When Russian oligarchs arrive in London they turn to Rachel Stern and her Jewish dating agency, Simantov International, in search of female company.
Stern prides herself on getting to know her clients in person, enabling her to make a compatible match.
Unfortunately, the clients don’t always agree with her choices. “I had an unhappy client on the phone yesterday who complained I always give him 40-year old women to date. He’s a 55-year old Russian, very rich. I told him it’s unethical for me to give him a much younger woman and he said: ‘Do you know who I am?’”
Stern, who is Latvian, admitted she sometimes fights a losing battle in which money and looks trump good sense. “Young Russian girls seem to be interested in finding a rich man, too. They don’t care if he’s old,” she sighed. “They are very short-sighted.”
Russian Jews invariably look for a Jewish partner, though this is not because of family pressure. “They are descended from the Shoah so they have the sense that they must pass on their Jewishness,” said Stern. “They would like their partner to be Russian-speaking but their first criteria is that they must be Jewish.”