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High Society

Privé Society offers discernment, ease and sophistication when dealing with the upscale acquisitions and negotiations of the affluent.

Michael Dean and Ellis Hobbs, founders of Privé Society

More and more, when prosperous individuals need a new luxury car, sold-out concert ticket or vacation plan, they call Atlanta’s Privé Society—the brainchild of former NFL stars Ellis Hobbs (Patriots, Eagles) and Michael Dean (Panthers). A full-service agency catering to pro athletes and titans of industry, Privé Society offers everything they need to acquire, maintain and increase the fruits of their labor.

“Athletes make up 70 percent of our membership in the five major markets we’ve isolated—Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, New York and L.A.,” says Dean, who studied finance at University of Illinois and became a certified financial planner after retiring from the NFL in 2000. “[However,] there are two corporations we serve on a continual basis and a number of other high-net-worth individuals. [We get] 75 to 100 new requests each week.”

Privé’s guidance—buying an anniversary gift, locating temporary housing, booking private flights and so forth—requires a complex membership application, but the process is worth it, as members are assured that providers are held to superior standards. The entry point for most members is often by gaining assistance in buying luxuriant jewelry or expensive automobiles—cars they’ll only drive while working in a particular town. Hobbs and Dean bypass “buyer’s remorse” by connecting clients with companies that charge them special prices and advising clients about the monetary details.

Beyond acquisitions, Privé Society orchestrates logistics for elite jet-setters. Larry Hughes, a 13-year NBA veteran, launched his Roc House Fitness Spa franchise in Buckhead, although he lives in St. Louis. Hughes knew he couldn’t trust just anyone with his investments. “[Dean and Hobbs] put the right people in place to complete what I need to build the brand,” explains Hughes. “I needed an interior designer, a business card designer, a logo designer [and] someone to stage my grand opening party. They have a service that allowed me to meet the right people as fast as possible—and that meant less money coming out of my pocket.”

For Nadim Mamoun, global trading manager of Atlanta frozen food-distributor AJC International, time is a precious commodity. He insists that Privé simply makes conducting business easier. “They can plan my vacations and know where the good deals are,” he says.

Former NBA star Derek Anderson says it’s easy to look to Hobbs and Dean for guidance because they relate to the challenges that trip up pro athletes and C-suite execs. “My biggest thing is protecting myself from people who really can’t help me,” reveals Anderson, a public speaker and author. “I want the people around me to be smarter than me. [Privé] puts you in contact with the right people—like my book publisher. I would have lost thousands of dollars if they hadn’t made me aware of certain things.”

Hobbs and Dean operate on what they call the Warren Buffett principle. “If Warren Buffett is walking down the street and sees a $100 bill on the ground, he probably won’t pick it up,” Hobbs says. “He realizes his time is so valuable that it costs him money to stop and pick [it] up. We deal with people who have egos too big to admit they’ve hired the wrong agency or made a mistake an alpha male shouldn’t make. We do the legwork so they don’t have to worry about those things.”