an exclusive group of people
coterie - group
A ‘coterie’ is a small and highly selective group of people who are united by a common interest or purpose. While the idea of excluding others may seem unpleasant, this formal word does not share the same negative connotations as similar ones such as ‘clique’ or ‘cabal’ as it does not necessarily imply anything underhanded or conspiratorial.
I am not particularly social, but I have a small coterie of friends who I like to regularly meet up with for lunch or a coffee.
The government official is surrounded by a coterie of advisers, many of whom have been with her since she first entered politics.
That author was one of a coterie of writers who lived, worked, and studied together and were united by a strong belief in the power of literature.