'The new investment of the IBEX 35: love (Alcanda Matchmaking)'. This is the title of the email I received on Friday, November 5 at 10:19 a.m. and it instantly became the promise of a delicacy (tell me no). "Far from the innumerable dating applications that exist, the top executives (also top executives) of the IBEX 35 turn to

Verónica Alcanda,

CEO of the company, to be able to find someone with whom to share their life," I read. It was true then; money does not give (complete) happiness.

The problem, it seems, is that executives "operate in a context [that of personal relationships] where they also want to succeed, but it is often uncharted terrain where their standards and experience are often not valid." Poor executives, lost in the fog of the heart. What Alcanda Matchmaking offers them to solve this small inconvenience is "exclusivity, personalization and maximum confidentiality", the keys to the success of this leading company, they say, "to find the ideal person among the highest spheres".

Wow.

I stay crazy.

Are we facing a modernized version of the marriage agency of a lifetime?

Or on the contrary, is it a luxurious and exclusive version of the popular and uncontrolled Tinder?

What is this?

I need to know it.

So I immediately ask for an interview with Verónica Alcanda, soul of this melting pot where wealth and love merge like Bankia and Caixa Bank, for good and for the better.

And here we are, a few days later, Verónica Alcanda and a server, sitting one on each side of a table, with a glass of water, a coffee, infinite curiosity and a tape recorder between them.

When the CEO of

Alcanda Matchmaking

he begins to speak, with his slightly grave and very expressive voice, fast and with a certain Madrid touch, you know immediately that you are not going to get bored for a miserable second. We started at the beginning, when after working for many years as a manager in large hotel chains around the world, Verónica moved to Spain and discovered ... that there was no human way to connect here: "I had arrived in Madrid after my last I work in England and I had no partner. In other countries I had never had a problem finding her. And suddenly I found it difficult to do so in a safe environment, where I could meet people of my level ... I almost gave up. "

Where had it been easy? In the Anglo-Saxon countries.

People there were very open and had been using the internet for many years to make contacts.

I lived in Boston and in England, and had met very interesting people there, no problem.

But when I arrived in Spain in 2001 and started using contact websites, my colleagues at Deloitte, where I was working at that time, told me "You're crazy! There are only depraved people there!"

Total, that Verónica Alcanda found herself in a very frustrating situation.

He had been in Spain for 20 years and did not eat a piece of bread, because all his friends were married and he did not belong to any circle that allowed him to meet new and interesting people.

"And I don't like bars, I don't like going out. What options did I have? None."

It was then that she thought that this emptiness that she suffered must also be suffered by other people, and that it could become a business opportunity. And one day, on a plane to Istanbul, he saw an ad for an executive service called itsjustlunch.com in an American magazine and a lightbulb went on. What this website was proposing were appointments at the only free time that executives had: that of lunch. The company put two people in contact and they would meet for lunch. "After thinking about it, I took the risk of setting up the business myself, because it seemed to me that the idea had a future. I parked my hotel career and jumped in, very confident that it would work. And it worked."

