Having close contact with a celebrity client almost 24/7 seems like a lot of fun. You will never get close to your favorite celebrity like the bodyguard can, apart from the family and friends at least.
But the job of a personal security agent is nothing like what you imagine—simply put, your agent can’t be your friend.
Doing so would get in the way of maintaining the professional relationship, which will in turn jeopardize your agent’s career. This is why it’s disturbing to see news about certain bodyguards getting too close to their clients and even posting pictures and videos with them on social media.
Elite executive protection agencies will never tolerate such behavior, and agents who violate this code of conduct will be relieved of their positions immediately.
Keeping things professional and maintaining a distance is only one of the requirements for being an executive protection agent. There’s a lot more to being a physical barrier against anyone wishing to harm a client.
Professional Security Agent
To debunk other myths about these “buddyguards,” below are a few facts on what it’s actually like to be a professional security agent.
Agents aren’t all built like bulky wrestlers
We all know the stereotype of the typical bodyguard that we usually see at clubs: they’re usually at least six feet tall, have a bulky muscular body with biceps that can squeeze the life out of you.
A security agent does not always have to be this big in reality, at least for elite executive protection agents. In fact, the client does have the freedom to choose the body type of their agents. If they want agents that will not stick out and attract attention, then they will get regular-looking guys in plain clothes and an earpiece.
Agents rarely rely on guns and/or physical force
Actually, these are pretty much useless most of the time. Security agents may or may not be armed, depending on the situation.
Kent Moyer, former bodyguard for Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and many celebrity clients over 20 years, now he is the president and CEO of The World Protection Group, says that a security expert has already failed if he has to resort to gun usage. “People don’t understand this is not a business where we fight or draw guns. We are trained to cover and evacuate and get out of harm’s way. The goal is no use of force,” he said.
Agents do not enjoy the celebrity lifestyle
It’s easy to assume that security agents get all the perks of the celebrity lifestyle as part of their job. It’s a misconception, because a true security professional does not do that. They get to ride the private jet, but they don’t enjoy the amenities. They may live on the compound, but they don’t use the pool and help themselves on the bar. Agents who do get to enjoy such perks usually don’t last long on the job.
Agents aren’t just for show
There are times that a celebrity has no need for protection as there is no actual threat. However, they want the status that comes with being seen with an intimidating team of security agents. They will actually call the agencies and request to have several agents around, even if they are perfectly safe.
The difference is that elite executive protection companies do not accept such requests, because the company provides real protection and does not send agents just for show.
Agents shy away from social media
If they can have it their way, agents would prefer their celebrity clients to refrain from posting on social media, especially if it involves their routines, travels, and events. Attackers can take note of the time and places and make plans to harm the celebrity.
But there are celebrities who will refuse to be controlled in terms of sharing on social media, violating confidentiality and agents have no choice but to shield their charges as best as they can.
Agents are sometimes paid for by production companies
Another thing that gets easily assumed is that celebrities always pay for their own security, which is not really the case.
The thing is, a lot of them can’t afford the rates of full-time protection, especially elite services. In this case, the bill is being footed by the studio which handles the movie or TV show that the celebrity is working on at the moment.
Once the project is over, the protection is also over or if it continues, the celebrity is only getting basic security.
Agents can be hired to protect a client from his employees
This scenario may seem farfetched, but think of the tension that comes with employee layoffs. Companies are anxious about workplace violence occurring during terminations.
Angry employees may come back and retaliate, so security agents are hired to make sure that the executives are safe from such threats. Employees who are let go are monitored discreetly to make sure he will not do anything violent.
Agents can help a client’s day become more efficient
It’s not just physical protection from bodily harm that agents do for their clients—they also contribute to the clients’ efficiency and productivity. For instance, agents can get a client inside a building easily, give directions to the bathrooms and other locations that a client may need to go to.
Of course, not all agents are trained to do this. This is the kind of service that clients can expect from agents provided by an elite executive protection group.
Agents prefer not being called “bodyguards” or security guard
This isn’t meant to disrespect those who do use the term; simply put, there are men who get security gigs even though their qualifications are sorely limited to their size and draw a gun.
Those who refer to themselves as executive protection agents have undergone training comparable to the standards of the U.S. Secret Service or the military. In fact, a lot of these elite agents were former agents or military men.
As a celebrity or high net worth individual, you need the level of protection that only an executive protection agency can provide. Their agents are truly the best in the business, trained in all kinds of dangerous scenarios and maintain a friendly but professional relationship with clients.