Today’s billionaires are filthy rich, drive supercars, travel on space shuttles, vacation on their mega-yachts, own mansions, and palaces around the world, and can call the US President or the Pope if they need a shoulder to cry on when the stocks go down. They exist in a whole other universe that we can only dream about or see in movies.
Few people truly understand the lives they lead; one of them is former luxury hotelier turned Global Director of Properties, Chief of Staff Aron Moldovanyi. The Hungarian Canadian from Beverly Hills speaks 4 languages, has collected 8 international hotel awards, and worked for some of the richest people on this planet, managing their ever-increasing portfolios.
He is most known in the ultra-luxury hotel sector for opening one of the world’s priciest boutique hotels, an actual twenty-first-century state-of-the-art palace in the Mediterranean, back in 2013. It did not take long before billionaires and celebrities from all corners of the world approached him to manage their mega estates, boats, planes, and private islands.
I doubt there is anyone who has not heard the tale of Aladdin and the larger-than-life spirit, the Genie, who can fly, shape-shift and perform magic. Aron is a modern-day Genie, granting wishes made by the privileged ones who can afford it all.
We connected with the Chief of Staff to discuss his career, and from that call, his magic touch is self-evident. From pulling off the seemingly impossible to being ever-present in his clients’ lives, Aron Moldovanyi truly is The Billionaires’ Genie.
Beverly Hills Magazine: Before this, you were a hotelier. How was the transition from that sector into your current line of work? Was it a jump, or a natural next step?
Running a luxury hotel and managing various departments is actually very similar to managing a private island or a property portfolio. You definitely need to learn about boats and planes and close protection, but you’ll also benefit from knowing more personal details, like what the principal’s hobbies are.
In essence, you need to coordinate various teams and be an all-around leader so that things run smoothly all the time. My main purpose is to make the principal’s life easier, so being organized and diligent are important as well. These are skills that I developed in the luxury hotel sector, and they have made my pivot into this role almost seamless—though there will always be things to learn and opportunities to improve.
Beverly Hills Magazine: It seems like a niche market, working so intimately with these billionaire clients. Is it competitive?
Billionaires can afford top talent, so they always want the best of the best. Luckily, as you mentioned, it is a very niche market, so there is a small pool of candidates that have the necessary skills and experience to thrive in this super challenging environment.
Beverly Hills Magazine: Are there any of your personal skills that you think help you excel in your role?
Well, problem-solving and thinking outside of the box are imperative. No matter how meticulously planned the day ahead is, there will be a glitch, a delay, or an unexpected phone call that will throw you completely off track. That is when you need to shine by being able to think fast on your feet.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What is the most challenging “wish” that you’ve fulfilled for a client to date?
This was a funny one—and believe it or not—for a kid’s birthday party. We had to find a pony that was a certain height, a certain color, had blue eyes and didn’t smell. Go figure [laughs]. I did manage the first three characteristics…but as you can imagine, the smell factor was a bit more challenging.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What is the most unexpected string you’ve had to pull to meet a client’s request?
I had to get a principal’s family member and his dog home for Christmas from a Canadian island after he missed the last ferry of the day. I stayed up pretty much all night coordinating a fishing boat, a helicopter, and a rideshare app, and we managed to get him through the door before midnight.
In addition, the dog got lost on the way home chasing a cat, the family member forgot his phone charger and his phone died halfway through the journey, and a bottle of red wine broke in his luggage—most likely on the choppy waters—so he had no clothes to change into when he arrived. I fast shipped a pair of pajamas and some other items that Amazon could deliver the next day. That story would definitely make it into a Hallmark Christmas movie.
Beverly Hills Magazine: Looking at your personal career journey, what have been major obstacles or stepping-stones that you have overcome to achieve your success?
Even though I have won hotel awards for my work, I could have all the confidence in the world and this is a sector that will still challenge me every day. I had to learn quickly how to implement or build things from scratch. It’s not like they sell everything billionaires want. Buying or sourcing something that exists in the market is easy; often, they want something that no one else has or something that is tailor-made just for them. If you can’t buy it, make it. I don’t have a search engine for fulfilling billionaires’ wishes—I literally start where Google stops giving me ideas or information.
Beverly Hills Magazine: You really do need to have the magic touch, it seems. What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned on your success journey?
It might sound like a cliché, but you can make the impossible happen if you put in the time and effort. When you finally succeed, it is the most rewarding feeling in the world.
Beverly Hills Magazine: You must travel a lot for work. Where do you primarily spend your time?
My job comes with all the perks: jets, boats, travel, fancy restaurants, and entertainment. I do travel a lot, and it’s unpredictable where in the world I’ll be from one day to the next, so it’s hard to say that my time is spent disproportionately in one place or another.
When I finally have time for myself, I like to just kick back and relax. On my days off, you would most likely find me at my home in Beverly Hills, in the kitchen—I love cooking and baking!
Beverly Hills Magazine: Even billionaires need to take breaks. How do you balance your professional and personal life?
That’s a tough one. I work 6 days a week—sometimes even 7 when I’m on trips with the principal. I have a baby boy on the way, so it becomes very challenging when you have a family. Luckily my wife, Michelle, is incredibly supportive, and if she can’t visit me while I’m on longer trips, she is patiently waiting for me when I come home. Sundays are for family only, but my work phone is always on; it is the nature of the beast. Having very little private time is probably the most challenging aspect of the job.
Beverly Hills Magazine: If you could have one wish be granted, what would you wish for?
I will be a dad in 5 months, so I wish for a happy, healthy baby boy. I would also like to wish your readers a prosperous 2022 filled with positivity, good energy, health, and good vibes.
Beverly Hills Magazine: Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us, and congratulations—there’s a baby Genie on the way!
Our conversation with Aron provided a glimpse into a career path that few will experience; however, there is a takeaway message that we can all use in our daily lives: sometimes, you have to create your own magic.
Celina Fazio is a writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada.