We’re often approached by security directors who require protection for someone in their C-suite, but the principal wants nothing to do with executive protection.
The reasons for such resistance can be many but typically fall into four categories: preconceived, negative notions of intrusive protection; previous bad experiences with EP; a conviction that EP is unnecessary for them; and a belief that it’s too expensive and not worth the cost.
In this case, the principal had been provided with protection agents and security drivers by other companies on a number of previous trips, and had been turned off by their invasive, pushy demeanor.
The challenge: Overcoming a principal’s resistance to executive protection.
Our client’s security director was frustrated and concerned. One of his principals was scheduled for a trip to Brazil that would include traveling to high-risk areas, but the principal had time and again refused to use any kind of executive protection, and had no intention of changing his mind for this particular trip.
The problem was that the principal had previously felt imposed upon by security agents and drivers on other trips, and the experience had left such a bad impression that he refused to acquiesce to the security department’s recommendations, even though the itinerary called for it.
The security director approached us: Could Allied Universal® Executive Protection & Intelligence Services set up a security detail that would be acceptable to the principal – and still provide much-needed protection during a trip to rural Brazil?
The solution: Careful understanding of the principal’s preferences, and unobtrusive tailor-made protection.
We worked with the client to better understand the principal’s personal preferences, and discovered that while he recognized the need for security, he simply didn’t want to see it around him. He prized his personal space, and abhorred the thought of sharing it with burly toughs in sunglasses. He was willing to “put up” with security only if it was all but invisible.
To meet the principal’s wishes while mitigating predictable risks, our project coordinator decided on a two-pronged approach that involved people and planning. This was important, especially concerning the highest-risk elements of this particular trip, which involved travel by car through several dodgy areas.
We hand-picked the drivers and agents best suited for the job, then devised a tactical plan that placed agents in vehicles in front and behind the principal’s, but never right next to him. The security was tight, but hard to spot unless you were looking for it.
The result: A satisfied traveler who is now a regular customer.
Once again, clearly articulated expectations were the first step to desired results.
By briefing the Brazilian team on the kind of people we wanted, then working with them to devise a tactical plan that respected the client’s preferences, the trip went off smoothly and the principal never had reason to notice the heightened protection level.
He completed his business in Brazil without incident, and upon his return to the US let the security director know that that was how he would prefer his security to be provided. Since then, we have had the opportunity to serve the same principal on other trips – and to demonstrate that executive protection can only truly work when it respects the personal preferences of those we protect.