Caroline Gaye (CEO of American Categorical France): “The brand new Centurion is rather more than a card, it is a life-style”

Exact and trustworthy in her phrases, a smile on her lips with a glowing look, Caroline Gaye, Basic Supervisor France of American Categorical, presents us the brand new Centurion card. She has been employed by American Categorical since 2000 and moved from supervisor to Vice President Advertising and marketing and Basic Supervisor in 2015 and relaunched the “Centurion” in September 2021 with the Centurion Residing Program. Reinvented by American Categorical, this card provides a novel design and new experiences based mostly on emotion. An actual journey based mostly on the 5 senses! Demonstration with Katya Pellegrino.

Are you able to briefly inform us about your background?

American Categorical
Rueil Malmaison 2012 Caroline GAYE – © American Categorical

Caroline Gaye: I used to be born and raised in Paris. I additionally began my research there in arithmetic and economics on the Paris Dauphine College, after which I began working at EDHEC.

With a father who studied in the USA, it definitely influenced me to begin my profession overseas, in Dublin after which in London with Sopexa within the meals trade.

I then made the selection to return to France. Of the headhunters who contacted me, one supplied me a place centered on finance, a sector by which I had no expertise. It was American Categorical.

I accepted the problem and joined the corporate in 2000, the place I held varied positions inside our Playing cards and Companies for People enterprise. In 2008 I used to be appointed Vice-President of this exercise and in 2012 Vice-President of the Maps and Companies for VSE-SMEs exercise.

To return to the historical past of American Categorical?

American Categorical has been round for a very long time! The corporate was based in 1850 on the time of stagecoaches (Farwest) to move items after which individuals. With two standards: belief and security.

The client has at all times remained the spine of our firm, their satisfaction stays our main goal.

In 1891, the corporate created the Traveler’s Verify for People who traveled and feared their cash could be stolen.

Then in 1895 the primary workplace exterior the USA was established in Paris, rue Scribe subsequent to the Opéra Garnier. At the moment, prospects who didn’t know the capital requested inquiries to know the place to dine, what to do throughout their keep. That is how the idea of service was born and our experience within the fields of journey, gastronomy, tradition, and so on., which right now are central to our provide, though we’re a monetary providers supplier.

Are you able to inform us extra concerning the Centurion card and its advantages?

Centurion Card – Rem Koolhaas – © American Categorical

It’s a card launched in 1999 within the US and in France in 2005 and is obtained by invitation solely. Our Platinum prospects are additionally eligible for the Centurion.

There’s quite a lot of phrase of mouth, our Centurion prospects are one of the best ambassadors of the map.

We can be found 24 hours a day, 7 days every week for patrons with an in-house concierge service, current world wide. In France, 100 concierges serve prospects daily.

As a part of our program Eating AssortmentCenturion members are assured a desk in France’s 100 hottest eating places the identical night.

For journey, Centurion members profit from a customized welcome at Aéroports de Paris, Quick Monitor and free and limitless entry to probably the most prestigious airport lounges world wide. We even have our personal lounges: the Centurion lounges.

The place are your individual lounges?

In Delhi, Bombay, Buenos Aires, Denver, Los Angeles, London, Stockholm, Hong Kong… Gastronomy is given an essential place in our Centurion lounges. The one at London’s Heathrow Airport, for instance, provides a resolutely up to date menu, signed by star chef Assaf Granit (Balagan restaurant in Paris and Coal Workplace in London).

What are the variations between your Centurion card and different playing cards of the identical degree, akin to Infinite for instance?

Launch social gathering – Centurion – © American Categorical

Yearly, due to this fact, the members are invited to dwell experiences world wide for a 12 months.

The Centurion Card has no equal.

To begin with, the design is exclusive: fabricated from steel, we referred to as on two of the best artists of our time, Rem Koolhaas and Kehinde Wiley, to think about the brand new Centurion Card.

Then, and I discussed it simply earlier than, the standard of service, entry to superior journey experiences, customized help from a devoted concierge group, … are immeasurable.

Lastly, the Centurion universe. The brand new Centurion is greater than a map, it is a life-style. With the institution of the Centurion Residing program, we provide our members to find life from new views and to counterpoint themselves personally.

Wherein nations is the Centurion card at present out there?

You could find it: in the USA, Canada, European nations (United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, and so on.), Hong Kong, Center East, Australia, India, and so on.

