Claude Palmero, in charge of Prince Albert’s assets, steps down

The Palace on Wednesday confirmed that Prince Albert’s Administrator of Properties Claude Palmero has handed in his resignation. It comes amid the so-called ‘Rock Files’ affair which has shaken the Palace.

The Palace released a statement on Wednesday, which reads: “Prince Albert II has accepted the decision of Mr. Claude Palmero to assert his pension rights from 12th June. Aged 67, Mr Palmero was the Administrator of the Property of the Prince and the Sovereign House since 2001. The Sovereign Prince declares: ‘I would like to thank Mr Claude Palmero for the professionalism he has shown evidenced throughout the years spent in the administration of my property and the Sovereign House.’”

Salim Zeghdar, the head of Top Marques Monaco, which opened on Wednesday, has been appointed interim assets manager. Zeghdar is also general director of TV Monaco, which will launch an international television station on 1st September.

Appointed in 2001, Claude Palmero first administered the property of the Sovereign during the reign of Prince Rainier III, and then under that of the current Sovereign, Prince Albert II of Monaco. His role was to manage the personal fortune of the Prince, the Princely Family, and that of the Sovereign House.

The destabilising ‘Dossiers du Rocher’ affair

According to AFP, Prince Albert had tasked Palmero with a number of strategic missions for the Principality. They included an acquisition in Nice airport, the forthcoming launch of TV Monaco, and the Maraterra land reclamation project.

The surprise departure of Palmero, a trained accountant, comes amid a tumultuous time at the Palace. The anonymous ‘Dossiers du Rocher’ website, launched in 2021, accuses Prince Albert’s closest entourage of collusion. Among them are the so-called ‘G4’: his chief of staff Laurent Anselmi, his lawyer Thierry Lacoste, President of the Supreme Court Didier Linotte, and Claude Palmero.

All four have since filed complaints, denying any involvement in corruption, and an investigation into the hacking of their emails has been opened by the French justice department.

The victims of the ‘Dossiers du Rocher’ suspect the Pastor group, led by entrepreneur Patrice Pastor and allegedly excluded from certain property deals, of being behind the destabilisation operation. Patrice Pastor fiercely denies the accusation.


Monaco Life with AFP.

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Photo of the Palace of Monaco on The Rock by Monaco Life



Interview: Monaco’s Paul Mitchell says the club’s next manager “Will be the best man for the job, not just a relationship hire” 

AS Monaco Sporting Director Paul Mitchell

A relentless, almost 12-month-long season of football has finally drawn to a close. Whilst the result on the pitch, a sixth-place Ligue 1 finish, didn’t live up to objectives, AS Monaco’s Sporting Director Paul Mitchell says he is optimistic that the foundations for future success are being laid. 

The on-pitch action is over, but it is expected to be a hectic summer behind the scenes at the Principality club. Mitchell is handing over the keys to the project to Thiago Scuro, however, before he makes his exit, he has plenty of work to do, as he told Monaco Life in a roundtable interview at the club’s Performance Centre in La Turbie on Thursday.

Monaco Life: First of all, what led you to choose Thiago Scuro as your successor? 

Paul Mitchell: So we’ve had time to look at the market and look at many different candidates. I still think globally there’s a misinterpretation of the role in general. I think you guys often hear me say things like, it’s not just signing players. In some contexts, it is, in some clubs sporting directors just sign players and hire and fire coaches, but here it’s broader. We have two football investments across two countries, and you have to have an overview of all of that. 

So when you actually go through the different components necessary to do this job, in Monaco but also have a vision into Belgium and create one aligned strategy, manage many different people across many different departments, it changes the profile somewhat. So we obviously did a very stringent interview process, we looked at multiple people with multiple profiles, Thiago is someone that I do know. I think that is clear. I was fortunate to work with him at Red Bull in the years that I was there, and through that interview process, he became the lead candidate.

