Tag Archives: vip protection

Industry Spotlight: EP Agent Hans van Beuge

Icon – Behind the Bodyguard Business holds a spotlight where we feature someone in the Executive Protection, Security or Investigation industry.  Our hope is to provide some insight into our profession and also show newcomers & the media that people from all walks of life and all parts of the globe do this type of work with honor and pride.   No it’s not like the movies, but it can be rewarding, thrilling, and yes, sometimes fun.

Below is an excerpt of my interview with veteran Executive Protection Agent, Hans van Beuge Principal Partner of SAVIOR.


Agent Name: Hans van Beuge
Company Name
Home city / Country: Australia
Contact info: (email/phone number) hans@saviorservices.com int + 61 418 553 363

How long have you been in the Protection Industry

My career began in 1970 as an 18year old. This was well before any licensing or training accreditation was necessary. I was recruited to work for a company that provided security for Rock venues and Festivals and quickly progressed to tour/personal security for various bands and artists.

Can you give our readers a little bit of your background?

I started doing security work to support myself as an aspiring athlete. I was a Shot Putter in the Australian Athletic Team.  I was 6’6” and 240lb at 18 and about 265lb by the time I was 20.  Back then most of the guys protecting entertainers were martial artists or former boxers or wrestlers.  Muscle and physicality were seen as the only prerequisite at the time, however that’s definitely how I got my break into the industry.

Knowing how difficult it is to build a strong, long term base in EP work, what specific skills/traits make you marketable to potential clients?

I think it’s really necessary to determine which areas of Protection you are best suited for.  In this profession you can work in the Government, Military, PSD, Corporate (from CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies to small business owners), or for Wealthy Individuals, Entertainers (encompassing actors, rock bands, individual singers, rappers, models etc) and professional athletes. Although the principles of protection remain the same, the perspectives vary enormously depending in which field you work. Very few guys can transition successfully between all areas.

With the killing of John Lennon in 1980, the Hinckley/Reagan/Foster incident in early ’81 and a host of other high profile attacks on celelebrities around then , I came to the conclusion that the greatest hazard to entertainers was going to be coming from those mentally disordered individuals who for whatever demented reason seek connection with the famous.

I started to study psychology and read and researched as much material as available to understand the mind set of the types of offenders who pose a risk to my clients. I did as many courses as possible and started to interface with clinical psychiatrists and psychologists to workshop ideas and share my on the ground experiences with their more often textbook experience.

Behavioral prediction became a greater and greater aspect of the services I provided and eventually I started to market myself as a “Violence Consultant” rather than a “Bodyguard” to reflect this shift in focus. I also found it a rather untapped area for offering advice as it was in an area that Law Enforcement had no expertise in and the Mental Health authorities had little interest in.

I know that you have some pretty extensive experience dealing with the paparazzi as it relates to celebrity clients.  What do you think are some effective ways to deal with aggressive photographers?

Well, no security or safety program designed for a client is complete unless you have a plan to counter or minimize the invasive/aggressive/illegal intrusions of the tabloid media.  My advice:  Understand what each particular client’s attitude is towards the paparazzi.   Some are nonchalant about them; others want their privacy protected at all costs and most have a love/hate relationship. No matter what their opinion of the paparazzi, I’ve never yet met a client who didn’t want to be advised of the presence/position of paparazzi before a photo was taken.

To someone coming up after you in the industry, what advice would you give?

To strive for professionalism in their work.  We see so many people in this industry who lack any vestige of professional demeanor or behavior. Conduct yourself in a professional manner, be well presented and attired, be dignified and be knowledgeable about as many areas of security as possible. Your Clients are going to look to you for answers to all kinds of security issues.  Remember that we are in a service industry. Treat your client as the boss, you are there to support them, they are not there to enhance your career.


For the full interview of my Q&A with Hans van Beuge, check the back issues of The Circuit – The Magazine for Bodyguards, by clicking HERE.

CPC Round-Up

ICON CPC-08/09 Alumni
ICON CPC-08/09 Alumni

Today marked the end of the August Celebrity Protection Course, and despite the massive information overload, the repetitive drills, the long hours and the “surprises” thrown in, I think everyone enjoyed themselves.  The guys (and girls) worked hard and i’m really looking forward to tracking their progress through the Executive Protection industry.  It’s a competitive market, so it won’t be easy, but if it was, then anyone could do it.


To sign up for future course dates, click HERE.

Executive Protection Training: Day 1

icon training 2

Day one of the Icon Celebrity & VIP Protection Training Course completed.

Building blocks.

4 more days to go…

For information on the next training course, click HERE.

