EXECUTIVE PROTECTION : Protecting clients during summer holidays

EXECUTIVE PROTECTION : Protecting clients during summer holidays

Due to our geographical location at the southern part of Europe, we have the privilege to offer our risk avoidance services to corporate executives, HNWIs and VIPs that choose Mediterranean and Aegean Sea for their summer holidays. Some of the most famous Greek islands like Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Corfu and Zakynthos are between the popular destinations for luxury mega yacht owners, along with their friends and families that experience some time of total relaxation and recharging of batteries. Is that short – period a vacation time for the operatives providing Executive Protection to those paradise islands too? Certainly not!

The absence of security arrangements before the summer holidays – The most common mistake

One of the frequently seen mistakes is pretty obvious for the security professional, but to our distinguished clients seems a norm: The security arrangements of the trip are totally absent more often than not. What is the type of client that requires protection? Traditionally, as one might imagine it is only the very rich, or family members of the very rich, who are in need of such a service. The wealth and status attract criminal elements that wish to take advantage for financial gain, be it opportunist thieves or organized gangs. Considering also that the total number of in-bound prominent visitors and well-known public figures in southern Europe is high, the demand for close protection services is relatively low; especially during the summer months.

What is the explanation to that? Why successful business leaders do not invest in their own personal security? I guess it is the summer holidays anticipation and the “I need to relax” mentality after a long period of hard work that creates a fake feeling of security that subsequently leads to denial of any kind of security services. It is the same client that while on the yacht a few days later, will ask the crew for some security help for the kids that wish to go to the local night club for a drink. Of course at that point, most likely the client will recall the words of his/her corporate security manager that advised to hire an EP team, but the answer was “It’s not necessary” – Unfortunately, the situation will unfold as follows: the family members’ security will eventually be assigned to a tattooed              “Rambo” from a nearby gym that will be hired as bouncer for a very low price. The reason is quite simple too; there is no private security company having operatives on “stand-by mode” for last – minute requests on the small Mediterranean islands as far as I know. Even if there was, responding within 1 hour (or less) after an urgent phone call, it is a first–class proof that the security provider does not take the risk assessment phase too seriously.

Providing close protection services during summer holidays is a difficult task

With that said, it is obvious that it is wiser for the client to ask from the travel and lifestyle management agency to include within their holiday package security coverage too. This is the only effective way to conduct a thorough risk assessment, based on the trip agenda and provide decent services that will offer the desired peace of mind. Even if this is the case, there are some factors that make this task difficult for the EP team on the ground due to the fact that our principals are on vacation:

Big number of guests or/and family members: Yacht chartering is a global trend for the super rich and having their families or friends invited onboard is very common. This could end up as a “nightmare” for the EP team (which most likely is nothing more than 2 operatives) trying to keep them all out of harm’s way, hoping that they will not split.

The need for discreet presence of the EP team: This is a prerequisite too, because summer holidays is the only chance for many of our principals to feel relaxed and spend time with their beloved ones – you don’t want to spoil that and embarrass your clients with a more tight approach. The EP team must have a more flexible behavior, blend-in and avoid suffocating the clients at all costs, without reducing level of alertness.

Frequent changes of schedule: The ideal situation for the security professional is to have access to the trip schedule well-in-advance, in order to make a good plan, coordinate supporting elements, advance the venues etc. Everybody in our line of business knows already that, the boss will not hesitate to change his plans several times within the day, and it’s only the EP team that will have to adjust and adopt to the new reality. Especially during summer holidays, the effort made to satisfy your client and manage schedule changes, is double to say the least. Flexibility, adaptability and being able to think on your feet, are the key to adjust to not being in control of where you are, who you are with, how long you’re staying and where you’re going next.

Water sports and dangerous activities : Swimming , snorkeling , scuba diving and traveling by powerboat or jet-ski, are some of the challenges you might encounter during your summer assignments. Be smart enough to assign an EP team that has a set of skills that match the role, having a diver’s background, lifeguard certification or at a minimum a decent swimming capability. It is a disgrace to ask the yacht crew to help while the client is in the water asking for help! Don’t be that guy! From a medical point of view, statistically 80% of the accidents happening during summer are associated with activities at the beach or while swimming. Sea urchins, allergies caused by jelly fishes, fractures after a sudden fall to the rocks, are considered as minor issues, but in my opinion they are not. Assess each and every risk before a water or outdoors activity, have a well-organized medical kit and some emergency contacts ready to assist you in the unlikely event of an accident.

Increased use of social media during summer holidays: With the increased use of social media, our clients and their families are more exposed to risks. As you can assume from the overall low-profile protection you are providing, you cannot ask from your principals not to post photos or share their happy moments within their social media network. A Facebook or Twitter post though, pinpointing current or future locations, can cause a lot of trouble to your EP team. Make sure you make that clear during the client’s initial briefing, and kindly ask your principals to avoid that on real-time. If it is not possible, you will need some support from your Ops center to constantly monitor social media profiles of your principals and advise immediately so you can at least modify your protective plan.

The world is changing and as a security professional you must have that in mind 24/7. The rise of global terror and criminal groups has meant that you are not even safe on a beach vacation in the Mediterranean.

There are so many details that the EP team needs to predict and take action before something really bad happens. When it comes to the technical aspects of protection on a mega yacht, I will certainly post a relevant article in the near future. Till then, always be prepared for attacks and disasters even if when everybody else around you is relaxed, enjoying a good swim and the sun. Stay safe!