He met with the President as well and he met with other members of the senior management team, and he was the standout. He was the standout for what we feel the next part of the journey needs to be. And I wouldn’t even say what the journey has been… because I’m not sure his profile was the right guy for when I came. As we built all of the structure, we’ve got a really solid platform across all the areas of performance in both clubs. It’s a different skillset; maybe a softer skillset. I think that is the profile we see in Thiago, that he has great managerial skills to bring the club to the next level, but also he has a different type of management style that can be different and new and fresh and that after three years he’s probably what the organisation needs as well.

Will it be the Brazilian that leads the upcoming transfer window?

He’s going to be here on the 30th of June I think that’s his last day at Bragantino. He arrives here on the 1st of July, the international transfer window opens a little bit after. He will lead, he’s been very fortunate because he’s had natural exposure to the Western Europe market with RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg, and has always had a phenomenal relationship… he spends time in both countries and clubs, so he knows Western Europe, he knows the style, he knows the necessities. He also has an unbelievable network in South America, so he will be leading the transfer window and once again a little bit like my role in Red Bull. Now, I’m here to support, I’m here to advise. 

When will the moment come for you to leave the club, and who decides that?

That’s a very good question, to be honest! We haven’t defined a time. And you know that’s maybe as complicated for me as it is for AS Monaco, but we wanted continuity. You know I can’t come in, as I did three years ago, and say we need stability, continuity, consistency and be the volatile element. I said to the President that I’m here for as long as they need me, to make sure we keep consistency and continuity. To make sure we stay on the right track. Then it’s probably a conversation between me and the President. [The decision on when to leave is] both of ours.

Of course, there is a lot of interest in who the new manager will be. Red Bull managers such as Jesse Marsch have been linked with the role. Is there any truth in this?

The idea is to get the best coach possible for this organisation to again push ourselves back up to where we think we deserve to be and then that’s, as you know, in the top three, challenging the top clubs and I think they’ll take their time.

I’ve seen and read the articles and I think that it’s clever from multiple sides to link my history and Thiago’s history and link us to Red Bull coaches only. It won’t be like that. We’ll always look long and far across every market including this one and try to make the best selection. I’ve seen Thiago do that, he’s worked with multiple coaches that have not all been Brazilian. It’s an organisation that hires across four different markets in Europe and South America and I know he and the boss want to have success next year. They want to push us back up to where we all believe we can be so it will definitely be the best man for the job, not just a ‘relationship hire.’ 

And are you close to an appointment? 

We’re working hard. Everybody is. The President, myself, we’re keeping Thiago updated, and all the staff as well. There won’t be many holidays this year. He and Thiago will take us into the new chapter.

Naturally, in collaboration with Thiago, you’ll be looking to strengthen the team. Given Malang Sarr’s return to Chelsea and Axel Disasi’s links to a move, will you be looking specifically at the defence? 

I think we have to focus on some defensive options. In terms of senior players, we have Axel (Disasi), people are telling me there are some clubs interested in him, and there is Guillermo (Maripán) so yes, we will be looking at the defensive side because we conceded too many goals.

We want to strengthen the team, we want to be better. We know we have a really great talent pool to go into the next season and be competitive. As I said, this owner is super ambitious, it will be Thiago’s first season, so no doubt he’ll want to be super ambitious as well, I think the players that will be here on 1st September will have a clear goal in mind to get back to where we belong on the podium. 


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Photo source: AS Monaco

Photos: Club La Vigie reopens for the summer

The stunning seafront Club La Vigie is back for the summer season with a Marcel Ravin-designed menu, picture perfect views and a very exclusive vibe.  

There is something about summer on the Riviera that conjures up images of a place where glamour rules, the sun always shines, and fun can be found everywhere.  

Perched elegantly on the tip of the Monte-Carlo Beach peninsula, this rocky outcrop is transformed every summer into a daytime party spot with a 1950s-era vibe rubbing alongside an intimate and exclusive club feel with live music, boat access and valet parking. The restaurant’s motto – Dance, Sing, Savour – hits the spot in so many ways.  

