Berkeley has grown in 10 years from 300 to 3,000 members. Verbeeck says the plan is to reach 10,000 members within three years, including a move into same-sex dating.
The business has opened offices in Brussels, Paris and Milan and will add Geneva, Amsterdam and Copenhagen this year.
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"Some people want to speed things up and meet more people and then it becomes more expensive . The decision about who meets whom is made by Berkeley's staff, who receive special training, rather than by computerized data-matching. Verbeeck says that entrepreneurs and financiers are "well represented", along with senior business managers, lawyers, doctors and some "high-profile people" including actors and sportspeople.
There is no online posting of photos and individual details. About 60 percent of Berkeley's members are women and roughly the same proportion are divorced. Verbeeck herself is divorced but in a relationship.
When it comes to the British stereotype at this rarefied end of the matchmaking game – Berkeley membership costs a minimum €10,000 [,527] a year – the much-maligned (uptight, unromantic) British male is regarded as a good catch, she continues, possibly remembering she is talking to one.
"There is this idea that they are very gentlemanly, they have that British humor, they are tall and classically handsome." Speaking in the breakfast room of an upmarket hotel on the Rue de Rivoli, in the elegant heart of Paris, the 30-something Belgian is chic and relaxed as she discusses sorting out love matches for the super-rich. Verbeeck was chief executive of her family's €100 million steel trading business in Antwerp, where she lives. That's the same as I do now." The dating business involves moving quickly on to the next potential couple once you have successfully paired two clients to keep the business going. Verbeeck made the move after Prodac, the steel business founded by her father, was sold to private equity.
It also has a small presence in the US that it aims to expand.
"We saw that [a dating agency] was very appealing to international business people, people who travel a lot for work, work very hard, have no time and for whom it is hard to meet somebody," says Ms. To join up for the minimum one-year membership costs anything from €10,000 to €50,000 [77,635] – "and beyond for special requests." The price depends on frequency of introductions and how wide a geographical spread clients want to tap into. How many people in your life do you meet that you think you could have as a partner? It takes a bit of work." New members are all interviewed personally – hence the need for offices in different cities."If we saw a sea-level rise in the future of a similar rate as this past event, it would likely devastate coral reefs and coastal systems," Associate Professor Webster said.The fossil corals used in this study were collected by a team of technical rebreather scuba divers who dove down to 150 m below present sea level to access the fossil reef.Verbeeck – or because staff judge there is no current match on the books.The high entry fee tends to keep out any opportunists.The paper provides new evidence of a meltwater pulse (referred to as meltwater pulse 1-A), based on analysis of fossil coral reef samples from off the coast of Kawaihae, on the northwest of the Big Island of Hawaii.