“The Circuit” The Magazine for Bodyguards

The Circuit Issue 1
The Circuit Issue 1


There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding the latest issue of “The Circuit” Magazine,  a publication put together by the good folks at the British Bodyguard Association (of which yours truly is a member).  Now on issue 4 , I was fortunate enough to be interviewed during their inaugural issue regarding the Executive Protection industry and the challenges that brought me to this point.  Below is an outtake of the interview from that issue.  To find out how to get a free copy of the latest issue, email info@industry-icon.com.  

The Circuit Summer 08_Elijah_spread (Click twice on the link to read.)

Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder?

The Nation.com is reporting in an article written by Jermey Scahill

“A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company’s owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” and that Prince’s companies “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.”

In their testimony, both men also allege that Blackwater was smuggling weapons into Iraq. One of the men alleges that Prince turned a profit by transporting “illegal” or “unlawful” weapons into the country on Prince’s private planes. They also charge that Prince and other Blackwater executives destroyed incriminating videos, emails and other documents and have intentionally deceived the US State Department and other federal agencies. The identities of the two individuals were sealed out of concerns for their safety.

These allegations, and a series of other charges, are contained in sworn affidavits, given under penalty of perjury, filed late at night on August 3 in the Eastern District of Virginia as part of a seventy-page motion by lawyers for Iraqi civilians suing Blackwater for alleged war crimes and other misconduct. Susan Burke, a private attorney working in conjunction with the Center for Constitutional Rights, is suing Blackwater in five separate civil cases filed in the Washington, DC, area. They were recently consolidated before Judge T.S. Ellis III of the Eastern District of Virginia for pretrial motions. Burke filed the August 3 motion in response to Blackwater’s motion to dismiss the case. Blackwater asserts that Prince and the company are innocent of any wrongdoing and that they were professionally performing their duties on behalf of their employer, the US State Department.”

For the full story click HERE.

Powerful and potentially damaging allegations.  It will be intersting to see how this plays out.  (Thank you Kerry for bring the story to my attention.)

Book Alleges Secret Service Cannot Protect Obama


The President on the steps of the Washington Monument
The President on the steps of the Washington Monument

“The U.S. Secret Service has cut corners in ways that may have jeopardized the safety of President Obama, according to a new book by a veteran Washington journalist and author, Ron Kessler.  The book, “In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect,” details instances of “laxness in how they protect” Obama.

Wow.  Powerful allegations.  I’ll reserve passing any judgement until I read the entire book myself.  However, I will say that having had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Obama on multiple occasions (from when he was a rising star Senator, to his current role as Commander in Chief) and liaising with his staff, the agents entrusted with his safety have always appeared attentive and mission-focused.    I did have some concerns during my time the inauguration– the sheer size and magnitude could have been nothing but overwhelming –but was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to bring them up to key parties.  

One thing I will say is that the men and women of the United States Secret Service have a very demanding job and one that allows zero margin for error. Lopsided or not, a book like this will surely light a fire that will make some take a closer look at any deficiencies for the greater good.  

The book is due on shelves August 4th. 

At the Presidential Inauguration
At the Presidential Inauguration

Avoiding Bodyguard Training & Employment Scams

I recently learned about a certain website that has been marketing themselves as offering the training courses taught by me as well as several of my peers in the industry.  The kicker is, they give the impression that they are teaching these classes &  lure potential students in by giving them the illusion of guaranteed jobs after the successful completion of the course. 

To add insult to injury, they put their fee on top of the existing course fee, meaning that the class you could have signed up for directly is now several hundred dollars more.  

Needless to say they’ll be hearing from me. *Personally*

Unfortunately, scams like this are nothing new to the Internet, it’s just now starting to make it’s way into the Executive Protection industry.   People prey on unsuspecting individuals by promising them things that are almost too good to be true.  You know what they say, if it sounds too good, it usually is. 

My good friend Harlan Austin at Bodyguard Careers recently did an article on avoiding scams and I’d recommend everyone check it out by clicking  HERE.

ICON VIP Protection Course
ICON VIP Protection Course

Celebrity Stalking Increasing?

ICON VIP Protection Course Training

Tyra Banks: Stalker gets 1 year of probation.

Britney Spears: Awarded restraining order against stalker. The stalker was arrested around the singers home wearing camouflage clothing.

Maria Sharapova: Her suspected stalker has been showing up repeatedly to the public tennis matches.

*The above photo is from the ICON Celebrity & VIP Protection Training Course. Have the students spotted the stalker? For more information click HERE.

Bodyguards Defend Queens Granddaughter

Princess Eugenie, granddaugher to the Queen of England was caught up in a mugging while traveling through Cambodia on vacation. The Princess was rescued by her two bodyguards who fended of the gang of bandits. For the full story click HERE.

The story reads that the thieves were allowed to escape, which illustrates a point in Executive Protection that the Bodyguard’s primary responsibility is to evacuate the client from danger. Sure it would have been great to capture the criminals but in my opinion these guys did exactly that they were trained to do.