos, pero, si nos queremos dirigir a este mercado, nos tenemos que preparar muy bien”, afirma Carbó, que insiste que Barcelona todavía tiene que recorrer un largo camino en este sentido.

Uno de los nuevos servicios que se están ofreciendo en la ciudad es la posibilidad de comprar apartamentos de lujo que tienen las mismas prestaciones que un hotel de cinco estrellas. La torre Antares, situada delante del Parc del Fòrum, es un ejemplo. Es propiedad del fondo de inversión Shaftesbury, pero un 25% de los apartamentos ya han sido vendidos. Todos, a extranjeros superricos. El primer residente se instaló el febrero pasado. La empresa Alberta La Grup se encarga de los servicios y la directora de operaciones, Thaïs Guerrero, se encarga de hacer un tour al ARA por el edificio.

La torre tiene 27 plantas y 88 apartamentos de lujo. El más barato vale 850.000 euros y tiene una superficie de 115 metros cuadrados. El mayor mide 795 metros cuadrados y el precio no se ha hecho público. Sea como fuere, en todos los casos, los pisos son espectaculares, con grandes ventanales, vistas al mar y espacios descomunales. En algunos incluso desde la bañera es posible ver la Sagrada Familia y el Tibidabo como si fuera un mirador. Además, disponen de servicio de mantenimiento, seguridad y limpieza, y espacios comunes con piscinas, gimnasio, spa… “Este tipo de residencias ya existían en Madrid. Allí van más avanzados”, asegura Guerrero.

En lo que todavía hay que dar un paso de gigante en Barcelona es en la disponibilidad de personal que esté preparado para trabajar para estas fortunas. Precisamente con este objetivo, Alberta La Grup también imparte cursos para formar lo que ellos llaman personal angels, es decir, asesores personales que ayuden a los superricos a hacer su día a día más fácil. El curso, impartido en inglés y francés y de tres meses y medio de duración, incluye asignaturas como gestionar una casa, encargarse de un macroiot y organizar viajes familiares. Según Carbó, de momento todos los alumnos han acabado encontrando trabajo y cobran sueldos generosos, entre 50.000 y 70.000 euros al año. Quizás esa es la alternativa en Barcelona al turismo low cost.

The Lifestyle Institute and Alberta La Grup in l’Econòmic

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Angels without wings and with their feet on the ground

Lourdes Carbó coordinates and trains the people that make the daily life of the richest people in the world easier

Lourdes, in the pink sweater, and Juan Antonio, the founders of Alberta La Grup, with two of their team members and their dog.

M. Sardà – Barcelona

The Lifestyle Institute trains exclusive Personal Angels for exclusive people. It was founded in 2021 by Lourdes Carbó, co-founder and CEO of Alberta La Grup, the first agency in Spain, and one of few in the world, that specialises in Personal Angels: men and women who provide assistance to HNWI and UNHWI (high and ultra high net worth individuals), meaning wealthy or very wealthy individuals belonging to the 1% of the richest people in the world.

They work in a highly discreet way, but always with a lot of creativity and absolute efficiency and are expect to provide well-rounded and effective services. “We help individuals or families to organize their private lives. These are people or families that need all the moving pieces to come together so that their private lives work properly”, Carbó explains. She also mentions that she usually receives between five – the lowest – and fifteen – the highest – requests from clients around the world and “they have to be ready for whenever they need them”.

But what is true purpose of Personal Angels? Carbó’s answer is very clear: “We take care of any tasks that are legal and ethical”. She explains that they work in coordination with a dedicated team for each family or individual, which means that they work in harmony with chauffeurs, babysitters, chefs, butlers, house managers and any other staff. However, they never take care of any corporate or business-related tasks, nor do they do tasks belonging to the team-members of the families for which they work.

“These are people that travel without luggage, but expect to find everything in place once they arrive at their destination. We are the people who take care of those things and ensure that everything is as it should be”, explains Carbó.

“They manage time, emotions and information, but never specific tasks”



Alberta La Grup

Throughout its 15 years of existence, Alberta La Grup has had around 300 clients from 28 different nationalities. Around 5% come from Spain, including some Catalans. Many of these clients still rely on Alberta La Grup’s services, including elite sports personalities – mainly footballers and tennis players – investors, wealthy families… Any profile that forms part of the richest 1% of the world population.

“The ‘Personal Angel’ takes care of any tasks that are legal and ethical”

Lourdes Carbó
CEO of Alberta La Grup


“It’s a lifestyle. Money is not an object when you need to take care of their needs. For them, time is of the essence rather than money. Therefore, we try to stay one step ahead of their needs, taking care of time, information and emotion from behind the scenes. We never simply take care of tasks”, Carbó elaborates.

The founder of Alberta La Grup worked for over ten years as the secretary to the president of a Catalan family company. One day, her boss informed her that he was going to sell the company and move the United States, leaving her without work. “That’s when I decided to take the next step. I had discovered Personal Angels existed as a profession in London and it sounded quite similar to what I had already been doing for a decade. So I decided to capitalize on this and together with my husband, Juan Antonio, we created the company and started working with our first three clients, amongst them my ex-boss.” This was in 2007. Nowadays, Alberta La Grup has a dozen employees and more than thirty freelance collaborators that they work with on a regular basis.

After facing difficulties in finding employees that had experience as a Personal Angel, Carbó decided to create the institute to train them. They offer two programs, each lasting for five months: the PA Postgraduate Diploma, for those getting started in the profession, including over 22 subject matters which cover more than 137 skills, and the Pro Program, aimed at those wanting to update, improve or expand their skills and knowledge. The third edition of the programs will begin in October of this year and the admissions committee will select from all the applications those who are successful in occupying one of the twelve unique places that are available on the course.

“We have infinite resources to find what the clients are wanting”
Arantza Fabregat
TLI Student


Arantza Fabregat, a 32 year-old originally from Venezuela is currently doing the Postgraduate Diploma at The Lifestyle Institute. She was already working as a Personal Angel but wanted to build on her skill set and “extend her list of contacts”. She tells us that “solving infinite problems and situations” is what her profession is about. She mentions that the clients are “very demanding” but that they have “infinite resources to get what they want”. Therefore, she tells us: “Having someone like us by their side opens up a world of possibilities because we manage their expectations. We know the sky is the limit, but have our feet firmly on the ground.” And that’s what makes them special. Of course, always with respect, honesty and discretion.

Translation: Emily Benton