                               ©   2017  J.D & Associates           



Last month between 23-25 June 2017 the WORLD DRONE CONGRESS 2017 was held at the Convention and Exhibition Center in Shenzhen, China. The theme of this year was “The exciting world of drones” and was hosted by the China UAV Industry Alliance (CUAVIA) and Shenzhen UAV Industry Association (SUAVIA). With the increasing international use of UAV/Drone technology and systems, this show was designed to showcase new technologies, advances in cutting edge aerial systems and present how UAV/Drones applications are being used in different industrial and civil fields.


J.D & Associates (JDAS) was invited by the organizing committee along with experts and scholars from 30 countries and 500 UAV industry organizations, enterprises and advisory bodies for academic exchange, lectures and technology demonstrations to high-ranking officials. JDAS focused on the UAV/Drone applications within the security industry presenting the massive market opportunity, highlighting as well the impact to both corporations and personal security.

One of the topics that was extensively analyzed by JDAS was the fact that drones have become an asset to public safety providing situational awareness with the help of specific technologies. However, not only are drones being used for defensive security purposes, but counter-drone technology is also on the rise to combat potential security threats such as drones used by operators hoping to sabotage large scale events or breach our current security framework.

It was commonly accepted that a work still in progress in many countries is drone legislation; In Europe, the European Commission has been working on Europe-wide regulations since early 2014, but the actual limits and rules, vary from country to country. France for example, has advanced drone regulations in place and has the largest number of drone operators in Europe (1,600 companies).

Security applications for businesses, residence and corporate security was another concept developed, along with the use of pocket drones with personal security features. Not to mention the fact that, the proliferation of sensor technology has provided drones with a growing number of capabilities such as night time surveillance, biometrics recognition, and motion sensing. While drones are a big potential market for security, it is not a great fit in every way.

Drones usually have fairly short battery lives, meaning they are not a 24/7 security solution. Wired products are being developed, but the range is very limited. While solutions and regulations to make drones more commonplace are not built yet, the potential for the market is undeniable. Perimeter control, security for parking lots, prison security, critical infrastructure protection, campus security, sport venues security, cultural landmarks protection and border security were among the topics analyzed during the Congress.

Last but not least, a long and productive discussion was made about the impact of drones to corporations, and personal protection of executives, political figures, dignitaries and high-net worth individuals. Given their maneuver-ability, small size, and the fact that their combination of onboard processing power, photographic equipment, and connectivity makes them the equivalent of flying laptops and it’s no wonder that drones are now perceived as viable threats.

Many drones have serious design flaws. Therefore, drones are vulnerable to interception, malicious data injection, and the alteration of their flight paths. Such manipulation could potentially have alarming consequences in the field, ranging from the theft of high-value cargo, to product tampering and the re-direction of drones for the delivery of explosives, biological weapons, or other terrorist payloads.

The fact that risk-scenarios against civilians are so frightening, leads to the logigal assumption that, simply detecting a drone is not enough — we must also have a process to defeat, disable, or at least stop the drone from approaching certain areas. As the technology evolves and new opportunities for cyber-attackers present themselves, security professionals will need access to a range of measures to stop those malicious attackers.

It sounds laughable, but such outside the box thinking may be just what is required in these early days of drone development. As security professionals, we must take the lead and share our knowledge with those who are still unaware of the negative effects thinking that drones are simply fancy toys with no harm capability.

JDAS will continue to offer solutions and advisory services to private and public sector entities in Europe ,Middle East and Asia presenting the security implications of technology to our professional and private life, with focus on the importance of threat awareness and constant and periodic reviews of the existing security measures in homes and businesses.



In the tumbledown Iberia barrio of this Central American capital, Mayor Nayib Bukele stands in the goalmouth of a renovated soccer pitch defending penalty kicks from a line of kids. Most are approaching their teenage years, an age when many local youths join feared street gangs, known here as Maras. But Bukele is encouraging them to shoot balls instead of bullets.

“We’re trying to challenge the gangs, not by repression, but by competing to get the young people to our side,” says Bukele. “We are not talking about sociopaths here. We are talking about social issues.”

In 2015, when Bukele came to power, San Salvador had become one of the most murderous cities on the planet. That year it suffered 514 homicides in an area with 260,000 people, making it 11 times more lethal per capita than Chicago. Many Salvadorans, including the President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, favored a heavy-handed strategy using soldiers and SWAT teams against the Maras, who they blamed for the murder epidemic.

But Bukele is a onetime businessman from the president’s same leftist party of former guerillas. But he takes a radically different position, saying the repression is like an aspirin — it tackles only the symptoms, and not the cause. Instead, he’s treating the epidemic of violence with social work and the construction of new sports grounds, libraries, parks, marketplaces, plazas and community centers. He has also embraced the counterculture of the barrio youths, supporting skateboarding, breakdancing and aerosol art as well as their beloved soccer.


Using both taxpayer funds and donations from sponsors such as the Spanish soccer league, Bukele believes that transforming the public spaces can transform the mindsets of young people, turning them from criminality to creativity.

The city’s murder rate did drop 16% in his first year. But it is hard to know if this was caused by the mayor’s social work or the president’s policing, and with 432 homicides the rate is still high. The number of murders nationally has also gone down, and even so El Salvador remains one the most violent countries on the planet.

Still, Bukele’s development has won him high approval ratings both from his own leftists and conservatives, and he plans to press on with the program, which he says will bear fruit in the long term. “If we have the vision to be a first world city where people don’t kill themselves, a city where there is no exclusion,” Bukele says, “then things will start to change.”

Source: time.com



It’s a story that goes back a decade, and has never  before been told publicly. It involves several veteran CIA officers, an undercover mission and a huge haul of extremely valuable intelligence. The saga shows just how intense the competition between major accounting firms is, and just how willing they can be to engage in tactics that don’t exactly mesh with their buttoned-down corporate image.

