Personal assistants: 'We furnished a jet in a day'

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The Independent Online

The pet chauffeur drives the corgi to the vet while the bodyguard, former SAS, waits by the school gates. Serving the higher echelons of London society has become a lucrative industry.

Harrods has an entire department of personal shoppers. Sukeena Rao, head of the Harrods Personal Shopping Group, says that furnishing the interior of a Gulfstream jet in 24 hours has been the biggest challenge. "Everything was thought of - cashmere blankets on every seat, Louis Vuitton bags with Crème de la Mer toiletries for everyone. And all the beautiful air hostesses were decked out in Fendi to board the jet to St Petersburg."

The publisher William Cash has launched Spears Wealth Management Survey, a quarterly magazine that the 50,000 richest residents in the UK have been invited to subscribe to.

Articles detail the more serious concerns of the billionaire lifestyle, such as how to avoid kidnapping, alongside advertisements for luxury yachts and banking services. A team of servants will ensure a billionaire's home and garden in Mayfair, St James's or Belgravia is in perfect order. Pilots are on call to fly the private jet to the Maldives.

But perhaps the ultimate symbol of wealth is a "family office" - a full-time team of lawyers and accountants who dedicate themselves to cultivating and protecting the wealth of one family.

David Harvey of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners has suggested that a sensible rich family would be advised to think 100 years ahead. He said: "For a lot of families, the question is: can we take it as far as generation three?"

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