As our society becomes increasingly violent, the need for executive protection of high-profile individuals grows accordingly. That’s where EP firms come in. There is a bunch of them, and some aren’t even worth mentioning. Still, we need to find out their scope of work and what they do. In a nutshell, executive protection firms are companies comprising proficient EP teams and individual specialists.
In Top 10 Executive Protection Companies in 2020, we gave you a general overview of what we deem some of the best. Here we will dive deeper and explain the different types of EP companies and how their work matters. Also, we will discuss the services they offer and how you can benefit from them.
EP companies are not only responsible for protecting principals from physical harm. They are also in charge of preventing psychological and emotional damage. Some executive protection firms excel in intelligence and pre-planning. Others are more involved in armed executive protection, and some focus on unarmed EP.
No matter which one you choose, make sure they tailor their services to your needs. If you are reading this article, you are probably looking for EP companies suitable for your needs. Choosing a skilled executive protection team is complicated, more so because principals aren’t sure what to look for.
Sometimes you don’t need advance work agents, but only bodyguards for specific occasions. For your information, bodyguard work is more related to hard skills, like martial arts and weaponry.
However, executive protection agents emphasize soft skills. To avoid the use of physical force, EP agents pre-plan, and conduct intelligence work.
We know that some industry specialists wouldn’t agree with this claim. They would say that the EP profession is unified and that the difference is in word use―guard, bodyguard, agent, etc. We beg to differ.
What to Search For in EP Teams
Except for the apparent feats, like seriousness and track record, there are many other characteristics. The core difference between bodyguards and executive protection agents is that the latter’s work mostly revolves around planning. A bodyguard may use brute force to get the client through a crowd. However, EP agents will try to bypass the opportunity of meeting large groups.
There is no amount of brute force and martial arts that can replace pre-planning and intelligence work.
Executive protection firms that tend to stand out employ skillful executive protection agents. These specialists have a set of abilities that separate them from the rest. For instance, in The Pillars of Operational Mobility, we discuss the critical aspects of vehicle driving.
Driving and Response Skills
Proficient EP agents need to learn how to drive in demanding circumstances. They have to maintain their soft and hard skills. For example, learning hand-to-hand combat can be life-saving. Furthermore, when looking to hire an EP firm, ask the following questions:
- Did you register your company and where?
- Did you work on a job like this before, and what were the results?
- What’s the cost of your service?
- Is there a confidentiality agreement we can sign?
- Do you have insurance?
- How do you vet your agents, and what are their qualifications?
- Why do you think your company is the best for the job?
- What does your package include, and how experienced are your agents and the company?
Don’t forget to ask all of these questions, not necessarily in this order. By doing so, you will be on an excellent path to choosing the right EP firm for yourself.
Additionally, try to find out what’s their response speed. Meaning, how quickly can they react to your requests to offer services. If they tend to be slow and late, simply pick another firm.
Best Executive Protection Firms
It’s tough to recommend the most outstanding executive protection firms. We will surely miss a few, but here is a short list of those we thought you should consider:
- Academi, formerly known as Blackwater, and renamed as Xe Services,
- TopGuard, a leading Ukrainian company in the field of security services,
- Securitas, a company that prides itself on a client-centric approach, consulting, and assessing risks,
- Hart International, an internationally recognized risk management company,
- Private Bodyguard Service, one of the most respected guard services in the world,
- Gavin de Becker & Associates, who are protecting the world’s most influential people and enterprises.
This isn’t a complete list, but just to get you started. No hard feelings.
How to Avoid a Dying EP Firm
The rule of thumb for every profession, including EP, is to have the necessary training and never make a slip. Okay, sometimes, perhaps. Let’s remember that executive protection agents are also human beings. They will make an error at some point. Yet, delaying that point could be the difference between success and failure in the industry.
If you are looking for complete protection, consider the variety of services the EP firm offers. Travel protection and communication encryption are almost always necessary, no matter your needs.
Issues arise when an EP firm offers protection within hotels but doesn’t have vehicles to transport you from point A to point B. Avoid these companies. It’s too big of a hassle.
The number one sign of decline in an executive protection firm is visible in their quality of service. If your executive protection team is too loose and casual, fire them. Instead, look for those more professional whose presence you won’t even notice. Or, in the words of EP agents themselves, don’t bring shame to our name.
To read the client’s mood and body language, EP agents must learn about their principal’s business. Again, a mix of soft and hard skills is a winning combination. Conversely, that’s something that declining EP firms lack altogether.
In summary, look for proficient EP teams that you won’t even notice around you. Choose the ones who are seasoned and possess a sound combination of soft and hard skills.
Conclusion on Executive Protection Firms
There is no easy way to find the most advanced, resilient, and quick-to-respond executive protection firm. Yet, we discussed some of the fundamental features and the questions to ask before hiring them. One thing is for sure―rushing to get any company could result in you getting just a portion of the protection you deserve.
It’s better to wait a while and find the right fit than get an inexperienced EP team. Or even worse, you could end up with somebody who doesn’t care about professional standards. Just ask any seasoned executive protection agent, and they will tell you that amateurs are flooding the industry.
We have now equipped you to bypass the amateurs and cut to the chase when picking the best executive protection firm. You are very welcome.