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Wednesday, Oct 4, 2023

Executive Protection Isn’t Merely Catching Bullets

Are you about to join the growing number of people receiving executive protection? You might be, because the industry is expanding.

Averaging 8.7 percent annual growth, security services alone will reach $85 billion worldwide in 2002, forecasts Corinne Gangloff, spokeswoman for The Freedonia Group Inc., a leading international business research and database company in Cleveland. Freedonia attributes the rise to the widening gap between the haves and have-nots. She estimates that there are more than 50,000 security firms globally, mostly small ones with local or regional markets in one country.

Tom Turner, president of Sealmar Security and Executive Protection Inc., headquartered in Hayward, Calif., says: “Every time you pick up the newspaper, there’s something about protection, security and possible strategies for improvement.” He has protected hundreds of individuals globally and conducted numerous investigations primarily for entertainment, sports and political figures concerned about embarrassment, injury or death.

London-based Noel Philp, managing director of Defence Systems Ltd., observes, “To some extent, multinationals are entitled to protection through the rules of the country being visited.” But that may not be enough. He has protected British diplomats during his service in the British Army and wants to change the image of executive protection from “bullet-catching” to an “information shield” for companies operating in remote, unstable or other locations unfamiliar to them.

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Defence Systems Ltd. is part of the $97.2 million Armor Holdings Inc. in Jacksonville, Fla., of which $51.5 million came from services to multinational corporations, governments and nongovernment organizations worldwide.

Building a good relationship with a protective service may be a little more complicated than other relationships you establish at work. First, understand what providers of these services do. Turner and Philp agree that the best service is pre-planned.

“Doing a direct study of the culture can eliminate a lot of problems , this is called ‘hardening the target’ , and makes things go more smoothly for you than persons trying to cause harm,” observes Turner. “Conducting background research on a client’s affiliations in any area to identify what kind of problems occurred in the past and who was involved keeps both of us safe.”

“We’re enveloping the client, building an information shield,” Philp remarks. “This is the best form of protection, because it enables you to monitor the threat constantly. If someone is about to shoot you, the security system has broken down. We investigate the doorman and your gardener, always being alert to things out of place, such as a car that shouldn’t be placed near you. The bodyguard is the last and most visible aspect (of the service).”

Turner notes that “communications, attitude and cooperation” mean everything in forming effective relationships with providers of security services. Philp comments that if you’re accustomed to making your own decisions, you may have to shift gears.

Carlos Villegas, international label manager at EMI Records in Bogota, Colombia, develops and promotes artists. Headquartered in London, his 102-year-old company has 3,000 employees scattered worldwide. His company acquires executive protection for visiting artists.

Villegas speaks enthusiastically about executive protection: “Artists, other well-known people and the companies who bring them to Colombia must recognize kidnapping is always a possibility. We work together to assure the security of the individual and company.”

Let the competence of your protective service register with you. Once you recognize its value, it’s seeming intrusiveness will diminish.

Culp sponsors the annual WorkWise Award. Look for more of her helpful information at (www.work-wise.com).

& #352; 2000 Universal Press Syndicate


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