Photo by Frederic Roy
Bertrand de Soultrait was kicked out of boarding school in his native France for running a grocery store out of his dorm room. Indeed, his entrepreneurial spirit wasn’t appreciated at the 10 or so schools from which he says he was expelled. Luckily, de Soultrait has fared far better outside of academia.
De Soultrait moved to West Palm Beach for college, and, with his brother, founded Vicomte A., a high-end sportswear and apparel company. But because the business took off, he says, “I only stayed in college for a year. I left school with one of my teachers, whom I hired.”
While he still has an ownership stake in the company, which today has 40 stores and whose lines are carried by 500 retailers, de Soultrait transitioned to becoming a commercial broker. “I’m a born salesman,” he says. Last year, he moved to Westchester to work as a retail real estate broker at Northwest Atlantic/The Shopping Center Group, where he represents fashion and luxury brands including Saint James, Mt. Sapola, and Jean-Claude Biguine. He made about 20 deals in his first two years, many with European clients looking to set up shop in New York City and its environs. “The market is a bit soft in Westchester, so it’s a good time for companies to find great rates,” de Soultrait says. “There’s a lot of opportunity.”
“Bertrand just understood my needs,” says Vicki Morav, owner of her eponymous spa on Madison Avenue. “And he never gives up.”
De Soultrait, who splits his time between homes in South Salem, New York City, and West Palm Beach, is also an avid fundraiser for not-for-profits JustWorld International, Friends of the Orphans, and Equestrian Aid Foundation. He’s organized several polo charity events in Palm Beach and plans to start similar charity events in Westchester.