The family splits its time among Brazil, London and Los Angeles. Their assets include large homes in the three locations and a yacht in the Caribbean. They are accompanied at all times by personal assistants and a paramedic. The family leads a low profile life; they do not attend functions or receive any media exposure. However, they are very security conscious and perceive the threat level around them to be high based on their wealth.
The estate in Los Angeles is located in Beverly Hills. The land has been in the family for at least 2 generations and boasts a once-robust security system. The system which was installed about 10 years ago includes 24 cameras, fence sensors, alarms on the house and annexes and touch pads in the primary residence to control the cameras and broader security system. The family contracted with a security company to install and maintain the system as well as to provide 24-hour guard presence on the property to monitor the cameras and perform access control. The current security company has been with the family for more than 10 years.
The family office contacted their insurance broker and underwriter because they became concerned that recent invoices for upgrade and installation of equipment for the security system were above market rates. They were also disappointed in the lack of response for requested items such as a technical diagram and inventory of the system and also sensed some complacency within the guard staff. The insurance team did a security site survey and came to similar conclusions and suggested that the family office meet with some recommended vendors who might replace the current security company. One of these vendors was The World Protection Group (WPG).
After an initial review, WPG saw that the electronic security system was in disrepair and instead of having been progressively updated over the past 10 years, was running on 2001 technology.
WPG also reviewed the guard staff and learned that none of them had additional training over the 40 hours required by the State of California. None had professional military or law enforcement experience and few had CPR/AED and First Aid Training. They were not wearing uniforms and their appearance was sloppy. Worse, WPG learned that they were not employees of the contracted security company – but rather, were working for the company via a temporary agency. This is illegal in California and also means that the employees were not covered by the workman’s compensation and liability insurance of the security company during the time they worked on the estate. This could have meant significant lawsuits to the client in the event of an incident such as ‘use of force’ on the property. WPG also learned that the company was charging executive protection rates while paying their guards a few dollars over minimum wage.
The World Protection Group proposed a team of high level security agents, who would receive double the pay rate of the former guards. This team is made up of agents with law enforcement and military experience. Many have performed executive protection domestically and abroad and hold more than 400 hours of training each. They have vast experience working in estates like this one as well as higher threat level environments. Contrary to the former group of guards, they are fit and trained to collect protective intelligence in order to avoid an incident from ever occurring. In addition all WPG security agents were trained on the specific security issues and risks at the location prior to the take-over of the estate.
All of the WPG security agents received a refresher course in and are current with CPR, first aid, and AED certifications. Unlike the former company, WPG security agents will receive on-going security training on a regular basis. Finally, although we essentially doubled the pay rate of the agents compared to the previous company, WPG was also able to reduce the bill rate by 20% to bring it more in line with market pricing.
WPG proposed an annual maintenance contract to take over the security system with the objective to restore 100% use of the system and then to bring it up to 2011 standards over the next 12 months, at a cost of less than half of the previous vendor’s estimate.
The client was very pleased and highlighted the:
- full service capability of the company
- total transparency
- cost savings
- quality improvement
- overall security improvement
- and ability to mobilize quickly
as keys to their initial and ongoing satisfaction with WPG.