A roster of top DJs will be playing here this month, such as Supa Ju, who played the season opener on 7th June, Sylvain Armand coming up on 8th June, Essence of Time on 11th June, Sacha Muki on 18th June and Goraab on 25th June. Supa Ju is reprising his set for the Fête de la Musique too.  


The creative Mediterranean-inspired menu by two-Michelin star Chef Marcel Ravin of the Blue Bay is yet another reason to head to Club La Vigie this summer.   

The menu features sharing plates with such delicious treats as: crab cakes with avocado, black garlic and nasturtium; an incredible lobster salad; crispy pork ribs with physalis and green tomato; a mouth-watering tomato, watermelon, stracciatella and wasabi gazpacho with tarragon; herby swordfish skewers; and amberjack tutto crudo with salmon, ginger and a sweet-and-sour sauce.  

Marcel Ravin of the Blue Bay has concocted an incredible menu for this summer at Club La Vigie. Photo credit: Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer

Main dishes include the freshly caught fish of the day and a Black Angus tomahawk. For something extra special, King crab and a langoustine bouillabaisse can be ordered in advance.  

The desserts are no less amazing, with a strawberry crumble featuring hibiscus and whipped cream to share or the delectable roasted Victorian pineapple with ricotta and marigold-infused honey.  

Club La Vigie is open from midday to 8pm from 7th June to 3rd September, with Monday and Tuesday closures until 25th June.  

Click on the images below to see more:


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Photo credits: Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer

Number of UHNWIs in Monaco to grow by 25% in the next five years

The global population of ultra-high-net-worth-individuals (UHNWIs) is predicted to grow by almost 30% in the next five years despite a contraction in 2022. In Monaco, the number of UHNWIs is expected to climb 25% by 2027. 

The latest Knight Frank Wealth Report series, released at the start of June, has revealed that the number of UHNWIs around the world fell by 3.8% during 2022, and their fortunes slipped too. 

“The total wealth held by UHNWIs in 2022 fell by 10% due in large part to two-fifths of portfolios being held in equities and bonds, which saw the traditional portfolio of 60/40 put in the worst performance since the 1930s in the US,” says Flora Harley, a partner and research at Knight Frank. “On the flip side, property was a bright spot with prices in 100 prime residential markets globally growing on average by 5.2% in 2022 and luxury investment assets saw an inflation busting 16% growth.” 

But the contraction wasn’t felt equally across the globe. 

Europe’s ultra wealthy fall in number 

The number of European UHNWIs fell by 8.5% to just over 155,000 people. 

“Some four-fifths of the region’s countries experienced a decline in their UHNWI population,” explains Harley. “A handful of markets saw their UHNWI population increase, including Ireland, with a 3.9% rise, and the wealthy’s safe haven of Monaco with 0.9% growth.” 

It was a similar story in Asia, which saw a 6.5% decrease in its UHNWI population. The Americas and Australasian UHNWIs remain relatively stable, while numbers in Africa and the Middle East surged by 6.3% and 16.9% respectively. 

The number of billionaires worldwide also declined in 2022, by 5% to 2,629. High-net-worth-individuals, however, rose in number – up 2.9% – to almost 70 million. Only in Europe did the population of HNWIs – those with US$1 million (just below €1 million) of personal wealth – “dwindle”. 

“Over the next five years we forecast that the global UHNWI population will expand by 28.5% to almost three-quarters of a million from 579,625 in 2022,” continues Harley. “The number of HNWIs will also surpass 100 million over the next five years, growing by 56.9%.” 

The 10-year global growth predictions for these wealth bands, from 2017 to 2027, are: 124% for HNWIs, 85% for UHNWIs, and 62% for billionaires. 

The Top 1% Club 

The level of wealth required reach the “Top 1%” varies significantly from country to country, and is well short of the wealth required to achieve UHNWI classification – someone worth at least US$30 million (or close to €28 million).  

“Even in Monaco, which has the world’s densest population of super-rich individuals, the entry point for the Principality’s 1% is US$12.4 million,” says Harley. “The level is still almost double that of second place Switzerland at US$6.6 million.” 