But you didn't exactly copy the Anglo-Saxon model of contacts for managers ... No. Because in the United States these services were geared towards men. In fact, men pay fortunes (up to a million dollars) for it. And what, women can't find a partner? As I had been working for years as a Human Resources director in large hotels, I said to myself: "Why not apply the same methodology that I have sometimes hired to find managers for my hotels with professional headhunters?" And I decided that I would give a professional service, an active search for the profile that the client asked for. And there I created the sentimental headhunting.Isn't what you set up in the end what was once a marriage agency? What happens is that marriage agencies - and that is why they became obsolete and many of them are being updated and called 'matchmakers' -, they did not make a active search. They had a customer database, they crossed the profiles, they gave you a phone number and goodbye. But they did not do a fine job in the sense of what wishes your clients have, what are their past experiences, what mistakes they have made, how they want to live their life ... An active search is not "I'm going to fit a capon to two people because they paid me. " With sentimental headhunting, the client is one, and we specifically search for them. And the person we propose to you may or may not be a client. We call them 'candidates'.You have a pull of candidates who are willing to get to know your clients, but it is our job to identify and verify that they really meet all the requirements. And there is our work, which is very tedious ... And what happens if no candidate that is registered on the web 'fits'? Well, it depends. Maybe a client tells me that he loves music. Well, I have friends who are in the Royal Theater orchestra. And I go to my friend and ask him directly if he knows someone with the profile I'm looking for. Or he says to me: "That he like golf." Well, no problem, I go to the golf club and start talking to my friends who play golf. Your job is really like that of a scout. Even on the street.I remember one day that I was on Almagro street and at the traffic light there was a girl who was just like what a client had asked me and I stopped her and said: "Sorry to bother you, it's going to sound a little strange. but: do you have a partner? ". People don't expect this question (if it's a man I say: "Don't worry, it's not for me"). Then I tell them: "Look, I'm a sentimental headhunter, matchmaker, this is my card, if you're interested, call me and I'll tell you how it works." And they always call me. If they don't have a partner they always call me. Who pays here? The client who wants us to actively seek out. And what do they ask for? In general, like-minded people. Although there are exceptions. Not long ago, for example, a man came to me and said: "Look, Veronica, I have realized that I, who am now retired and have a lot of free time,A woman who works a lot doesn't work for me. I need someone who is financially independent, doesn't work a lot, has time and plays golf. "Man, it's not very easy. Or a super-executive woman comes along and tells me:" I don't have time to waste, not even to a super intense relationship. I want someone who has an activity as fast as I am, and who can meet in our dead times, or on alternate weekends, because I have children and if he has them much better, so I prefer a divorced person with joint custody "These requests have a logic. But if a 60-year-old man comes to me and asks me for a 30-year-old model, then no.That he has time and that he plays golf. "Man, it is not very easy. Or a super-executive woman comes along and tells me:" I don't have time to waste, not even for a super-intense relationship. I want someone who has an activity as fast as I am, and who can meet in our dead times, or on alternate weekends, because I have children and if he has them much better, so I prefer a divorced person with joint custody "These requests have a logic. But if a 60-year-old man comes to me and asks me for a 30-year-old model, then no.That he has time and that he plays golf. "Man, it is not very easy. Or a super-executive woman comes along and tells me:" I don't have time to waste, not even for a super-intense relationship. I want someone who has an activity as fast as I am, and who can meet in our dead times, or on alternate weekends, because I have children and if he has them much better, so I prefer a divorced person with joint custody "These requests have a logic. But if a 60-year-old man comes to me and asks me for a 30-year-old model, then no.and that we can meet in our dead times, or on alternate weekends, because I have children and if he has them, much better, so I prefer a divorced person with joint custody. "Those requests have a logic. But if it comes to me A 60-year-old man asks me for a 30-year-old model, nope.and that we can meet in our dead times, or on alternate weekends, because I have children and if he has them, much better, so I prefer a divorced person with joint custody. "Those requests have a logic. But if it comes to me A 60-year-old man asks me for a 30-year-old model, nope.

At this point in the interview I begin to wonder, since I was single, if I should not hire the services of Alcanda Matchmaking or register as a candidate on their website. Fortunately, the obfuscation passes quickly, although not the curiosity. What kind of people would I meet if I entered that world populated by managers and other people with high purchasing power who seek love at any price?

Verónica Alcanda tells me that the male client profile is a businessman or senior executive between 45 and 58 years old - "Although I have clients, men and women, 70 years old too!", She clarifies - Spanish or foreigners. As for the couple that you bring in your head, ladies, nothing new under the sun: "Above all, they are looking for an intelligent woman who is accompanied by beauty." Of course, the matchmaker says that for some time now "curves have become fashionable, because when I started everyone wanted thin girls, and I said: 'But let's see, and we normal women have no right to have a partner? ". Wealthy couple seekers also yearn for elegance, knowing how to be ("both at the gala dinner and at the beach bar", clarifies Verónica), a sense of humor and a good attitude.

Good attitude? Yes. Many clients come from a previous marriage and complain that the women are so burned out, that they seem to want to pay for their past failures with them. So they ask for women who want to live, not to be fed up. Are one hundred percent looking for a stable relationship? With me, yes. I only work for people who want to have a stable relationship. For the other there are already infinite options, Tinder, Meetic, eDarling, bars, nightclubs ... What percentage of your clients are women? We always oscillate between 45% -55%, sometimes more women, sometimes more men.

We have talked about the Alcanda Matchmaking customer profile, but what about the customer profile? We don't get any big surprises here either. "The first sentence the woman tells you, in 95% of the cases, is: 'I have to admire the man.' And what do you admire? Intelligence, knowing how to be, success in life, that has a sense of humor ... And don't let him kill himself with his ex-wife. " I take note, in case I change my mind and sign up.

The pandemic momentarily paralyzed the business, but what came after the confinement left the entire staff of the company speechless. The last quarter of 2020 Alcanda Matchmaking was in higher demand than the entire previous year. Oh, what makes being forced to be alone for a few months even though your last name is Onassis ... "Confinement taught many people that this life they had so much fun, I have three 'friends', how well I have a free time like the wind , in the difficult moments of life he disappeared. He highlighted how important it is to have someone around for the good, but especially for the bad. And many candidates became clients. And there are even those who even told me: " I don't want another confinement to come and find myself alone again. ”It was a radical change of mind.

