Episode 206 – Spending for Secure Transportation Continues to Increase

Facebook security spending is in the news again. Facebook’s parent company Meta, spent $26.8 million on security and private jets for Mark Zuckerberg, according to their 2021 Security and Exchange Commission Schedule 14a filing. 

2021 Meta SCHEDULE 14A Proxy Statement.

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The SEC Report Details

The SEC Report mentions that in 2021 $15,195,103 was spent for residential security and personal travel security pursuant to Mr. Zuckerberg’s overall security program. Of importance to those who supply secure transportation services to the corporate and High Net Worth community is that a substantial portion of that 26.8 million, 57% to be exact, went to supplying residential and secure transportation services – and this is not new news; corporate and HNW sector of the market has been supplying these services to their executives for decades. What is new and noteworthy is that in the past 3 years there has been a significant increase in corporate spending on residential and secure transportation.

Year over Year Increased Security Spending

Looking back from last year to 2018, the then Facebook/now Meta SEC fillings reported that they spent approximately $15,195,103 in 2021 – $13,439,634 in 2020 – $10,463,717 in 2019, and $9,956,847 in 2018, respectively, for costs related to personal security for Mr. Zuckerberg at his residences and during personal travel pursuant to Mr. Zuckerberg’s overall security program. That is a 51.7% increase in cost from 2018 to 2021.

Not Just Zuckerberg Security

Mark Zuckerberg is not the only Meta executive that receives the benefit of residential security and secure transportation. Meta also spent close to nine million dollars in 2021 protecting COO Mrs. Sandberg while at home and while traveling. The approximate nine million spent in 2021 represent a 17.5% increase from 2020 – approximately a 100% increase from 2019, and an incredible 200% increase from 2018.

The combined amount spent to protect Mr. Zuckerberg and Mrs. Sandberg while at the residence and secure transportation is approximately 24 million dollars.

What Caught Our Attention

But that’s not the number that caught our attention. Since 2018 Facebook/Meta has increased their spending on residents’ security and secure transportation by 87%.

These numbers represent the corporate community; hence they represent the corporate sector of the profession, which we would agree is growing, but that does not mean that the other sectors of the profession are growing in the Executive Protection and Secure Transportation area. 

Breaking Down the Numbers

The International Security Driver Association analyzed the 2021 Facebook SEC 14A filing numbers and presented them in a different manner. We looked at the amount of money spent by Meta in the year 2021 and did some quick calculations as to how much was spent per hour and per day on personal security for the Facebook Executive.

From the 2021 filings, if you assume a 365-day coverage – the fifteen plus million for personal protection works out to over $41,000 a day, and if you use a 24-hour day, that works out to over $1700 an hour.

Will Clients Spend Money on Personal Security?

For those that write and post that the client will not spend the money for personal security – here is one company that spends over $41,000 a day to protect one executive. When you add the cost to protect Mrs. Sandberg, the cost moves up to close to $66,000 a day to protect two executives, and that amount is for residential security and secure transportation only.

Meta spends more than half of its security budget and keeps its top two executives safe at home and when traveling. Like all decisions that corporations in high-net-worth individuals make, there is a logic behind their decisions to spend their money, including personal security.

IRS Regulation 132

The logic behind Facebook spending 58% of its security budget on residential security and secure transportation can be found in IRS regulation 132. We suggest that those professionals involved in Secure Transportation get a firm understanding of this regulation.

An excellent place to start would be reading chapter 12, page 136 of Joe Autera’s book the Professional Guide to Planning, Managing, and Providing Secure Transportation.

Not Just Meta Increasing Secure Transportation Spending

In 2021, we analyzed the 2020 SEC filings of six Fortune 100 companies and came up with total spending of a little over 21 million dollars on personal security, which works out to $57,770 a day (365 days) and $2407/hour (24 Hours). 

The six-company sample showed an increase of a whopping 64% from 2018 to 2020 and 42% from 2019 to 2020. As with Meta, these six companies spent a majority of their security budget on residential security and secure transportation, as with Meta, the catalyst for these companies was IRS 132.

The result of our research is that the Corporate Community spends a considerable amount of money on residential security and secure transportation. Executive Protection – Secure Transportation has and, in our opinion, will always be their business model, and it has been that way for decades.

Corporate Community Spends Their Training Dollars on Secure Transportation

Also, history shows that secure transportation is where they spend a majority of their training dollars. If you, by chance, review the IRS code, you will find that protective driver training is the only skill that the IRS requires. There is no mention of executive protection training, shooting, or martial arts, just protective driver training. The fact that the IRS singles out protected driver training, is called a clue, and in our opinion, those that do not heed that clue are clueless.

A Business Model that has Worked for Decades

The purpose of collecting this data is to point out that a business model has been in place and used by the corporate and HNW community for decades. This model explains the financial decision-making process used to determine their security and training budget.

We point this out because there seems to be an abundance of social media posts that mention that the market does not want to pay for good Security.

That may be true in the sub-subcontractor sector of the market. Unfortunately, there are no metrics that supply data and numbers covering that sector of the market. 