Flash back 10 years. At the time, Deloitte was not the major player in federal consulting it is today. “Deloitte had fits and starts in trying to do the federal business,” recalls a former Deloitte partner who asked not to be named. “In ’05 and ’06, Deloitte was doing maybe $300 million a year in revenue and had maybe 1,000 people.” The former partner says the firm had a lofty internal goal of getting its federal business to the billion-dollar level. “They wanted to do an acquisition, but they weren’t sure which one.” 

Then, in early 2007, a phone rang inside Deloitte. On the line was a source, passing on some valuable information. BearingPoint, the struggling consulting firm, had just called an emergency meeting. BearingPoint partners from around the world would be coming to a hastily scheduled session at the convention center in Orlando, Florida. The source didn’t know why the meeting was scheduled. It was a complete mystery. But Deloitte’s managers were prepared to go to unusual lengths to unravel it.

Deloitte had an internal team to call on in just such a moment. Although its name changed over time, the group was generally known as the competitive intelligence unit, and it was led by a trim former CIA officer with piercing eyes named Gordon “Gordy” Welch. His number two was John Shumadine, who had served as an economist for the CIA and, like his boss Welch, was an Army veteran.

Collectors and analysts

The two (2) CIA officers oversaw a team at Deloitte that was divided into two main categories: collectors and analysts. Collectors uncovered information that could be valuable to Deloitte’s senior managers. Analysts poured through that information, combined it with other known facts and developed narratives about what they thought was going on behind the scenes in the offices of Deloitte’s clients and customers.

“Our job was to spy on Ernst & Young, Price Waterhouse Coopers, KPMG and some of the consulting competitors,” said a person who worked in the unit. “We were trying to steal their pricing models, how they determined discounts, and especially new product lines or service lines.” The team developed networks of ex-employees as sources and traveled to trade shows to gather information.

The competitive intelligence unit was part of a larger umbrella group called Deloitte Intelligence. That group included two related efforts. One was called “market intelligence” and focused on gathering details about companies that could be useful for its customers and could help Deloitte win new business.

The last piece of the team was known as “win/loss.” That group conducted after-action reports on efforts to win major accounts to determine what had gone right — or wrong — with each sales pitch.As a result, the Deloitte Intelligence team was a mixture of former government spies and accounting industry veterans. By several accounts, there were tensions inside Deloitte about how far the intelligence team would be allowed to go, with some employees on the team pushing for a more aggressive approach and other forces inside Deloitte preaching restraint.

The team included at least three former CIA officers, a former Secret Service officer, a former IRS agent, an employee who wrote spy novel, and one who had a side business selling Kente cloth Polo shirts. When the call from the source came in, nearly all of them went into action.They stood up a full time office in at Deloitte’s offices in suburban Virginia, where managers and analysts could coordinate the operation. Deloitte officials also checked in with the firm’s general counsel to sort out what they would be legally permitted to do. 

With the analysts in place, it came time to select the collectors — the actual on-the-ground agents who would book hotel rooms near BearingPoint’s meeting at the Orlando convention center and spend several days trying to figure out what was going on. 

Two (2) collectors were assigned the job. The first was a woman named Abby Vietor, a Deloitte employee who had earlier worked at a private investigative firm called Diligence LLC. The second was a man who would later go on to significant fame and controversy: John Kiriakou, a Deloitte employee and former CIA case officer who had served in various capacities for the spy agency in Bahrain, Athens and at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. 

In early 2007, Kiriakou was simply a collector for Deloitte’s corporate intelligence unit, and he was on his way to Orlando to try to piece together what the BearingPoint partners were up to.

On the ground, the two Deloitte employees assessed the situation. BearingPoint was clearly in crisis mode, and the firm’s partners appeared in to be disarray. This offered an opportunity for the two collectors from Deloitte: At various points over the coming days, the two Deloitte employees walked in and out of the convention center and stationed themselves at a bar, picking up scraps of conversation from the distraught BearingPoint partners.

According to a person familiar with the operation, the two agents also spent a considerable amount of time in the men’s and women’s bathrooms — hiding out to avoid detection, and taking notes on conversations they overheard. “You can’t believe what people will say while they’re in there,” said a person who participated in the operation.

They were in regular communication with the team in Virginia, emailing snippets of gossip and information that they were picking up. At the Deloitte offices, analysts raced to their computers to check details, confirm facts or issue “taskings” to the Deloitte agents in the field to try to pin down specific details. “When the news came through that they had gotten some information, we stopped what we were doing and focused on it,” said a second person who participated in the operation. “This turned out to be a significant feat.” 

That’s because the agents on the ground uncovered a valuable piece of intelligence. BearingPoint’s financial situation was dire. And as a result, the partners were considering selling the firm’s federal practice — a business that could be a perfect solution to Deloitte’s own problems in the federal space. But how much was BearingPoint’s federal practice actually  worth? That would depend on key details such as whom the firm’s clients were and how much those clients were paying every year.

Then Deloittes agents in the field made a breakthrough: They learned that senior BearingPoint officers were holding a break-out session, and they figured out the location for the high-level meeting. Deloitte’s team decided that any paperwork the BearingPoint managers left behind would be fair game for the agents to pick up — but only after several hours had passed, making it clear that the material had been officially abandoned.

The Deloitte operatives staked out the empty meeting space for hours after the BearingPoint executives left, pacing the halls. At one point, an operative shooed away a cleaning crew that was on its way into the space. Once they decided enough time had passed, they entered the room.Inside, they hit pay dirt: The BearingPoint executives, perhaps distracted by the financial calamity facing their firm, had left behind notes and documents that the Deloitte operatives viewed as the key to unlocking the mystery of the value of the federal practice. “They left revenue projections, source intelligence,” said a person who participated in the operation. “It was like the holy grail of the BearingPoint business.”

