It’s mid-Autumn and mid-lockdown but James (a pseudonym) joins our Zoom call sporting a fresh sun tan. He’s just returned from a tricky assignment in Greece, he can’t say exactly where or what he was doing, but it did involve a superyacht.
Superyachts have been a theme in private security this year. Covid presented the perfect opportunity to make the most of one’s floating mansion.
“One family locked down on their superyacht for two months”
James (not his real name)
This posed some interesting challenges: “One family locked down on their superyacht for two months” James says “there’s not a lot to do and the ports weren’t open for the normal shopping and family activities.”
Hunter Protection came up with some inventive solutions though “the bodyguards were ex-Royal Marines so they and the children dressed up as pirates and went ashore searching for supplies and, of course, buried treasure. It was all good fun.”
Hunter Protection was founded by Karen Connell, behavioural consultant to some of the world’s biggest organisations. The firm protects everything from crown jewels to rhinos (anti-poaching) and everyone from famous Youtubers to even more famous royals.
On the property side they install lighting and alarm systems which can be as discreet or overt as you wish. They can even redesign your garden to be impenetrable yet beautiful; have you ever fancied your own moat?
Panic rooms are, however, going out of fashion. Apparently it’s inconvenient to have just one tiny safe room on a sprawling estate or in a six storey townhouse. It’s all about designing the whole property for safety. No matter, because the real key to Hunter Protection’s success is in the emotional intelligence of their bodyguards.
This is where the behavioural consulting comes in. When Karen Connell was visiting far flung clients, such as Coca Cola or Virgin, she noticed that the bodyguards assigned to her lacked soft skills. So she invested in the people behind the service.
“Just because someone looks good in a suit, it doesn’t mean they have the experience”
James (not his real name)
It starts with recruitment. While regular bodyguards can attain a licence in three weeks, Hunter Protection recruits experienced staff mainly from the military and police. As James says “just because someone looks good in a suit, it doesn’t mean they have the experience, they haven’t been in those situations where things go wrong.”
Hunter then helps its bodyguards to translate institutional experience to the civilian world. “It’s all about understanding the dynamic” says James “you could have a footballer who needs 24 hour guidance, and a parental touch, or a family with teenagers who need a bit of space.”
So what’s it like on the day of a big job? Well, says James “It’s weird, one day you’re walking down Bond Street with your wife, the next you’re walking down Bond Street with a Prime Minister – you walk in a very different way!”
Hunter Protection’s residential security team can implement security measures on your home, train your staff in security methods, or provide close protection for you and your family.