Experience Skills and Knowledge

So the next question that needs to be answered is – High net worth individuals are spending this amount of money on personal security; what are the qualifications to work in this sector? Or what are the Experience, Skills, and Knowledge (ESK) those hired to supply these services must possess? Always keeping mind that it is the client who decides the ESK you need to work for them, not the training providers- or the latest Ep secure transportation guru.

We mentioned this due to, again, some of the comments we see on social media. These comments question the corporations’ hiring practices, going as far as to say they don’t know what they are doing when it comes to Executive Protection and Secure Transportation.

Since our history working in this sector of the profession goes back to the mid-’70s, we can say with a great deal of confidence that these companies have been hiring EP and secure transportation providers for decades; they know what works and, more important, what does not work. As with any business, they look for practitioners and service providers that have the ESK that meets their requirements.

Security Driving and Executive Protection aren’t Marketing Terms

It is imperative that we mention the following, Security Driving and Executive Protection are not marketing terms. They are a statement of skill. We are approaching 50 years in the profession, and it is astonishing the number of training providers who dismiss this sector of the profession. History has shown that the path to higher wages is to gain an understanding of the ESK needed by the RHC. RHC is defined as the person’s name in the Right-Hand Corner (RHC) of the check. Keep in mind that the RHC is the person that gives you money – training providers are the people that take your money. Listen to the person that gives you money. Ensure that those that take your money are supplying the right ESK that those who will give you money are willing to pay for – there are training providers out there that meet that criteria.

Skills Gap

What are the ESKs this sector of the market is looking for? To answer that question a few years back, we used Zip Recruiter and Indeed to research the job market, we came up with data that clearly indicated that there is a Skills Gap that is preventing many practitioners from reaching their maximum earning potential. 

A Skills Gap is defined as the difference between what the market wants and what is available for skill. This is a common problem in all industries. In an attempt to better understand the Skills Gap that exists in the Executive Protection/Secure Transportation profession, we researched the job market. Our goal was to data-mine the skills, education, and/or training and experience that are the most sought after by the Executive Protection Secure Transportation job market. 

The data was acquired by reviewing job offers from 60 companies that represent various industries.  The data collected represents full-time employment job offers only.

This is an Outline of Our Skills Gap Study Results

For the Experience portion of the ESK

The average experience required was five years. 99.93% of the companies required experience. The years of experience ranged from no experience required to 15 years of experience required. The type of experience varied in accordance with the position. 

This should be no surprise. Common sense dictates that you need the experience to get work in this sector or, for that matter, any sector of the security profession.

It is unfathomable to think that a Director of Security for a corporation or HNW individual would hire an inexperienced individual.

The type of experience most often required was a combination of LEO and Military and/or combinations of both. They represented close to 50% of the type of experience required.

College Educated

By far, the most sought-after education was a college degree – 40.7%. This was the most sought-after requirement other than experience. This should not be a surprise. All higher-level positions require a college education. We strongly suggest that those who will be using their GI Bill for education consider a college degree. What we found interesting was that most of the job descriptions did not specify what type of degree. 

You or Your Company are a Business

We end this podcast episode by reminding our audience of an undeniable fact that many seem to overlook. You or your company are a business.

Whether you are relatively new or have been in the profession for some time; whether you are a sole practitioner looking for the next job; a security provider looking for the next customer or client, or a trainer looking for the next student – you or your company are a business.

Your Business Model Governs your Future in the Profession

And, as a business, you operate within a Business Model. Your Business Model governs your future in the profession. Noted business author Peter Drucker defines a Business Model as the answer to these questions: Who is your customer, what does the customer/client value, and how do you deliver value at an appropriate cost? It does not get more complicated than that.

We suggest you sit with pen in hand and write your Business Model – DO NOT allow a training provider to set the foundation for your Model.

Who is your customer?

If you are new to the profession, that question would be,” What sector of the protection market will I concentrate on” We recommended reading Chuck Randolph’s article on the Five Slices of the Protection Business.

What does the customer/client value? 

Devote time to learning the answer to this question. Research EP Job listings; examine what the market wants.

How do you deliver value at an appropriate cost? This may be the hardest question to answer, but invest the time and get the answer. Do not subscribe to the Social Media theory that clients will not pay for exceptional service.

Also, if you are supplying Secure Transportation services to the Corporate Sector, we suggest you look into a company’s Security Exchange Commission (SEC) SCHEDULE 14A.

Finding Opportunities 

If you are looking for job opportunities, whether to get your foot in the door or take your career to the next level, the only person who can find the right opportunity for you is you. You understand better than anyone your experience level and skill set, your desired niche, market, and location, and most importantly, the position you want and the companies you hope to work with.

You must do the research. Who is doing what, and where? What qualifications do employers and hiring managers look for? What skills are most sought after? What are the needs of the industry? 

Before going on the job hunt, you have to answer these questions:

  • What do I do?
  • What qualifies me to do it?
  • Who have I done it for?

Before answering these questions, read the poem” The Man in the Glass”. Answer the questions honestly and from your heart. Don’t cheat the man in the glass.

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