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Groucho Club appoints first female CEO as Elli Jafari arrives from The Standard

CEO: Elli Jafari, centre, has led operations at some of the world’s best-known hotels, clubs and restaurants (JAMES D. KELLY)
CEO: Elli Jafari, centre, has led operations at some of the world’s best-known hotels, clubs and restaurants (JAMES D. KELLY)

The Groucho Club in Soho will soon have a new CEO: Elli Jafari, famous as a curator of London’s best guest lists, as the Standard has wrriten about previously.

Groucho owner Artfarm announced the appointment today, and said that Jafari brings 20 years of experience leading some of the world’s best hotel groups, members’ clubs, and restaurants.

She will join the Dean Street club from The Standard hotel, where she was executive vice president for London and Ibiza. There, she oversaw brand and operations and proved a hugely popular figure.

Before The Standard, Jafari was managing director of the Curtain Hotel in Shoreditch, and she has held similar positions at top hotels across the US and Europe.

Born in Tehran, she left at 18 to attend San Francisco’s Golden State University where she studied hotel and restaurant management. First came a gig working for chef Wolfgang Puck at the Oscars’ Governors Ball, later a three-year stint as general manager at New York hotspot Le Cirque in 2006.

Jafari will begin at the Groucho Club in April, where, according to Artfarm, she will “work closely with the team to harness the magic, artistry and creativity of the club and build on its past decades of success.”

Artfarm CEO Ewan Venters said: “The appointment of Elli signifies the start of an exciting new era for The Groucho Club.

“As our first female CEO, this feels particularly apt as we approach the fortieth anniversary of the club’s formation.

“We have exciting plans in the pipeline, and I am confident that Elli’s considerable expertise will enable us to further enhance our member experience for many years to come whilst staying true to our founding principles.”