Stéphane Valeri recently gave his first press conference as the new president of the Société des Bains de Mer. He unveiled big plans in his new role, which he took up at the end of January 2023. A seasoned public speaker, Stéphane Valeri discussed the future of the SBM with both confidence and humility, saying that the bar has been set high, the challenges will be difficult, but the new management team is ready.
Family history with the SBM
For almost four years, Stéphane Valeri held the most powerful elected position in Monaco. Now, he heads Monaco’s largest employer. According to Valeri, being appointed as the head of the Principality’s economic flagship is a source of immense pride. The SBM has been part of his family history for generations. Valeri’s great-grandfather was an employee of the Games and received the medal of the 50th anniversary of the SBM in 1913. Valeri’s father spent his entire career at the Casino.
Valeri unveils the SBM’s new management team
At the beginning of May, Valeri stood in front of over eight-hundred SBM employees to unveil his new team. The executive committee has grown from six to nine members. According to Valeri, it took some time to build this new team.
Last April, he chose Albert Manzone to work alongside him as managing director. The Monegasque is a global business leader with experience in food and beverage (PepsiCo, Wrigley, Whole Earth Brands) and luxury and retail (Davidoff).
Next, Valeri asked Virginie Cotta, who was his chief of staff at the National Council, to be his secretary general. She will be overseeing the legal department, real estate management and the preservation of heritage, something that’s very important to the new president of the SBM, as the company is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year.
SBM opened its first non-European establishment on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in September 2011. Three years later, the Saadiyat beach club closed. Now, Valeri is making ambitious plans to venture outside the Principality once again. His team is studying the possibility of acquiring a hotel establishment in the Alps.
Valeri believes in providing the SBM with a team responsible for preparing its development abroad, in a targeted and precise manner. This team will be led by Pascal Camia, who was COO of the SBM until he was appointed as the Chief International Development Officer.
Internationally speaking, the SBM is currently partnered with the Galaxy Entertainment Group, who owns and operates hotels and casinos in Macau, China. According to Valeri, the SBM and Galaxy Entertainment are considering a joint venture to create an international casino, maybe in Japan or the United Arab Emirates. Troy Hickox, who represents the Galaxy group on the SBM’s board of directors, is looking for a chef who would allow the SBM to open a Chinese restaurant in the Principality.
Real estate projects
Under the impetus of Valeri’s predecessor, Jean-Luc Biamonti, real estate has become a profitable part of the SBM. Valeri plans to continue to develop the value of the SBM’s land and create new places for residences, offices and shops.
On the Larvotto peninsula, the restructuring of the Sporting d’été complex may also be in the cards. Revamping the complex would boost the SBM’s entertainment sector. This would help maintain the reputation of Monte-Carlo as a exciting, star-studded world, something that is important for the new president of the SBM.