The safety and security of family members is not a topic to be approached lightly particularly when that family has a superyacht, prestige homes and a private jet or two. And for the world’s wealthiest individuals, placing trust in someone to protect loved ones can be a risky business in itself.
Security has become a hot topic in recent months with the unfortunate rise in home invasions targeting wealthy people – not just celebrities – and threats to their personal security and that of their families.
In last week’s Sunday Independent newspaper it was reported that a stalker broke into Lily Allen’s bedroom with the intention of using a deadly weapon. The singer/songwriter admitted the experience has seriously affected her daily life and that of her children. Lily Allen continued to explain that it was only because there was another person in her home that enabled them to stop the attacker and force them outside the house while she checked on her young children.
In addition to providing specialist security services to the superyacht industry, Intrepid Risk Management is now in demand to provide a wide spectrum of specialist security services to London’s wealthy elite. These services include security training for the household staff or yacht crew, drugs testing and protection against piracy, theft and abduction.
Former Royal Marines Commando and Managing Director of London-based Intrepid Risk Management Ed Hill explains that this is where his global team of security experts who understand the luxury lifestyle can provide individual clients with extra peace of mind.
“Intrepid Risk started out solely working in the superyacht industry. Through personal contacts I was asked to provide security support on board a yacht passing through the Gulf of Aden, which is a particularly high-risk area in terms of piracy. I joined the crew and we were at sea for 12 days initially. Always a quick learning curve in such tight quarters, I received fantastic feedback from the captain that it was a pleasure to work with someone who the whole team immediately trusted with his or her safety, but remained humble, preferring a discreet approach.
It was this feedback that encouraged me to continue working within the superyacht industry and forms an important part of our selection process for all new security operatives.”
Reflecting on his first superyacht assignment in 2008, Ed explained how security detail has evolved over the last eight years. “During the four week voyage through the Gulf of Aden we had 18 crew members to protect with just two security operatives. At that time you were not allowed firearms on board so we had to make do with whatever was available. We prepared ourselves with distress smoke and flares but not much else, so we had to use our initiative.
“Using coiled ropes on the yacht’s sundeck, that could be launched into the water to tangle in the props of any pirate boats that came from the stern was one of the measures we put in place, and the distress flares were very much to hand at all times. Very different indeed from being one of the first waves of troops entering Iraq with the Royal Marines in 2003 with the latest equipment at our disposal.
“Nowadays laws have changed along with risk levels globally. Security operatives are now allowed to carry firearms in the Gulf of Aden, and dependent on the job we can supply the very latest in security technology to support the crew, guests and of course the security operatives.”
It is training and experience in some of the UK’s elite military units, coupled with a meticulous attention to detail that affords Intrepid Risk Management the ability to understand the etiquette required to work discreetly with high net worth individuals in and away from their homes.
Ed personally selects every single team member to ensure they all have what is necessary to meet and exceed what the client expects. Having an exemplary military career and experience in high-risk areas does not always mean you can handle the personal protection of a client and their family, especially if you are all on board a superyacht during a family vacation. Temperament and having the right level of maturity is what counts and all Intrepid Risk representatives have been chosen because they fully understand this.
High net worth individuals, their families and assets have long been attractive targets for criminals. Security, however, is an important aspect of ownership that is often overlooked. Ed explains, “For us, it’s all about risk mitigation. Any form of confrontation will, if possible, always be avoided. We’re far removed from the big, burly aggressive stereotype and offer both male and female officers. Its important that the client feels protected but can also carry on with their daily routine unhindered”.
“We know, for example, that superyachts are sometimes less secure than other vessels because of the places they frequent, their lower cruising speed and their lower freeboard making it easier for pirates to board. This is where it’s apt to use the phrase ‘know your enemy’. “As part of passage planning for transiting high risk areas, we gather intelligence and once aboard complete a full security survey of the yacht to identify vulnerable areas. We then provide a comprehensive briefing to all crew and carry out drills”.
“We know from experience and the positive feedback received that our approach makes the crew feel at ease. Having former military personnel onboard who are experienced in anti-piracy procedures can provide a huge sense of reassurance to crew. After all, a secure yacht can ensure owners, guests and crew remain safe while enjoying the benefits of yachting.”
The team’s policies, procedures, industry certifications and accreditations ensure that they meet and surpass the required security industry standards. Furthermore, all onboard operations are managed and delivered with the added advantage of 24/7 shore based operational cover.
Ed will be representing Intrepid Risk Management at The London Yacht, Jet and Prestige Car Show, from 4 – 7 May, at Stand A19.
The London Yacht Jet and Prestige Car show held in Old Billingsgate, London each year brings together high net worth individuals and representatives from the superyacht, private aviation, supercar and luxury goods market.
To speak with Ed and the team beforehand email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an appointment.
Written by Global Superyacht Marketing
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