Everything You Need to Know About Executive Protection
In today’s volatile environment, executive protection is crucial for individuals and organizations alike. In 2013, Amazon invested $1.6 million in their CEO's safety. Other companies, such as Disney and FedEx follow the same path and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to protect their top executives.
So why are companies and organizations willing to invest and dedicate so much to protecting their leaders? The answer is simple: They know the importance of executive protection.
What is Executive Protection?
Executive Protection, sometimes known as Close Protection, refers to security and risk mitigation measures taken to ensure the safety of high-net worth individuals. These individuals are usually more exposed to risk due to their employment, high-profile status, net worth, affiliations or geographical location.
Close Protection can also entail physical security which consists of bodyguards or Executive Protection Agents (EPAs) preventing harm to the principle. In the security industry, we have noticed a decline in the use of the term "bodyguard." Today, individuals and companies that hire executive protection services are looking for professional executive protection agents with formal training from a respected and accredited executive protection school. EPAs accumulate 600-1000 hours of formal executive protection training and the focus is on protective intelligence and prevention.
Executive Protection services are usually conducted by more than one person. The Team Leader is the one who manages the mission or process. The security driver is the person driving the principal from one point to another. Advance vehicles are deployed ahead of the principal and the body guard is in charge of protecting the principal at all times. The team usually moves in a symmetric format (diamond or square shape). Before each job, a team simulates the mission one day before, taking into consideration and preparing for worst case scenarios. EPAs can either be high-profile and armed or low-profile for more discreet missions. EPAs do more than just escort clients; they interfere in planning itineraries, meetings, choosing vehicles and making threat assessments in real-time.
Trained EPAs are usually:
· Internationally Trained: SIA licensed or other international executive protection courses
· Highly Professional: Experience operating in embassies and working as team leaders for high profile diplomats (i.e. ambassador)
· Low Profile: Maintain a low-profile cover during security operations
· Local Expertise: Internationally trained but usually residents of the country in which they are operating in
· Multilingual: Speak the required languages depending on the location of operations
Why is Executive Protection Important?
To Keep Your Organization out of the News: Most organizations want to avoid bad press. With Executive protection, you can control what you expose to the world. Rather than be on the receiving end of bad press, the publicity you get could alternatively be carefully planned.
To Keep Your Leaders at the Helm for as Long as Possible: Good leaders are priceless. That is why executive protection helps keep and protect your good leaders for as long as possible. When an organization undergoes new leadership changes and constant transitions, employees begin to hold a less favorable view of the company. These kinds of employees are 5 percent less engaged than average employees, and 12 percent less engaged than employees in top-performing companies.
To Protect Classified Information: Typically, leaders are the ones who hold sensitive intellectual property and information that competitors seek out. Executive protection provides security to prevent others from stealing your ideas and information. As such, you get a peace of mind knowing that such a threat is being actively mitigated.
To Give Your Team the Tools for Success: By having executive protection, you won’t have to worry about security. This gives you and your leaders more room to focus and achieve success.