Recently, there has been a renewed interest in concierge services as busy families seek to make the most of their precious time. “Many of us are struggling to find balance in our lives, and what most people really want to do is spend their valuable free time together with their family doing things they enjoy,” says Kathy Reilly, head of Northern Trust Concierge Services, through which Northern Trust offers premier access and exclusive privileges. People look to concierge services for creative ways to support their favorite charity or to arrange educational activities for their kids, as well as for access to the hottest new restaurant in town. Regardless of how they use the service, a common theme is that concierge clients are short on time and are seeking high-quality experiences.
Northern Trust Concierge Services builds on our strong relationships with our clients. It allows us to help them save time and money and focus on the things they’re passionate about.
To provide you with the best service possible and to be proactive in offering solutions, Northern Trust Concierge Services gets to know you, and understand your likes, dislikes, travel habits, family members and anything else that helps you benefit the most from the service.
Northern Trust Concierge Services can help simplify your life by handling tasks ranging from the simple to the very complex. It can open the door to a variety of exclusive opportunities for you and your family.
Concierge Services for Family Events
Planning a family event can be as complicated as any business meeting, so concierge services are particularly handy when it comes to coordinating extended events involving multiple parties — like a group of 22 that flew in for a family foundation meeting in Chicago recently. Reilly says, “There were car pickups, people arriving at different times from different destinations. We needed to make sure they were all on the same floor. And a baby came aboard at the last minute, so we had to set up car seats.”
The family wanted an indigenous Chicago experience, so the concierge snagged reservations at one of the city’s most exclusive restaurants — Table Fifty-Two, owned by former Oprah personal chef Art Smith. “In many cases we know the general manager and maitre d’ and can have them move some things around to accommodate our clients,” she says.
Reilly says, “I’ve seen a growing interest in families who are trying to instill good values in their children by steering the focus away from activities that are just about spending money.”
Last Thanksgiving, for example, a family used her services to acquire tickets to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but also asked her to arrange for the family to volunteer at a soup kitchen afterwards.
Last-Minute Concierge Services
Concierge services are also there to provide last-minute solutions when your plans hit a snag. As the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver were approaching, one Northern Trust client had plane tickets for himself and his 16-year-old son to attend Olympic men’s hockey, but he lacked accommodations and access to the events. With the opening ceremonies of the Games just weeks away, securing a hotel room had become impossible and dealing with unknown brokers was a risk he preferred not to take.
A Northern Trust Concierge team member not only booked them a hotel room, but also scouted out activities that were appropriate for his son. Despite a sold-out city, the team member secured seats to all of the games in the series and a hotel room in the heart of the action. The service was accompanied with maps of the area, tips for negotiating the venues and restaurant reservations.
Concierge Service for Access, Connections
You may already have a personal assistant organizing the details of your daily life. “But clients don’t know general managers in Costa Rica or the best consultant to advise them on their modern art collection,” Reilly says. “We actively cultivate contacts at the most senior levels of organizations. We go right through to the decision-makers.”
Anybody can get access to events through ticket brokers, but there are some things you simply can’t pull off unless you have the right connections. “We are able to tap into our worldwide partner alliances and contacts that few others can access,” Reilly says.
These days, many people are seeking a balance in life they can feel good about. For instance, you may still travel several times a year, but also want access to environmentally friendly hotels abroad. Through a growing net- work of luxury partners, an extensive national and global database, and comprehensive insider knowledge, Northern Trust Concierge Services can seek out opportunities related to your needs and passions alike.
That access pays off in philanthropic areas, as well. While affluent families have used concierge services to help underwrite events to support their foundations, they’re increasingly combining travel with causes near and dear to their hearts.
“It’s not just about writing a check anymore, but seeing how the money is deployed,” Reilly says. “Like visiting the library you funded or seeing how the money is helping to paint a school, for example.”
Recently, a Northern Trust Concierge team arranged a 10-day trip in Africa that accommodated a family of eight on two separate safaris. The group had contributed funds to help improve the quality of water in southern Africa, so the team arranged for family members to meet with leaders in a village that was benefiting from the aid and to spend time helping to dig the wells themselves.
Use Concierge Services to Realize Your Dreams
Northern Trust has a history of acting as a resource for affluent customers on the go. “Clients ask us all the time for access to venues. Whether for concerts or the Super Bowl, we look at the concierge service as a fantastic opportunity to elevate their lifestyle,” Reilly says. And the teams provide planning assistance with the same level of service clients receive on the financial side, relying on expertise and connections to create a once-in- a-lifetime experience.
Compared with other concierge services, this is far more consultative. As such, Northern Trust Concierge Services teams easily tap into innovative ideas you might not have thought of. Plus, they’ve built relationships with luxury providers that could benefit from the brand exposure that goes along with charitable events. For example, someone might have an eye for jewelry combined with a desire to develop philanthropic experiences in her life. “We know organizations willing to underwrite that kind of thing,” Reilly says.
“People have dreams and may not know how to realize them,” Reilly says. “When some- one comes to us, we may not know the exact answer to their request, but we know how to go and get it.”