High net worth dating service

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‘We have set the standard in discreet, selective and personalised introductions.’The firm, or ‘niche introduction agency for attractive professionals’ as it described itself, even offered a special service for the over-40s and the company boasted it had been featured in glossy magazines including Grazia and Cosmopolitan.

It also claimed that all its consultants, as staff were called, were trained in neuro-linguistic programming, or NLP – a psychotherapy technique based on the connection between neurological processes and language – and this technique was used when potential members were interviewed.

Ms Fontaine, who was awarded an MBE in 2007 for her charitable work, is now being chased by a debt-collection agency for outstanding fees.

‘The thought of coming home to find my flat being stripped by bailiffs has certainly taken the sparkle out of any romantic ideas,’ she says.

If you are 25 you can have two dates a week ,but when you are in your 40s with specific requirements it is more difficult.’Asked whether she accepted that while he may have paid another less upmarket agency a fee, that was not the same thing as having paid to join Elect, Ms Guennifa said: ‘We don’t judge people on their assets.’‘I don’t personally take credit for successful relationships between two people,’ she said.

It’s not a selling point, it’s just something I’ve done that means something to me.’Karen Mooney, press officer for the Association of British Introduction Agencies (ABIA), said: ‘People should check before they sign up to any dating agency to make sure it is a member of ABIA, which has a strict code of practice.’ Ms Mooney, who founded Sara Eden Personal Introductions in 1988, said: ‘Companies love to boast that they can do matchmaking but a dating agency is a complicated business.

First-date nerves are par for the course and Jake* was no exception.

‘I have messed up relationships myself and that wasn’t the fault of the friend who made the introduction.

Equally, if I am introduced to my partner by a friend I’m not going to be grateful to her for the rest of my life.’Ms Guennifa said she and other consultants had undertaken a four-month home course with a company whose name she could not recall – ‘it was called Infinite something’ – culminating in two weeks’ study at the London School of Economics, where they sat an examination.

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