The second person who participated in the operation said that the ground team also obtained breakdowns of the revenues generated by specific accounts. The Deloitte collectors scooped up everything they could find, and headed out to a nearby Kinko’s to fax it directly to the analysts in Virginia, who could begin teasing out the full implications.

People involved in the operation say the intelligence gathered in Orlando gave Deloitte a leg up in understanding just how valuable BearingPoint’s federal business could be, despite the financial difficulty facing the overall firm. A former partner who was not involved in the Orlando operation described the potential acquisition this way: “They had accounts that would have taken years for Deloitte to develop. Relationships at the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security and other institutions. It was a huge opportunity.” 

It wasn’t until March 2009 that Deloitte was  able to take advantage of that opportunity. That month, Deloitte announced it would buy BearingPoint’s North American public services unit for $350 million in cash as BearingPoint worked through a bankruptcy. Despite the success of the operation in Orlando, people familiar with Deloitte’s intelligence team say the unit was wound down over the following years, its employees leaving for other firms and other careers. Only a small number are still employed at Deloitte. 

Source: CNBC








We owe to Plutarch the famous stories about Alexander that have done so much to enshrine the myth of the near -divine warrior – humanist on his great quest to bring civilization eastward to the barbarians. The teenaged prince tames the wild Thessalian horse Bucephalus (“Ox -head”), in between his shady walks and tutorials with Aristotle. On reaching Cilicia in southern Asia Minor, the young Alexander impatiently hacks apart the legendary Gordian knot – all the while sleeping with Homer’s ” Iliad “tucked under the pillow.

Alexander was the greatest man, soldier, battle commander and Greek Macedonian King that spread Hellenism beyond the Mediterranean, as he was no idle theorist  but through his courage , talent and education saw his utopian dreams  of imperial conquest realized in 331 B.C with the end the Achaemenid Dynasty in Persia .

Alexander the Great, son of King Philip, the universal citizen who had evolved beyond the world of Greek Macedonian barracks, was always accompanied by the eight (8) bodyguards that graduated like he did , from the Royal Academy of Mieza (located on the outskirts of  modern  Greek city Naoussa ) and were companions and friends since early childhood .

When Alexander was a teenager, King Philip began to search for a tutor choosing Aristotle the most famous philosopher of his age, providing the old Temple of Nymphs as a classroom, which later was named  Royal Academy of Mieza . Mieza was something like a boarding school for Alexander and the children of Macedonian nobles.

Alexander and his future eight (8) bodyguards all of them students of the same group of 50 Greek teenagers, studied in the Royal Academy of Mieza under the supervision and tutelage of Aristotle himself, physical stamina instructors, philosοphers and combat veterans of the Macedonian Army. Many of these students would become Alexander’s friends and are widely known as the “Companions”.

The Royal Academy of Mieza

Aristotle taught them Medicine, Logic, Art, Morals and Philosophy.Leonidas, the chief – instructor of the Academy , who was relative of  Olympias (Alexander’s mother ) and  responsible for the physical and military training , used  extreme methods to enhance combat endurance and make young children  physically and mentally tough . Quite often he asked the students to execute very long road marches without any food, participate in Decathlon (10 different sport events), train in boxing and wrestling , swim in the frozen waters of Loudias river and much more. It is also said that King Philip, who was a tutor in the Academy as well not only approved his cruel methods but also was always present in student  disciplinary auditions .

Aristotle besides a tutor was also the Director of the Royal Academy of Mieza and he had organized the classes in 3 different rotating sessions within each month. The syllabus of the 6 – year Academy was pretty wide and multi-dimensional as we can see right below:

Morals & Virtues – Tutor: Aristotle

Logic & Harmony – Tutor: Aristotle

Philology – Tutor: Aristotle

History – Tutors: Memnon , Leonidas

Archaeology – Tutor: Memnon

Anthopology – Tutor: Aristotle

Philosophy – Tutor: Aristotle

Rhetoric Art – Tutor: Theophrastus

Anatomy – Tutor: Aristotle

Cosmology (ancient Geography) – Tutor: Aristotle

 Theology (ancient Religion class) – Tutor : Aristotle

Astronomy – Tutor: Aristotle

 Astrology – Tutor: Aristandrus

Psychology – Tutor: Aristotle

Sociology – Tutor: King Philip

Law & Diplomacy – Tutor: King Philip

The Art of Negotiation – Tutor: King Philip

Espionage – Tutor: King Philip

Economics – Tutor: Ligdames

Communications (ancient Signals) – Tutor: King Philip

Geology – Tutor: Aristotle

Topography (ancient land navigation) – Tutor: Chief Mechanic Diades

Gold & precious metals mining – Tutors:  Crates, Gorgus

Linguistics – Tutors: Theophrastus, Euphoreon

Medicine & First Aid – Tutor: Aristotle

Physics / Chemistry / Biology – Tutor: Aristotle

Mathematics / Algebra / Geometry – Tutor: Menecles

Mechanics / Hydrodynamics – Tutor: Chief Mechanic Diades

Nutrition – Tutor: Leonidas

Literature – Tutors: Theophrastus , Euphoreon

Aesthetics – Tutor: Lysippus

Music – Tutor: Leusippus

Hypocritics (ancient drama acting ) – Tutor : Actor Thessalus

Human Resources Management – Tutor: King Philip

Leadership & Principles of Military Command – Tutor: General Parmenion

Strategy – Tutor: King Philip

Art of War – Tutor: Clitus

Physical training & combat drills – Tutor: Leonidas

Bodyguard tactics – Tutors: Atreus, Cinus , Clitus

Escort & military formations – Tutor: Clitus

Martial Arts ( wrestling /boxing/pangration) – Tutor : Clitus

Weapons & defensive systems – Tutor: Chief Mechanic Diades

These magnificent 50 young men, after graduation  were recruited to join the army and would be   the future army officers and commanding generals .The eight (8) best students  of the whole class , were selected by Alexander himself  to be his personal security detail ,  that will protect him during the 10 – year campaign in Central Asia and  India . It is worth mentioning that the standard escort formation they used when they protected Alexander was the “Dagana” formation (reversed wide wedge formation) consisted of 8 men.