In France and the UK, that figure is US$3.5 million and US$3.3 million respectively.  

A closer look at Monaco 

According to the Knight Frank report, there were 14,936 HWNIs in the Principality in 2022, which was up 5.8% from 2021 data. This population is expected to expand by 51% over the next five years. 

The number of UHNWIs living in Monaco in 2022 was 112, up by just one on 2021. This proportion of the population is anticipated to grow by 25% by 2027 to reach 140 individuals worth more than US$30 million.


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Photo by Monaco Life


Children targeted during knife attack at Lake Annecy, France

Four young children and two adults have been viciously stabbed in a park near Lake Annecy, in France’s south-east.

According to reports, a man of Syrian nationality attacked several people with a knife at around 9.40am Thursday morning in a park near Lac d’Annecy, around six hours north of Monaco and about an hour south of Geneva.

The man, a 31-year-old refugee from Sweden with Syrian nationality, attacked the children – some in pushchairs – as they visited the park, before fleeing the scene and stabbing an elderly man nearby.

Police intervened and the perpetrator was shot in the legs minutes later at 9.45am.

The attack took place in a “a playground where there are boats, pedal boats, and an incalculable number of tourists”, a witness told BFMTV.

According to BFMTV, AFP and Le Parisien, the alleged attacker obtained political refugee status in Sweden and is married to a woman whom he shares a three-year-old child.

The victims are in a serious condition in hospital, one adult and two children are reportedly critical.

President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that the nation was in “shock” over the “act of cowardice”.

UPDATE: According to information from BFMTV, among the injured children are a brother and sister aged two and three, a 22-month-old German child and a two-year-old child from England.

The alleged attacker arrived in France legally at the end of last year, after having been a resident for 10 years in Sweden. He reportedly applied for asylum in France in November 2022, but in the meantime, he was granted refugee status in Sweden on 26th April. His French request was therefore refused, as he was already considered a refugee in Sweden.

The man had reportedly declared himself a “Christian from Syria” in his asylum seeker file lodged in France.

There’s currently no indication of what the man’s motive was. Oolice have launched a criminal investigation and there is no evidence of a link to terrorism.


Photo of Lac d’Annecy by Monaco Life

Junior Street Art Challenge winners announced 

Inspired by the theme of regeneration, 10 high school students from the Principality took part in 2023 Junior Street Art Challenge, part of the annual UPAINT live street art festival, earlier this week.  

Street art has become a hugely popular medium, with the works of recognisable names such as Banksy and Kobra rubbing comfortably alongside those of artists who use more traditional means of portraying their art in terms of prestige and renown.  

For seven years, Monaco’s townhall has embraced the spirit of urban art through its UPAINT (formerly UPAW) urban art festival, and for the past three years, a competition for budding street artists has been a major fixture on the programme.


The jury of this year’s Junior Street Art Challenge was made up of several of the talented street artists who attended UPAINT as well as Françoise Gamerdinger, the Principality’s Director of Cultural Affairs, and Chloé Boscagli Leclercq, representing the Mairie de Monaco in her capacity as Municipal Councillor in Charge of Youth. They were all impressed by the motivation of the young participants as well as by the quality of their work.  

Alberto Colman, the principal organiser of UPAINT, was also on hand to announce the winners.


From 4th to 7th June, two teams of schoolchildren from the Principality battled it out to create the best artwork with the theme of regeneration. In the end it was the team made up of Laure Canonge, Célestine Lung and Mary Custo from the Collège François d’Assise Nicolas Barré (FANB) and Arthur Pucnik-Danty and Anton Grozdanic from Lycée Albert Ier who took the top spot.  

Second prize went to the team from Lycée Albert Ier made up of Clément Bertrand, Lorenzo Tognetty, Albin Vita, Oscar Vita and Hongsub Baek.  

All of the students were given trophies and vouchers from FNAC for their fantastic work and participation.  

Like all pieces created during the event, the students’ works will soon go up for auction, with proceeds going to the Prince Albert II Foundation.  


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Photo credit: Mairie de Monaco