Every high ranking U.S. leader faces a certain level of risks to themselves – and, by extension, to their office, staff and family – by virtue of their position of public prominence. In the case of this particular Senator, however, a number of other factors elevated the risks, threats and vulnerabilities in his environment.
Risks, Threats, Vulnerabilities: The Key Factors
These risks, threats and vulnerabilities included many years in the public eye over consecutive terms; high personal net worth; multiple residences; an unusually active travel schedule; an energetic lifestyle and health regimen that included frequent and regular periods of exercise outdoors alone or in the company of a small group of people; and a strong preference for convenience and privacy over the constraints that would likely be imposed on him by a continuously present and watchful protective detail.
The First Phone Call
At the suggestion of a colleague, the Senator’s chief of staff placed a call to CEO Arnette Heintze. The two men discussed what steps could be taken to increase the Senator’s safety and security and resolved that the best approach would be to conduct a comprehensive risk, threat and security vulnerability assessment of the Senator’s activities at work, at home and at leisure. A week later, the chief of staff formally authorized the assessment and within days, the Hillard Heintze team began the process that resulted in a highly detailed executive protection services report with more than 20 recommendations on how the Senator’s security could be significantly improved.”
Impact on the Client
As the result of this assessment, the Senator, his closest advisors and immediate support teams are now informed about the constantly changing risk environment impacting not just public figures and high net worth individuals but also the Senator’s specific circumstances. They’re also knowledgeable and up-to-date on the best-practice strategies and countermeasures available to help transfer, avoid, mitigate or accept risk to his person. And they’re ready to take immediate action should one among several potential situations suddenly confront the Senator.
Unplugged: The Project Manager’s Perspective
“Security is often driven by the client’s personal choices. Every protectee faces a different combination of risks – and has different preferences for how these risks should be addressed. Some value privacy at the expense of exposure. Others prefer security over freedom, if you want to call it that.
But to make the best choice, you and your team have to be informed. About what risks confront you. Where you’re most vulnerable. And what the trade-offs are – in favor of either security, privacy or convenience.
This client and his team did not take all of our recommendations to heart. We didn’t expect that they would. Nor did we tell this senator what to do. We helped – and are helping – him make his own informed choices.”
The ACTION WEDNESDAY Tool Box: Two Key Take-Aways
- Security Doesn’t Have to Impede an Active Lifestyle – Sure, there will always be trade-offs, but you can still develop a security plan that works with you and still meets your security needs. The key is being flexible.
- Even If You Choose Not to Take Action Now, It Is Always Best to Know – Sometimes our clients choose not to take all of the precautions we suggest. However, if something changes – a threat against an executive, mass lay-offs, bad press – they have our recommendations to fall back on. They don’t have to start from square one.
(What’s it like on the front line supporting the firm’s clients? What are the challenges the firm’s experts help senior business executives, general counsel, board members and other decision-makers address? Welcome to ACTION WEDNESDAY. Every Wednesday, the Front Line Blog publishes a new case study.)