But let’s present the eight (8) bodyguards of Alexander the Great, by name and city of origin:

1.Lysimachus: He was from Thessaly and he became later Ruler of Thrace and Macedonia.

2.Peucestes: He was from Mieza and he protected Alexander with the genuine shield of Achilles that he owned .He became later  Ruler of  Persia  (nowadays Iran).

3.Perdiccas: He was from Macedonia and the one that Alexander gave his ring before his death. He was the second in command and controlled the whole Greek Macedonian Empire.

4.Hephaestion: He was from ancient Pella and was Alexander’s closest friend and Macedonian Army Cavalry commander. He was also highly respected from the other bodyguards and recognized as the leader of Alexander’s personal protection detail.

5.Python: He was from Eordea region and was famous for his calm character and crisis management skills.

6. Ptolemy: He was from Eordea region as well and after Alexander’s death became the King of Egypt making the notorious Alexandrian Library with more than 700,000 books and the Lighthouse of Alexandria that was 1 of the 7 miracles of the ancient world.

7.Leonnatus: He was from ancient Lygos (nowadays Florina) and was also very close to Alexander like Hephaestion . He had magnificent intelligence gathering and espionage skills and later he became Ruler of Frygia and Black Sea surrounding territories.

8. Aristonus: He was from Pella and was Queen’s Olympias protector as well . After Alexander’s death he returned to Macedonia and served as army general.

Besides their protective role, they were also assigned as Higher Macedonian Command consultants both during peacetime and war, with power to decide on critical  matters without even asking Alexander.Very often, Alexander’s bodyguards were responsible for the operational  planning and had full command  of the Greek Allied Army , not to mention the fact , that they controlled  the diplomatic and political arena as well .

What is more, Plutarch showcased that the eight (8) bodyguards had nothing less than Alexander, in terms of training and leadership skills than the fact that they were not sons of King Philip.  According to the systematic approach and extensive research of historians like Arrian , Diodorus and  PlutarchDr Leonidas Billis who is a sociologist and author of the book “ THE BODYGUARDS  OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT ” concluded that , the eight (8) “Companions” were capable of achieving  exactly the same likewise  Alexander ,  if they had his royal lineage. This is a first class proof of the quality and the top-notch training they received at Royal Academy of Mieza.   


Looking forward towards the dawn of a new era in the global security industry, we must  recognize that this eight (8)  men , set the foundations of modern personal protection and they deserve respect from all those that work hard within the circuit , to achieve personal excellence and bring the close protection community as a whole  to a much higher level.

© 2016 J.D & Associates



As security professionals during routine activities we are faced with a vast number of actions every day. Let’s take a step back to basics and explore what effective leadership during a protective operation actually means.

Have a good, simple plan

One of the most important and often neglected points about operational planning is that it should give you a platform from which to adapt and change things. Put together the best plan you can but try to avoid falling in love with it, and then rigidly forcing it onto a situation that has already changed. A good plan should fit the situation, not the other way around. As soon as you take into account that the reality in the field will almost always differ from expectations and that original plans will often have to be modified, you should realize that plans must be simple. If a plan is too complex, it will be very difficult to tweak and adjust it on the fly. You might feel fine with it, but the plan is not just for you. You have a whole security team to lead. If they already have to deal with a complex plan, it’s very likely you will lose them as soon as you start making adjustments to it. A good plan is more of a platform than a script. Keep it super simple! (K.I.S.S).

Be flexible during the execution phase

When the facts on the ground start changing, your plan should adjust accordingly. This does not mean that you should immediately abandon your plan as soon as things change. The realities in the field have a funny way of toying with prior expectations. Unfortunately, Mike Tyson’s quote, “Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the face” holds very true. Of course you will not get punched every time you go out into the field, but the likelihood of it is very high and your plan should reflect that. Good security leaders have a flexible mindset and the best leaders I have seen not only know how to roll with the punches, but actually enjoy rolling with them.

Take care of your team

Many professionals miss the point that leadership is a relationship and like any other is a two-way street. Team members do work for their leader, but a leader also works for his/her team members. In many ways a leader needs his/her subordinates more they need him/her. You could be a fantastic security operator but your leadership skills are not judged by how well you operate-they are judged by how well your team members operate. In a weird kind of way, your reputation as a leader is “held hostage’ by your subordinates. Never forget how much you need them and how much they deserve for constantly backing you up. Take care of your team and treat them well. Most people think that a security service provider only needs to take care of their client. When you take care of your team it gets noticed by clients and the teams tend to perform better because of this. So, once again, take very good care of your team!

Motivate your team

A common security leadership mistake we have seen over the years is the “my way or the highway” style of personnel management. This might look like a solid no-nonsense type of leadership, but honestly it is not really sustainable. All or nothing is just too simple-and leaders who try to tell you that this is just their style, that they don’t babysit or hold hands, are actually telling you that they don’t really know how to properly lead. Anyone can set rules and then kick out subordinates who deviate-a machine could do that. Leadership is about motivating people and getting them to willingly follow on to the mission. It is not always simple and it’s not hand-holding either-It’s just good leadership.

