Interview: Alexandre Boin reflects on an inspiring first year as Director of the CREM

It has been a full year since Alexandre Boin took over as Director of the Club des Résidents Etrangers de Monaco, a one-of-a-kind entity in the Principality that welcomes in with open arms all residents foreign or Monegasque, newly arrived or already well-established, who wish to get intimately acquainted with the social, economic, cultural and sporting activities of the Principality. 

It has been a “gratifying experience”, Boin tells Monaco Life, to be a part of a movement that has thrived in Monaco for almost 14 years now under its long-term president, Louisette Azzoaglio Levy-Soussan, and with the support of Prince Albert II, who often joins CREM members at their events.  

In an interview with Monaco Life, the 32-year-old reflects on the last 12 months, the growing ranks of the CREM and his long-term goals for the club.  

Monaco Life: You became the director of the CREM a year ago now. Do you feel a sense of accomplishment on this first anniversary? 

Alexander Boin: Embracing new challenges has always been my approach and assuming the role of General Manager at CREM, a reputable club that has flourished into one of Monaco’s most prestigious institutions, is a gratifying experience.  

As the first year draws to a close, it seems it was only yesterday that I took on this amazing role. The journey has been nothing short of exhilarating, thanks to the unwavering support of our president, Louisette Azzoaglio Levy-Soussan, my dedicated team and the board of directors.

Together, we have orchestrated hundreds of events, recruited 60 new members and organised three memorable evenings: our 13th birthday at the Performance Centre of the AS Monaco Football Club; our September cocktail at Jimmy’z Monte-Carlo in the presence of Prince Albert; and our Christmas Gala at Circé in Beaulieu-sur-Mer. 

Prince Albert II of Monaco, SBM’S Stéphane Valeri and Minister of State Pierre Dartout were among the noteworthy Monegasque personalities to join the CREM and its team at last year’s September Cocktail. Photo credit: Michael Alesi / Palais Princier de Monaco

I am lucky to have a small yet dynamic and multi-skilled team where each member brings their unique expertise: Sabine Baldo, an energetic event planner; Magali Beroud, who oversees membership and accounting; [and] our Communications Coordinator, Matilde Fantin, who is behind the scenes, always full of creative ideas to promote the club through every possible means.

The challenge of a small team means each of us needs to wear multiple hats daily and combine our administrative work with the dynamic life of the club. There is certainly no time to get bored! 

Left to right: Magali Beroud, Sabine Baldo, Mathilde Fantin and Alexandre Boin. Photo credit: Johan Assenza

Tell us about the relations between the board and CREM’s members. How do you manage the crossover?  

The CREM Board of Directors is comprised of 12 dedicated members and led by our esteemed president, Louisette, alongside two vice-Presidents, a treasurer and a general secretary.  

They work together to guide the club’s development and we meet regularly to discuss our goals and plan the overall strategy to keep our club moving forward. Their involvement is key to the success and growth of our organisation.

Being members themselves, they actively join in with our activities on a regular basis and their participation adds a valuable dimension to our events, fostering a sense of community and collaboration within our organisation. 

The CREM’s lively and diverse board of directors, with President Louisette Azzoaglio Levy-Soussan in the centre. Photo credit: Camille Dufosse

What type of events does the CREM offer its members and how to do you promote these activities? 

Throughout the year, the CREM Anniversary in the presence of Prince Albert II, the Summer Cocktail, the Christmas Gala and the Greetings Cocktail define our rhythm.  

The CREM also proposes a diverse range of activities, offering something for everyone, from lunches and cocktails, conferences and debates, musical evenings, guided tours and outings to weekends away and workshops. In addition, we work closely with our partners to offer advantageous rates and benefits as well as providing a ticketing service for cultural and events with preferential places at Philharmonic Orchestra performances, the Opéra, the Ballets of Monte-Carlo and the Festival du Printemps des Arts.  

We grant privileged access to Monaco’s most prestigious gatherings like the Rose Ball, Top Marques, the Monte-Carlo Rally, the Monaco F1 Grand Prix, Jumping Monte-Carlo and more… The CREM is where diversity, culture and exclusivity converge. 

The CREM will celebrate its 14th anniversary as a recognised social club in Monaco this June. Photo supplied

Our weekly newsletter is sent out every Monday, reaching not only our members but also our valued partners and individuals keen on staying informed about the CREM’s activities. This regular communication serves as a curated source of information. Furthermore, we promote our events through social media by posting videos and pictures to attract a younger population and we closely work with the local press. 

How do you manage a membership that contains so many different nationalities and cultures?  

The diverse nationalities are evident within our CREM family, with 500 members representing 50 countries. Monaco stands out as a melting pot, one of the most cosmopolitan and open-minded places globally, that fosters a culture of respect and cooperation. So is our club. We are committed to promoting international understanding, especially in today’s global landscape, and we achieve this goal through a myriad of activities that celebrate our cultural richness and shared values. 

How do you retain members after they become acquainted with the Principality? How do you recruit new ones? 

Undoubtedly, the challenge is real, given our comparatively modest size and resources compared to other prominent clubs in Monaco. Yet, our remarkable annual renewal rate speaks volumes, and it can be attributed to two key factors. First, our commitment to delivering a warm welcome and a high-quality service makes members feel embraced and listened to all year round. Second, our events programme offers a vibrant palette of activities, ensuring there is always something interesting for everyone… Plus all the benefits we provide our members through several partnerships! 

Word-of-mouth proves to be a powerful recruitment tool, with our existing members enthusiastically sharing their CREM experiences [with others]. This organic endorsement reveals much about the authenticity and impact of what we offer.

In terms of communication, we utilise various tools to reach new audiences. Our yearly magazine, social media, press presence and strategic collaborations, such as with the government’s Welcome Office under the Attractiveness unit, all play crucial roles. Quarterly information meetings dedicated to new and prospective residents, in collaboration with the Residents’ Section of the Police, further amplify our outreach efforts. This multi-faceted approach ensures that the CREM’s essence and offerings resonate widely, contributing to our sustained growth and positive reputation in the Principality. 

After a year in the role, what are your long-terms goals and ambitions for the CREM?  

Louisette envisions a club that stands out from the rest, one that creates unforgettable experiences etched in the memories of its members forever. I wholeheartedly embrace this vision, hoping that people will associate the CREM with beautiful and cherished moments. I am optimistic that these exceptional experiences will keep elevating the CREM to new heights, setting it apart as a truly exceptional and distinctive club with a friendly atmosphere.

Alexandre Boin and CREM President Louisette Azzoaglio Levy-Soussan. Photo credit: Camille Dufosse

I am eager to help the CREM be recognised by a broader audience, beyond Monaco borders, as the club where members effortlessly connect and seamlessly integrate into the vibrant Monegasque way of life. 

Our aim is to highlight every facet of the Principality and position the CREM as the go-to destination for residents. Monaco has long sought to attract individuals of high value to establish residency here and I believe that creating an awareness about the CREM before residents move can significantly contribute to this ambition. 

Louisette and I are enthusiastic and committed to introducing a variety of new activities and initiatives that will set the CREM apart as a “one-of-a-kind club” that enriches the lives of our members while nurturing a sense of community. 

For more information about the Club des Résidents Etrangers de Monaco and how to become a member, click here.


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Main photo credit: Mathilde Fantin