Shining some light

Somewhere in the ether between closely guarded secrecy and pure myth operate a handful of global organisations membered by the elite of our society. It is however, almost impossible to confirm actual members of these elite networks exist. Words by Jeremy Silcox

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This was my general perception of the Kelleher International Network, the global matchmaking group that brings together members from the highest ranks of business, entertainment, politics, sports, philanthropy and academia. At its core, it’s a network of elite singles searching for love, or, rather, “The One”, but increasingly about connecting members for pursuits ranging from philanthropy to business partnerships to shared adventure.

The background
For the second year in a row, Kelleher International has been named the ‘International Matchmaker of the Year’ and will be receiving their honour on the floor of the London Stock Exchange. Amber Kelleher-Andrews, the CEO and co-founder recently appeared on the cover of our very own European CEO magazine (the second woman ever to grace our cover) and I was told that the online version of the profile generated more clicks on our web-site than Donald Trump.

Representing Kelleher International’s European operations, Kelleher-Andrews had also been a “honored guest” at the recent Brit Week events in Los Angeles as part of a weeklong celebration of the cultural and business contributions of the UK to the US, culminating in a Royal Wedding Gala.

I needed to uncover the secret of the Kelleher International network and pull back the veil surrounding this elite group. I had landed an interview with Kelleher-Andrews in our London office and was promised a no-holds-barred discussion about the Kelleher Network, global dating and the state of love in Europe.

Perception, meet reality
Some aspects of my preconceived notions were accurate. As she walked through the front doors of our office I had to conclude that the beautiful photos in the magazines did not do Amber Kelleher-Andrews justice. Her piercing blue eyes and stunning blonde hair immediately drew the eyes of the room (and not just the men) and I felt a slight feeling of intimidation as I strode across the lobby to meet her. I was determined to be resolute and uncover the secrets of Kelleher International and their global network. As I steeled myself for the introduction and then welcomed her to our offices, everything changed with four simple words. “Just Call me Amber.”

Her warm smile, engaging presence, easy laugh and friendly demeanor quickly trans- formed our meeting into a chat between two friends. As our discussion ranged from the EU economy (Amber used a great phrase – “love is recession proof”) to the Royal Wedding to the perils of online dating to the subtleties of global matchmaking, I began to get the feeling that Amber was learning as much about me as I was about her. Maybe I should talk to her about finding “The One”.

Simple question: Does global dating really work – what are the cultural challenges to international romance?
The quick answer is ‘it works magnificently’. The building blocks that make up a great match are the same across all cultures – shared values, life goals and relationship expectations. We have found that if these things are aligned, then other factors like home, country, ethnicity and location become secondary.

This is one of the reasons our in-depth screening process is so critical and why we have such a spectacular track record of success. During our one-on-one interviews we surface clients’ core requirements for a long-term partner and use these to match them within our network.

Our clients live lifestyles that allow for, or even demand, extensive travel. Recognising how important finding the right person is, these world travellers are open to finding “The One” wherever in the world he or she may be hiding.

It sounds like you are working with some incredibly accomplished people. What makes them choose to use a matchmaker to find romance – shouldn’t it be easy?
You might think so, but isn’t it true that the more you accomplish the higher your standards are, for just about everything? It’s hard to find quality people playing at your level. For more than 25 years, we’ve worked with the world’s most eligible clientele.
This group, more than any other, under- stands the concept of privileged access – and only as members of our network will they have access to extraordinary singles of their own stature – who are attractive, fit, and accomplished in their own right. You engage the best lawyer to handle your affairs, the best accounting firm to lead your finances, the best doctor to monitor your health… and the best matchmaker to help you with the most impor- tant decision of your life – finding “The One”.

You’ve suggested that membership in the Kelleher International network is about more than just seeking romance. What else are you seeing?
For sure, the primary focus of the Kelleher Network remains to connect high quality eligible singles. However, we’re beginning to see just what you’d expect when you bring together highly accomplished, passionate, adventurous people – businesses are being hatched, major philanthropic efforts are being initiated, and incredible journeys are being planned.

Congratulations again for winning the 2011 International Matchmaker of the Year – two years in a row says a lot about the global impact Kelleher International is making on “love”. Thank you. The real credit goes to our incredible network of eligible singles and our unparalleled team of matchmakers.

Not secretive, just discreet
She of course would not confirm the rumours of the famous roster of clients – that some say includes Jennifer Aniston – but was surprisingly open about their secrets to success. Amber helped me understand that whether someone’s ascent to a life of privilege was through birthright or hard work, one truism is universal: selecting the right life partner is one of the secrets to a life of happiness.

As I watched Amber slip out the door and under cloak of nightfall, her wise words echoed in my ears: “The most important decision of your life should not be left to chance.”