Why Do HNW Families Need Secure Travel Support?

The lifestyles of high-net-worth (HNW) families often include a wide range of travel, both domestically and abroad. In addition to the risks that all travellers face – from traffic accidents to muggings in unfamiliar cities – the prominence and wealth of HNW individuals calls for extra caution, as well as special measures to ensure privacy.

Prominence makes it more difficult to fly under the public radar. The ubiquitous use of social media, can easily broadcast whereabouts, plans and other personal details. Furthermore, wealth increases the likelihood of crime – ranging from shakedowns to break-ins and kidnappings.

HNW individuals and families are used to a high degree of customised support in other areas of their lives, so it is no wonder they are increasingly requesting the same kind of customisation when it comes to secure travel needs. Let us explore secure travel support and what this looks like?

Security Drivers
The use of security drivers is usually the first service, that HNW individuals and families improve peace of mind whilst on the road. The single largest cause of fatalities for travellers remains ‘traffic accidents’. The WHO counts these as “road fatalities per 100,000 vehicles”, and the spread between countries is significant. The U.S.A. reports 12.9. Most Western European countries and Japan are in the single digits. China clocks in at 104, India 130, Nigeria 615. The list goes on.

While no driver can completely eradicate the possibility of a traffic accident but carefully selected security drivers, vehicles, routes and contingencies significantly mitigate the risk and reduce the probability. These drivers and their vehicles are vetted against a variety of criteria by professionals, with a vast array of international experience.

Where possible and legal to do so, they are checked on a variety of critical factors that may include driver backgrounds, criminal and traffic records, specialized training, qualifications and licensing to name a few. They also ensure that vehicles live up to objective safety and comfort standards. Vetted Security drivers, whilst mindful of comfort and convenience, are trained in the security awareness and safety aspects of driving such as looking out for potential threats, defensive and evasive driving tactics.
Confidentiality clauses and individual NDAs are built into contracts. This ensures that drivers know the importance of maintaining the anonymity of their passengers and that sanctions are applied if confidentiality is violated. This is much less likely to occur when the companies providing secure drivers have long-term, ongoing relationships with either the client or the company representing them.

Security Operations
Security Operational Centres (SOC) provide a 24/7 hub of communication, connectivity, travel, and intelligence, including emergency backup services for travellers and key stakeholders – those they need to stay in touch with. Depending on client needs and preferences, services can include:
• Principal tracking via secured GPS devices.
• Daily reports on movements and locations to EAs or family members.
• 24/7 responsiveness and backup in case of emergencies, including the rapid deployment of local resources as needed.
• Communication with the Principal to ensure that they stay connected/are reachable as needed.
• Threat intelligence in the form of daily reports on locations regarding general threats and risks, emerging or acute threats, specific threats connected to principals such as persons or groups of interest, and more.

Executive Protection Operatives
Executive protection operatives, also known as “close protection operatives”, bring an extra dimension of security for travellers. This can include:
• Advances: Checking itinerary venues, from a personal security point of view, prior to the arrival of the principal – and recommending or making necessary adjustments.
• Close protection: Security teams ensure the safety of clients at home, at work, and when travelling to any location by any means, where there is a perceived risk. Operatives can travel alongside HNW’s or in a separate vehicle.
• Hotel check-ins: Checking into hotels for principals to increase anonymity, reduce their visibility and save them time.
• Local fixer: Making sure the principals achieve what they need whilst in unfamiliar settings, from taking care of forgotten meds to getting into restaurants. This function can be especially valuable in emerging markets where knowing how things work locally – and who to call – can make a big difference.

Contrary to popular stereotypes, good executive protection agents know how to blend in unobtrusively and only stand out when necessary. Should the individual or family require even more discretion, covert protection and surveillance detection are also possibilities. These services create even more distance between agents and principals but have the same goal: to stop threats as quickly and as far away from the principal as possible.

Why It’s Helpful to Use a Specialist Partner Support
Few families have the resources, networks, or time to find security drivers and executive protection agents around the world. Instead, they rely on trusted specialist partners, whom are experienced in assessing and understanding the threats to individuals, family, business and assets, and will work with them to ensure that security measures are flexible, discreet and unobtrusive.

If you would like to discuss your security requirements, contact us at enquiries@priavosecurity.com.

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