Very Private Meeting

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Very Private Meeting

One of our charges has come up with a very unique way of conducting private meetings.  It is not often we learn something new from a client. Please do not take this as a sign of arrogance or indifference but one of reality, as we are saturated with the experiences of all of our team members and clients over many years.

Alphonso, we use this name because it is not his name, has contrived a unique way to have private meetings.

Alphonso travels a great deal, 200,000 a year or better, and negotiates some very unusual contracts for large corporations and wealthy individuals.  Much of the work we do with him is to insure nearly no one knows where he is going to be at any given time.  His threat is knowledge of his whereabouts – not physical security, per se. Even his arrival in a city, can spawn speculation as to who he might be meeting and what he might be doing.  While his travel plans are private his calendar is not always so private for he must manage his time and his meetings and coordinate with the schedules of those whom he is going to meet.

His tactic is simple, he meets other parties, and whether they be clients or professionals is restricted public or semi public locations.

For example, Alphonso met with a professional from London at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.  They walked from exhibit to exhibit, enjoying not only the art, but also the setting for the meeting.  The counterparty to this meeting was told of the time of the meeting and 45 min before the meeting was told of the location of the meeting.  It was a very private meeting as few were around and the museum offered plenty of private space both inside and outside without being overheard or recognized.

A second meeting was held at the NYPD Police museum, with a follow up conference on the Staten Island Ferry.  The initial meeting was at the museum and when the parties agreed it was time to include two other parties held in waiting near by, they met and concluded the negotiations on the John F. Kennedy Staten Island Ferry.

He has also held meetings in the Prado Museum, Roman Forum, Museum of Asian Culture in Singapore and our favorite – Disneyland, Paris.

Alphonso’s free wheeling style is not only very secure for communications the sheer randomness of the meeting locations, engineered at his request, adds yet another layer to the “where’s Alphono puzzle”.

We use local agents, as advance team members, to look for places that are both public and offer opportunities for privacy.  These locations are communicated via a very private method we choose not to share and only his Sr. Executive Professional knows the location. When the location is chosen and release to the EP team, another advance team arrives equipped anti eavesdropping technology. When Alphonso or his meeting mates arrive locations with the destination are suggested via a well-placed whisper and off they go.

Alphonso’s situation is very unique, but any person looking for some privacy and anonymity as well as a bit of culture can use this technique.

A similar technique can been used when a meeting has been called for a specific location.  I was to meet a gentleman in the lobby of the St Regis Hotel and as normal I was a few minutes early.  At precisely the meeting time I was paged to come to the phone.  My client was on the phone and changed the meeting location to the Pierre, a hotel very near by, but different.  This technique is also very good at hindering electronic surveillance.


This Executive Protection article was written or edited by Baron James Shortt, theExecutive Director of the IBA.

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