Inform us concerning the Centurion Residing Program?

Centurion Card – Kehinde Wiley – © American Categorical

Centurion Card – Rem Koolhaas – © American Categorical

In 2021 we determined to relaunch and redesign the Centurion map by calling on two of the best creators of our time, the artist the artist Kehinde Wiley and the architect Rem Koolhaascreating an “Artwork Card”.

The concept, “reinventing” by providing our prospects a global program of experiences based mostly on emotion, the exception, briefly “distinctive”, the creation and redesign of a brand new artwork of residing, an invite to find different points Artwork, Gastronomy, Tradition, Journey and Hospitality…

A journey of the 5 senses briefly!

Yearly, due to this fact, the members are invited to dwell experiences world wide for a 12 months.

What are the axes on which you created the Centurion Residing Program?

The Centurion Residing Programme, launched in September 2021, is due to this fact based mostly on two pillars: experiences and encounters.

The Experiences pillar invitations Centurion members to deliver their tastes and passions to life by getting access to the best artists of our time. In 2022, they’ll have the ability to meet and attend unique performances by Yo-Yo Ma, Alicia Keys or Dianne Reeves world wide.

The 2nd pillar, referred to as “Introductions”, has been specifically designed for our members who, as a result of time constraints, have by no means been capable of discover new creative universes and cultural horizons.

To provide you just a few examples, we provide them an introduction to Japanese ceremonies, up to date Chinese language artwork or nice vintages with Arvid Rosengren (greatest sommelier on the planet) and rather more.

What number of occasions do you arrange per 12 months?

Centurion Launch Social gathering – © American Categorical

At the very least 1 per 30 days.

You might have launched the related bracelet for funds. Does not it seem like a gadget? Do prospects use it?

We needed to launch this bracelet, which we imagine is an innovation that mixes know-how because of contactless cost and luxurious for its Saffiano leather-based strap, signed Prada.

Males put on it with none worries and are overjoyed with this novelty.

It’s true that for girls this black leather-based bracelet in different colours might be refused (smile). To have !

What are probably the most uncommon or unbelievable requests to your Centurion prospects?

We obtain many unbelievable requests and it’s our job to satisfy them. I consider a shopper who requested us to prepare his birthday in Venice for 50 individuals.

For this he needed to prepare a personal rehearsal of all performances two months prematurely (with live performance, dinner, night, and so on.).

In the long run he may have celebrated his birthday twice (smile)

Would you say that American Categorical can be reinventing itself?

Centurion Launch Social gathering – Cédric Grolet – © American Categorical

I might say that American Categorical retains abreast of the newest technological improvements and improvements or rising start-ups to amplify its choices and high quality of service.

As proof, we just lately acquired two start-ups (2019) on the planet of gastronomy: Rezi in the USA and Pocket Concierge in Japan, … two on-line desk reservation platforms for adults. restaurant or eating places of the brand new gastronomic scene.

Wherein areas do you continue to wish to develop?

Our purpose is to proceed to offer our prospects with one of the best service and experiences. Gastronomy, artwork, tradition, music, theatre, and so on. are areas of robust growth.

We additionally wish to strengthen our collaborations with artists.

How do you see the Centurion map evolving over the subsequent 10 years?

The Centurion is and stays our most prestigious product with distinctive service high quality and entry to distinctive and unique experiences. Our problem is due to this fact to consolidate and strengthen our presence in, for instance, gastronomy in sure sectors the place we’re much less current, akin to sports activities. We’re proud to have renewed our partnership with Paris Saint-Germain. We function the Parc des Princes Conciergerie and our Centurion members have entry to unique advantages akin to assembly the gamers.

What are your initiatives?

Now we have many initiatives. Very quickly we are going to launch our new gastronomic program with nice novelties. We may even be relaunching our Blue Card, with a powerful emphasis on generosity and cashback. We’re additionally growing the worth of our playing cards for professionals, particularly small and medium companies. Lastly, we are going to proceed to help native retailers as a part of the Store Small marketing campaign.

What’s your definition of luxurious?

authenticity. For instance, Hermès, which has a tradition of custom and rarity.

What’s your pinnacle of luxurious?

Journey the world and take the time to find the traditions and tradition of the nations visited.

The luxurious you could not dwell with out?

To have the ability to determine on the final minute!

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