Handle weak team members in a positive way

Almost any security leader has to face the fact that will not always going to have an A- team under him/her, and that he/she cannot always just get rid of weaker team members. The best way to handle underperforming security operators is to pull them aside, tell them how important they are to the mission, and how you personally need them to deploy the top-notch skill-set you know they have. If you don’t feel the operator has a good skill-set, this kind of encouragement tends to put some wind behind people’s sails. They might still be weak, but at least they will try harder and make it easier for you to accomplish the mission. Does this type of motivation always work? Of course not. And there might eventually be a need to take stricter measures with a weak team member, but reserve those unfortunate options for later… after you have tried the positive approach. Remember: Leadership is mostly about guiding and motivating not reprimanding and firing.

Maintain self-control

If you can’t control yourself how will you control, or lead others? Think of it from their perspective-why would a subordinate want to follow someone who can’t control themselves? The biggest problem in maintaining self-control is that you often don’t realize when and how you tend to lose it. The key to fixing this is to develop good self-awareness and empathy. Try to look at yourself from the outside. How do you appear to others? How are you coming across? How is your tone of voice affecting the people you are addressing? Try to notice how fast and loud you are talking. Notice the expression you have on your face. Self -awareness is the key.

Slow down and be calm

Many operatives tend to forget how important this is, especially during stressful crunch-times. A calmer disposition has two important functions: First, it will help you make better decisions. Even when everything is erupting around you and you are about to get tackled, calm down, look around and make a decision. The second function has to do with the above mentioned self-reflection thing. Regardless of whether you personally can handle a frenzied pace of running and yelling orders, how do you think you come across to your team and clients when you do this? The line between setting a good example and coming across as confused and frantic, is quite thin and easily crossed…It is very important for the leader to instill calm and control and it starts with calming and controlling yourself first. So take a few deep breaths and slow down. Look around, assess the situation and make better decisions. Your team and your client will be happy about it. Be professional!

©   2016 J.D & Associates  





Identity (ID) theft is when your personal details are stolen. It is an easy crime to commit and should be included in your list of hazards on your threat assessment because it can affect your client’s life. happens when fraudsters access enough information about someone’s identity (such as their name, date of birth, current or previous addresses) to commit identity fraud. Identity theft can take place whether the fraud victim is alive or deceased. If you’re a victim of identity theft, it can lead to fraud that can have a direct impact on your personal finances and could also make it difficult for you to obtain loans, credit cards or a mortgage until the matter is resolved.

Identity fraud is when those details are used to commit fraud. It can be described as the use of that stolen identity in criminal activity to obtain goods or services by deception.

Fraudsters can use your identity details to:

  • Open bank accounts.
  • Obtain credit cards, loans and state benefits.
  • Order goods in your name.
  • Take over your existing accounts.
  • Take out mobile phone contracts.
  • Obtain genuine documents such as passports and driving licenses in your name.
  • Stealing an individual’s identity details does not, on its own, constitute identity fraud.
  • But using that identity for any of the above activities does.

The first you know of it may be when you receive bills or invoices for things you haven’t ordered, or when you receive letters from debt collectors for debts that aren’t yours.

1. How to protect yourself

Criminals commit identity theft by stealing your personal information. This is often done by taking documents from your rubbish or by making contact with you and pretending to be from a legitimate organization.

Protect yourself against identity theft and leak of information

  • Don’t throw out anything with your name, address or financial details without shredding it first.
  • If you receive an unsolicited email or phone call from what appears to be your bank asking for your security details, never reveal your full password, login details or account numbers. Be aware that a bank will never ask for your PIN or for a whole security number or password.
  • If you are concerned about the source of a call, wait 5 minutes and call your bank from a different telephone making sure there is a dialing tone.
  • Check your statements carefully and report anything suspicious to the bank or financial service provider concerned.
  • Don’t leave things like bills lying around for others to look at.
  • If you’re expecting a bank or credit card statement and it doesn’t arrive, tell your bank or credit card company.
  • If you move house, ask Post Service to redirect your post for at least 1 year. 
  • It is particularly helpful to check your personal credit file 2-3 months after you have moved house.
  • Do not give out personal information, especially on social media sites.
  • Shred all important papers and documents in a cross cut (confetti) paper shredder.
  • Watch what you throw away. Lock your trash container.
  • Limit the number of credit cards you carry with you and don’t write the PIN on the credit itself.
  • Stop your mail delivery if you are going on vacation for a length of time.
  • Consider subscribing to an identity theft protection service. Several companies offer services to help you in the case that you become victim to identity theft.
  • Keep personal documents in a safe. Consider keeping a personal safe for your home as well as a safety deposit box You can use your safe at home to protect items such as your social security card, birth certificate and passport.
  • Protect your purse or wallet at all times. The best purses are those that can be zipped or closed shut. Try not to use bags that others can easily see or reach into, and keep bags close to your body with a tight grip at all times. Do not leave wallets or purses in the car, or if you must, do not leave them exposed or in an obvious place.
  • Photocopy the contents of your wallet. Make copies of credit cards, ID cards, and all other personal documents you keep in your wallet. Also, keep records of phone numbers to contact in case you need to close accounts or order replacement items.
  • Remove yourself from promotional lists such as junk mail and pre-approved credit card lists. This added clutter doesn’t do any good, and you at risk of ID theft if a stranger gets their hands on your pre-approved cards.
  • Cancel credit cards that you aren’t using. There’s no reason to have open credit for the taking. Besides, the less credit you have open, the less you’ll have to monitor.
  • Select passwords that are difficult for others to uncover. An impersonal combination of letters and numbers is the best.
  • Protect your computer with anti-spyware and anti-virus software. Make sure you keep them up to date.

