For the first of our Security and Resilience Briefings of 2014 we were grateful for the use of the excellent facilities at Salamanca Square, the London Headquarters of ADS Group Ltd.  Forty or so members of the security sector gathered together in order to hear presentations given by influential representatives from the Home Office, UKTI DSO, ADS Group, MEI, Crisis Cast and Finmeccanica.

Following a welcome address by Piers Lawson, Client Relationship Director of MEI we were privileged to hear a joint presentation given by Stephen Phipson, Director Industry Engagement, OSCT, Home Office and Simon Everest, Senior Security Adviser, UKTI DSO.  The messages emanating from these excellent presentations were of more coordination and cohesion across departments within Whitehall, greater ministerial support for export initiatives and a determination to support SMEs within the security sector as part of the efforts being made to raise the international market share held by the UK security industry.  There was talk of more overseas engagement, of growth partnerships, an increase in government to government work and the development of the UK security brand.

Bob Rose, Director, Security at ADS Group then gave a very clear explanation of who ADS are and what they could do for businesses within the UK security sector.  Bob highlighted the excellent relationship they have with HMG and how they support the delivery of government policy.  He emphasized the help they offer with procurement and their engagement with industry through their special interest groups and bespoke member briefings.  He finished with a ‘plug’ for EMSEC 2014 in Dubai supporting his recommendation with some very impressive figures demonstrating the business achieved by attendees in November 2013.

After the break Dennis Mills, CEO MEI and Marco Alves, Associate Director Security, MEI gave a joint presentation on the current situation and opportunities for the security sector in Brazil.  Marco, who has set up and run a successful security consultancy in Brazil encouraged those looking at Brazil to consider the N/E and Northern regions, away from the more popular states of Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro.  It is within these regions that the crime figures are highest and it is within these regions that the highest rate of industrial and commercial development is taking place.  Marco also emphasized the importance of the imminent general election and the opportunities that will come following the election of new state and regional governments.

We were then given a short introduction to the work of Crisis Cast Ltd by their Managing Director, Brian Mitchell, who demonstrated their training technique with a short imaginary scenario involving one of their specialist role-play actors seated amongst the audience.  Crisis Cast provide crisis response and disaster management training to the security services and a wider client base within the educational and corporate sectors.  Carol Morey, Operations Director at Hanover Associates (UK) Ltd, introduced her company and explained the very close working relationship that they have with Crisis Cast.  Hanover Associates offer training and consultancy services in global emergency management response.

Finally it was left to the expertise and presentational skills of Sir Brian Burridge, VP Strategic Marketing at Finmeccanica, to give the audience a very apt and insightful summing up which was delivered in the form of a eight clear messages.  His advisory master class was the result of 8 years working for a prime contractor heavily involved in major events.  His lessons were:


  1.  One size does not fit all.  Every major event is a separate challenge.
  2. Understand the Organising Committees/the client and create a trusting relationship.
  3. Start learning straight away.  Time pressures will be huge.
  4. Get a vision of what is required but be prepared for constant changes in demand.
  5. The constant growth of the global TV audience for major events will increase the international terror threat, wherever the event takes place.
  6. Have a realistic budget.
  7. Teamwork – bring all sector heads to the table right from the start.
  8. Guard your brand and reputation.  The risks are high.


We finished the event with a drinks reception during which some valuable net-working took place.  We would like to thank ADS for their support and the use of their venue.  We would also like to thank our partners Halo Financial and Security Buyer for their involvement and presence at the event.  All the presentations can be viewed on our website at Direct Download and Page Link.

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