Hiring a bodyguard is nothing unusual in the celebrity world, with world-famous, high-net-worth individuals regularly seen flanked by security personnel in order to keep them safe and free from worry of any impending, yet undetectable, danger. But now, more than ever, wealthy and affluent individuals without the celebrity status are increasingly turning towards such services too, often feeling that their money makes them an easy target for criminals.
Europe’s western capital cities were once considered some of the safest in the world, affording the 1 per cent of the world’s highest earners a quiet confidence when it came to strolling the streets – whether doing some shopping, heading for a night out, or simply visiting a friend. But today, the same walk in some of most affluent neighbourhoods – even the likes of London’s upmarket Mayfair or the Champs-Elysees, in Paris – can prove to be a different experience entirely, striking fear into the hearts of those who want nothing more than to simply go about their day.
Fidel Matola, president and CEO of Spetsnaz Security International, says that even in elite locations such as Monaco, where royalty, Formula One drivers and business tycoons reside harmoniously together, the trend for hiring a personal bodyguard is stronger than ever – and is one of the reasons the company provides its services there. Beyond the glitz and glamour of the high life, there hides a subtle, yet distinctive, risk on the periphery, and with death threats, muggings and even kidnappings no longer uncommon, it pays to invest in a quality security service now more than ever before.
Having said this, even some celebrities seem to remain oblivious to the risks, and are often seen embarking upon solo outings in London, even in the dead of night. It might be a refreshing sight, but often, the real extent of any possible danger lurks unseen – and such pursuits might equally be seen as foolish when there is quite so much at stake.
In Paris, however, attitudes to personal safety have shifted in recent years following a spate of vicious and high-profile attacks that left the one per cent reeling. This has included the plight of Indian Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat, who was attacked by three masked men, as well as the violent burglary and assault on Kim Kardashian, which took place at her Paris holiday home.
From terrorism to political unrest, all manner of daily happenings can serve to aggravate the peace, and you never quite know what’s around the corner. Hiring a bodyguard, it seems, is no longer simply a luxury, and is becoming more and more essential for those at potential risk.
“At Spetsnaz Security International, our priority is to make high net and affluent individuals feel safe and protected in every situation, so that they never need to worry about their personal safety,” says Matola.
“In Monaco, we provide close bodyguard protection to VIPs, executives, families, and anyone else who might be at risk, and after carrying out a detailed security threat assessment, we create a comprehensive strategy that is designed not only to keep them effectively protected, but also to give them peace of mind.
“Our trustworthy, exclusive operatives are of the highest possible calibre and will provide protection as required, which, depending on the situation, might be an obvious and overt presence to deter would-be criminals from approaching, or take a more discrete and covert approach.
“Essentially, we tailor the service we provide to the individual needs of each client. There are various different reasons why someone might want to hire a bodyguard, and they are not necessarily the same for everyone.”
Why hire a bodyguard?
From holding impressive fortunes or carrying sensitive and valuable information, to simply being famous, there are indeed a multitude of reasons that one might be considered at risk. Politicians and MPs, members of the royal family, recording artists and high-profile actors have all, at some point, fallen victim to some manner of attack – whether it’s an attempt to scam them or access their bank accounts, or simply the over-amorous approach of a crazed fan.
Children of particularly affluent families are often the subject of unwanted attention, with ransom kidnappings not uncommon – and these days, more wealthy parents than ever are hiring bodyguards to take their children to and from school safely and to keep them out of harm’s way.
“At Spetsnaz, we’ve looked after all kinds of different clients, of all ages – although of course, due to confidentiality, we’d never reveal whom. And each of them has come with a unique set of circumstances to which we have gone out of our way to cater to,” says Matola.
“All of our close Protection Operatives adhere to a strict regime which puts the privacy and reputation of our clients first. Each operative is UK Government vetted and SIA Close Protection licensed, and has received extensive training to ensure that only the very highest standards of services are met. From children to teenagers, adults to the elderly, whatever the situation requires, we can cater to it, and our team is fully equipped to do so, whatever the situation or reason.”
For the wealthy individual, such high standards are expected – and why not? As they say, you get what you pay for, and if you’re willing to pay out for the best services money can buy, then you certainly won’t be disappointed.
Offering an unwaveringly professional approach – from the polished dress code to on-point etiquette – in accordance with the cultural, political and religious environment into which they are deployed, it’s little wonder that Spetsnaz has won itself a legion of loyal fans and life-long customers.
Hiring a private bodyguard, it seems, is no longer reserved for the A-List alone, and is fast becoming an essential investment for anyone considered to be at high risk. In 2021, we can expect to see a further spike in this trend as the world returns to relative normality following the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with the rich and famous back on the streets and temptation at an all time high.