2. What should you do if you’ve been a victim of identity fraud?

  • Act quickly – you mustn’t ignore the problem. Even though you didn’t order those goods or open that bank account, the bad debts will end up under your name and address.
  • If you believe you’re a victim of identity fraud involving plastic cards (e.g. credit and debit cards), you must report it to your bank as soon as possible. Your bank will then be responsible for investigating the issue and they will report any case of criminal activity to the police. The police will then record your case and decide whether to carry out follow-up investigations. 
  • You should report all lost or stolen documents – such as passports, driving licenses, plastic cards, to the relevant organization. 
  • Look at your credit report closely. If you find entries from organizations you don’t normally deal with, contact them immediately.
  • Remember to keep a record of all your actions, including the people you’ve spoken to and when, and keep copies of all letters you send and receive.

                      An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.



The massive changes that globalization has brought to all areas of life, has also created great concerns for both personnel safety and protection of investments located in critical areas around the world.
Security has taken the forefront in international, governmental and corporate strategies. A significant lack of sufficiently secure and safe conditions prevents and even jeopardizes economic developments and even sports events demand thorough security planning and risk mitigation initiatives. Countries, companies and organizations worldwide are currently re-establishing themselves in order to fill the void in the security field.
Being a high-powered executive may not be financially risky, but it’s certainly dangerous. Or at least, that’s a reasonable conclusion based on the millions some companies spend protecting their top brass. Typically a top executive will contract with a company to provide guards at their home, both for screening visitors at a gatehouse and stationed around the perimeter of their property, to mitigate potential risks. The perceived risks increase when C-level executives travel internationally for business or leisure especially to high-crime countries.
In the world of Executive Protection, we all know that you have to be able to fly out the door on very little notice. If you are not properly prepared prior to going on a task you are leaving yourself wide open to fail. Nobody wants to hire somebody who doesn’t know what they are doing or who is not confident in their own ability.

a. Gather intelligence: Stay up to date on trends from terrorist and criminal organizations within your area of operations, also knowing that holidays have an impact in your area and how that impacts your day-to-day activities. It doesn’t look good when your client is pressed on time and you did not know that it was an important holiday and streets are shut down or traffic is jammed. Study the area you will be going to, and keep up to date on current affairs for that area, such as local politics, crime reports and even sporting events. Make sure you look at the history of threats and their standard operating procedures within your area of interest. There will be many sources to help you study up on the current operating environment. One of the best is talking to other security companies working in the country. See if you can exchange after action reports, intelligence from company sources and any videos or pictures taken on runs. Local military or police might share information with you also, such as tactics & techniques used in the most recent incidents that are not available to the general public. NGOs operating in the region usually have very good local intelligence since they operate directly with the locals they are providing support for.
b. Research & advance work: As security professionals we do advance work, plot escape routes for when the situation suddenly decomposes and take most definite proactive approach to safety and crime. If an incident of significant magnitude occurs, we have our escape planned and we quickly and discreetly escort our client to safety. You must have the ability to do hasty advances, threat/risk assessments and be willing to spend time doing research into who your clients are and why they need your services.
c. Set the right tone with the client: Starting out on any new task for the first time can be extremely exciting; what you must ensure once setting out on any job is to set the right tone with the client. Be professional, use your communication skills to get a positive feedback and do not forget to show up early. Be flexible and ready to blend in, from your dress code to your attitude and general posture. Always maintain a low-profile but at the same time an internal high state of alert without getting noticed.
d. Respect client’s image: To business leaders and celebrities image is crucial and you damaging a client’s image by over reacting may do more harm than the threat itself. In addition to protecting the client’s life you have a duty to protect their reputation which includes their financial reputation as well. Be cautious and think twice before you act. During your daily routine give space and privacy and do not suffocate your principal.
e. Expect the unexpected: Expect the unexpected is more than just a fancy cliché in this industry. Be ready for it by believing you are not as prepared for it as you may think. Then train often, train effectively and train correctly. First you must make time to create training opportunities on your own. Formal training is costly and just doesn’t offer the consistency needed to stay tactically sharp. None of us or our company can afford to attend training courses every month. So, improvising scenario-based training with what you have or can find is the alternative. Create stress in your scenarios. The mind must experience stress in training to operate predictably in actual high-stress situations. Discuss if possible what the expectations are from your clients and what they feel is most appropriate course of action according to their lifestyle. DO NOT forget: you are hired and paid to offer them viable solutions and peace of mind!

CORPORATE TRAVEL POLICY – A moral responsibility

CORPORATE TRAVEL POLICY – A moral responsibility


This obligation exists whether travel takes employees to the next city or remote and dangerous corners of the world. In the aftermath of Great Recession many businesses are focused on obtaining the greatest return on investment from travel while exploring alternatives to travel such as videoconferencing. Nonetheless travel is essential for many enterprises and travel budgets again are growing.

Accidents and illnesses can happen anywhere and may be more likely to happen while travelling. In some cases a traveler may be exposed to dangerously inadequate medical care with no resources at hand to locate and arrange transportation to a better facility. Medical emergencies may top the list of travel concerns, but business travelers are also exposed to a wide array of risks, especially while in foreign lands. Political upheaval or a natural catastrophe can strand a traveler in a chaotic and dangerous situation.

Any organization that requires employees to travel, needs a comprehensive framework for managing the risks of travel. Not only is this a moral responsibility, it is a legal obligation. According to legal experts, the employment relationship generally includes an obligation for the health, safety and security of their employees, including those who are abroad as business travelers or as short-or long- term assignees.

Corporate travel policies typically cover matters such as airline and lodging requirements, reservations and approval processes. Travel policies should incorporate safety and security standards especially when travel requirements take employees to less safe parts of the world.