Let's go with the process. When you already have a list of candidates, you meet with the client, propose the one you consider the best profile, and? At the meeting we show him a blind profile (without specific data that can identify him) of the candidate, with a lot of data vital and professional, academic ... Everything that I consider that will affect the future relationship is there: if you travel a lot or not, for example. Hobbies, sports, whether or not he drinks, what he drinks, whether he wants to have children or not. The latter is essential, because, why am I going to introduce you to a person whose plans are not to have children? Have you had a client with overwhelming success? Yes. In fact he marries the first person I introduced him to. We had a one-year contract, she lived in Madrid, he, a foreigner, in Barcelona. I did the whole process,But I knew from the beginning that they would fit in. Have there been people with whom it was impossible? Yes. And I am very self-critical, when we have had a process where we have not been successful I always ask myself what I have done wrong. But the truth is that there are people who are never satisfied. People who have not managed to get over their divorce, for example, who are not ready to start a new relationship, or who want a partner for the wrong reasons Has anyone asked you for a very unconventional man or woman? In a very small country in the north of Europe, she sent me by email a two-page document with all the requirements that the candidate had to meet. I start to read and see: "Condition sine qua non: past or recent professional runway model; golf player with at least 15 years of experience;that you like and know how to navigate; who has studied in the United States, preferably at Harvard or UCLA; and maximum, 30 years old. "And he was 64. I said:" Look, sir, this profile, to begin with, does not exist. But if they exist, I highly doubt, with all due respect, that she would go with a man like you. "Let's go back to the process. Once your client says ah, I like it! Is it their thing or not? No. Here we are also very different from marriage agencies. They give you the other person's phone number and from there you do everything. We never give the phone numbers, we are the ones who take care of closing an appointment in a super beautiful place, on behalf of someone from my company, for maximum discretion. They are at the table. I always ask the gentleman to arrive first - I am very traditional - and wait for the lady.There they know each other and they are not allowed to exchange phones. It's one of the golden rules of the first date ... Is there more? Please, I need to know! First, neglect the cell phone. You can't be with your phone on the table all the time. Another: don't talk about your exes. We have already said everything relevant that both the client and the candidate should know: how many partners have they had, why did they get divorced, how long ago ... It is a topic that should not be touched on a first date. After: do not drink excessively. It looks like a drawer, right? Well no. We had a client who came to the appointment drunk, for God's sake ... Also, I don't think you should drink excessively during dinner, because when you drink you are not totally in control of your emotions, of your words ... Afterwards : don't talk about the process - "Why did you hire the services of Alcanda Matchmaking? "- It is a question that does not come to mind. And, finally, not to show interest or disinterest. Imagine that you do not like the person at all. Do not be looking at the ceiling, looking at the time ... Or the other way around: "how beautiful you are", "what beautiful eyes" ... No. Because imagine that the feeling is not reciprocal And if the date goes well ... If it has been the interest of both parties , We give them the phone numbers with their permission. And then we do withdraw. How many people does that first date work for? 50%, I would say. It is true that we do a very fine job. We call the profile 'the first best' that fits perfectly in everything, and that is the first one we put on our list. Are there people who are looking for an open partner? Not in my company. My slogan is, in fact, 'New method,traditional love 'Let's go back to the beginning of this story. You finally managed to find a partner. How did you do it? Well, I tried to hire a Belgian matchmaker, but in the end it didn't work. As for my husband, it turns out that we had been friends for years. But I didn't want anything else, because he lived in Luxembourg and I lived in Madrid, I didn't have children and he did ... For a year and a half I said no. Until one day I was in Seville and he was in the Algarve playing golf, we talked to each other and he said: "We're next door (!), I'm going to see you and let's have dinner." She came to Seville and we never parted again, that is, you would never have found your husband through a matchmaker like you. That is why I always tell my clients: please break down the barriers, remove those prejudices, because you yourself boycott yourself, as I did.Let's go back to the beginning of this story. You finally managed to find a partner. How did you do it? Well, I tried to hire a Belgian matchmaker, but in the end it didn't work. As for my husband, it turns out that we had been friends for years. But I didn't want anything else, because he lived in Luxembourg and I lived in Madrid, I didn't have children and he did ... For a year and a half I said no. Until one day I was in Seville and he was in the Algarve playing golf, we talked to each other and he said: "We're next door (!), I'm going to see you and let's have dinner." She came to Seville and we never parted again, that is, you would never have found your husband through a matchmaker like you. That is why I always tell my clients: please break down the barriers, remove those prejudices, because you yourself boycott yourself, as I did.Let's go back to the beginning of this story. You finally managed to find a partner. How did you do it? Well, I tried to hire a Belgian