Launch of Addcounsel Dinners in Mayfair
On 17 September, Addcounsel gave the first in a series of Advisory Board dinners at an exclusive private members’ club in Mayfair, hosted by Addcounsel CEO Paul Flynn and Advisory Board chairman William Cash, to raise awareness of mental health and behavioural wealth within the private client and wealth management community.
At each Addcounsel dinner an after-dinner speaker will talk about their own experience of mental health and behavioural issues. At the inaugural dinner Paul Flynn described his own journey and how he faced a mental health crisis as a successful entrepreneur in the recruitment business.
‘I was CEO of a fast-growing international recruitment company that I had founded and colleagues would sometimes find me in the morning on my office sofa. I had “burnout”. And I felt that my life was about to collapse. At the time the outlets for helping me were pretty stretched and as a hard-working and successful entrepreneur I certainly couldn’t “talk” about it. I was working 80 to 100-hour weeks, sleeping very little, and in a very dark place. What I had was a lot of questions and I needed clear-cut answers on how I could make the washing machine of my mind stop. Was I mentally ill?’
For many outwardly successful men and women who are in positions of authority, be it a listed company with shareholders, or a business owner with over 100 colleagues, the pressure to ‘do nothing’, and to look at managing other people’s problems rather than one’s own, is often the only option.
So when he got clean, turned his life around and sold his business, Flynn founded Addcounsel because he wanted to help those suffering from poor mental and behavioural health in a new, pioneering way. Many of his clients are high-profile individuals – CEOs, HNW family members, entrepreneurs – who may not feel comfortable with the traditional 28-day residential rehab, where they are expected to share their personal and family secrets with strangers. Many are also suffering not just from stereotypical addictions but from a range of other behavioural and mental health issues: self-esteem, anxiety, depression and any number of disorders and compulsions, including sex addiction, gambling, excessive eating and spending, and sleep deprivation.
‘We call this Behavioural Wealth,’ he explained. ‘As the American poet Ralph Emerson put it: “The first wealth is health.” We take a complete view of mental health that is both physical and behavioural. The interplay between them helps us to move people towards a bespoke treatment, be it for their four-grams a day cocaine habit or because they are a burnt-out case. We do all this in-house: sometimes it means working with people 24/7 in one our properties, often with a team of 12 involved. And we do it carefully, discreetly and with kindness, in a way that no other service can.’
William Cash, Chairman of the Addcounsel Advisory Board, also spoke. He pointed out that the existence of Addcounsel in Mayfair was a ‘first’ for the UK, as it was the first bespoke treatment opportunity in the UK which followed the example of the Kusnacht in Geneva and the McLean Hospital in Boston (where billionaire Jamie Packer was recently admitted for treatment of mental health issues).
The gap between ‘net worth’ and ‘self-worth’ is now coming into the open, he said, and family offices and wealth managers are increasingly coming to realise the importance of investing in ‘family capital’, which means taking mental and spiritual capital as seriously as stocks and bonds, bricks and mortar, art, and other tangible assets.
Guests at the dinner included: John Arlidge (Sunday Times Magazine); William Cash (Founder, Spear’s); Jonathan Edgeley – Addcounsel; Paul Flynn – CEO, Addcounsel; Elizabeth Hurley (actress and businesswoman); Damian Thompson, Editor-in-Chief, Catholic Herald; Bridget Harrison (author and editor at The Times); Nick Foulkes (author, dandy, aesthete, HNW style critic); Mattias Kuhn (property investor and owner of Tagomago private island, Ibiza); Melissa Lesson (Mishcon de Reya family lawyer); Rupert Phelps (head of Family Office Services at Smith & Williamson); Dr Laura Toogood (author, award-winning HNW digital privacy expert, and founder, Field Master Group); Barry Tucker (founder and CEO, Tuckers Criminal Law); Hugh Warrender (Dragon Advisory reputation and crisis management); and Corinna Sayn-Wittgenstein (Apollonia Associates).