A thorough corporate travel policy should include but not limited to:

  • Risk- related restrictions & requirements
  • Changing threats updates & briefings
  • Transportation policies & preferred vendors
  • List of safest airlines
  • Awareness training for hotel security & safety procedures
  • Vehicle safety & safety of rental cars
  • How to mitigate health hazards
  • Avoidance of street crime
  • Avoidance of kidnapping- Hostage survival tips
  • Travel Assistance Programs (emergency evacuations, legal services, lost baggage assistance, interpretation help, cultural awareness briefings, insurance advisors)

                Most successful ways to minimize Business Travel Risk:

  • Make sufficient Risk Assessments for employees who travel on business
  • Educate your employees about their destination
  • Take appropriate health precautions
  • Raise awareness about internet security and identity theft
  • Develop an evacuation policy for dealing with emergencies
  • Consider the safety of all transport services that employees will use while overseas

  Risks for the employer:

 If a traveler come to harm, their employers face severe consequences both legally and financially as well as to their reputation. An employer might be exposed to the following risks:

  • Risk to reputation due to failure in duty of care of employees
  • Misuse of travel budget due to emergencies
  • Unethical conduct by employees in the effort to deal with contingencies
  • Risk to trade secrets and data carried by business travelers
  • Risk to personnel (health, security, fatigue through over travel)
  • Risk to productivity –trip effectiveness

 Have a solid Corporate Travel Policy in place and ask for expert’s advice to take it to the next level. Make sure this policy is periodically updated and clearly communicated to your personnel before travelling.  



©   2016 J.D & Associates        

EXECUTIVE PROTECTION How important is to keep the boss safe?

EXECUTIVE PROTECTION How important is to keep the boss safe?

Terrified, haggard and frostbitten, Karen McMullan refused to give police the details of her ordeal until she knew her husband Kevin was safe. Twenty–four hours earlier, men dressed as police officers had talked their way into the McMullan’s home. Once inside, they held a gun to the head of Kevin Mc Mullan, the assistant bank manager for Northern Bank in Belfast, Ireland, and explained that he would help them carry out a daring robbery. To ensure his cooperation they kidnapped his wife. At the same time just a few miles away, armed men entered the home of another bank employee, supervisor Chris Ward and conscripted him into their plan by taking his mother, father, brother and brother’s girlfriend hostage. Per the kidnappers’ instructions, the next evening Mc Mullan and Ward used their security passes to enter Northern Bank’s inner vault and packed up bags of banknotes. The cash was loaded into a white truck and driven away. Hours later, Karen McMullan staggered out of a forest into the first house she found.

In the case of Northern Bank, the use of McMullan and Ward families in that December 2004 robbery cost approximately $ 50 million – and that is just thieves’ take. Add to that that the public relations costs (worldwide headlines, inquiries by the prosecutors and British intelligence) and the tab runs considerably higher. So solid executive protection can pay for itself in the long run.

Large corporations are paying millions of dollars a year to protect their C- level executives, particularly the CEO. That personal security includes everything from computerized home systems to use of company aircraft domestically and internationally, both for business and personal matters. The threats facing an executive vary widely depending on the size of the company, the industry it belongs to and the individual executive’s profile.

Targeted sectors such as the financial services, pharmaceutical and energy industries, and those with executives based overseas, worry about kidnapping, carjacking, mail-borne explosives, biological agents and international terrorism. Threatening letters and e-mails and workplace violence fill out the list.

On the ground, one of the most important pieces in an executive’s security team can be the driver–often more of a chauffeur commando than a mere wheel jockey. After analyzing hundreds of attacks on public figures from 1970 to 2000, the majority happened while the victims were in or around their cars. A trained security driver adds an extra layer of protection. If a CEO is ever attacked while on the go, “that driver may be the only real protection the executive has at the moment”.

If a trained driver had been on the job, things might have gone differently for financier Edward Lampert in 2003. Abducted from his company parking garage, the ESL Investments Chairman was held for ransom for a little less than 2 days, until convincing his captors to release him.

What are the risks? Business executives aren’t targeted for assassination as often as other prominent individuals. Of 436 successful attacks on public figures worldwide from 1970 to 2000, 68% of the targets were politicians and government officials, and just 6% were business executives. However, when kidnapping is the aim, their proportion rises. Of 65 kidnapping incidents where a public figure was the target, 31% were executives, behind government officials at 42%.

While perks such as country club memberships have gone away as shareholders increasingly criticized executive privileges during the economic downturn, personal security is one of the few that has remained constant among Fortune 100 companies, according to Equilar, a California firm that tracks executive compensation.

Some companies spend millions safeguarding their executives according to regulatory fillings. Las Vegas Sands spent $ 3.2 million on security for CEO Sheldon Adelson and his immediate family last year. Online retailer Amazon spent $ 1.6 million to protect CEO Jeff Bezos, and Oracle spent $ 1.5 million on protection for CEO Larry Ellison’s California residence in 2013.

Like many defense contractors and large corporations, Lockheed Martin spends hundreds of thousands of dollars ensuring its top executives are safe. For example to keep Robert Stevens safe during his last year as CEO Lockheed spent $ 1.3 million then another $ 407,000 the following year while Stevens stayed on as a strategic advisor because he was named as an Al – Qaeda target.

The term “executive protection specialist” should tell you all you need to know about the evolution of executive security details. That’s the difference between a bodyguard and a protection professional: One specializes in muscles and guns and the other may be less physically imposing but is better prepared to identify threats before they materialize.

Today’s protection professional also has to be a mirror image of his client in professional dress and demeanor. You need to know how to walk, dress and talk like your executive–blending into the executive’s environment is critical to ensuring his/her safety and minimizing the impact of a security detail on his daily life. The physical skills necessary to do protection can be taught, but the dedication, discretion and integrity necessary to do the job well are often hard to find. This job is not for everyone… make a smart choice!



©   2016  J.D & Associates