matchmaker, but in the end it didn't work. As for my husband, it turns out that we had been friends for years. But I didn't want anything else, because he lived in Luxembourg and I lived in Madrid, I didn't have children and he did ... For a year and a half I said no. Until one day I was in Seville and he was in the Algarve playing golf, we talked to each other and he said: "We're next door (!), I'm going to see you and let's have dinner." She came to Seville and we never parted again, that is, you would never have found your husband through a matchmaker like you. That is why I always tell my clients: please, break down the barriers, remove those prejudices, because you yourself boycott yourself, as I did.You finally managed to find a partner. How did you do it? Well, I tried to hire a Belgian matchmaker, but in the end it didn't work. As for my husband, it turns out that we had been friends for years. But I didn't want anything else, because he lived in Luxembourg and I lived in Madrid, I didn't have children and he did ... For a year and a half I said no. Until one day I was in Seville and he was in the Algarve playing golf, we talked to each other and he said: "We're next door (!), I'm going to see you and let's have dinner." She came to Seville and we never parted again, that is, you would never have found your husband through a matchmaker like you. That is why I always tell my clients: please, break down the barriers, remove those prejudices, because you yourself boycott yourself, as I did.You finally managed to find a partner. How did you do it? Well, I tried to hire a Belgian matchmaker, but in the end it didn't work. As for my husband, it turns out that we had been friends for years. But I didn't want anything else, because he lived in Luxembourg and I lived in Madrid, I didn't have children and he did ... For a year and a half I said no. Until one day I was in Seville and he was in the Algarve playing golf, we talked to each other and he said: "We're next door (!), I'm going to see you and let's have dinner." She came to Seville and we never parted again, that is, you would never have found your husband through a matchmaker like you. That is why I always tell my clients: please, break down the barriers, remove those prejudices, because you yourself boycott yourself, as I did.How did you do it? Well, I tried to hire a Belgian matchmaker, but in the end it didn't work. As for my husband, it turns out that we had been friends for years. But I didn't want anything else, because he lived in Luxembourg and I lived in Madrid, I didn't have children and he did ... For a year and a half I said no. Until one day I was in Seville and he was in the Algarve playing golf, we talked to each other and he said: "We're next door (!), I'm going to see you and let's have dinner." She came to Seville and we never parted again, that is, you would never have found your husband through a matchmaker like you. That is why I always tell my clients: please, break down the barriers, remove those prejudices, because you yourself boycott yourself, as I did.How did you do it? Well, I tried to hire a Belgian matchmaker, but in the end it didn't work. As for my husband, it turns out that we had been friends for years. But I didn't want anything else, because he lived in Luxembourg and I lived in Madrid, I didn't have children and he did ... For a year and a half I said no. Until one day I was in Seville and he was in the Algarve playing golf, we talked to each other and he said: "We're next door (!), I'm going to see you and let's have dinner." She came to Seville and we never parted again, that is, you would never have found your husband through a matchmaker like you. That is why I always tell my clients: please break down the barriers, remove those prejudices, because you yourself boycott yourself, as I did.It turns out that we had been friends for years. But I didn't want anything else, because he lived in Luxembourg and I lived in Madrid, I didn't have children and he did ... For a year and a half I said no. Until one day I was in Seville and he was in the Algarve playing golf, we talked to each other and he said: "We're next door (!), I'm going to see you and let's have dinner." She came to Seville and we never parted again, that is, you would never have found your husband through a matchmaker like you. That is why I always tell my clients: please break down the barriers, remove those prejudices, because you yourself boycott yourself, as I did.It turns out that we had been friends for years. But I didn't want anything else, because he lived in Luxembourg and I lived in Madrid, I didn't have children and he did ... For a year and a half I said no. Until one day I was in Seville and he was in the Algarve playing golf, we talked to each other and he said: "We're next door (!), I'm going to see you and let's have dinner." She came to Seville and we never parted again, that is, you would never have found your husband through a matchmaker like you. That is why I always tell my clients: please break down the barriers, remove those prejudices, because you yourself boycott yourself, as I did.Until one day I was in Seville and he was in the Algarve playing golf, we talked to each other and he said: "We're next door (!), I'm going to see you and let's have dinner." She came to Seville and we never parted again, that is, you would never have found your husband through a matchmaker like you. That is why I always tell my clients: please break down the barriers, remove those prejudices, because you yourself boycott yourself, as I did.Until one day I was in Seville and he was in the Algarve playing golf, we talked to each other and he said: "We're next door (!), I'm going to see you and let's have dinner." She came to Seville and we never parted again, that is, you would never have found your husband through a matchmaker like you. That is why I always tell my clients: please break down the barriers, remove those prejudices, because you yourself boycott yourself, as I did.

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