IntlSOS 30 Years - From East to West - Page 99

05 A Changing World | Joint Venture with Control Risks
Major Milestone
Joint Venture with Control Risks,
2008 – Securing Our Future
Established in 1975, Control Risks is the world’s
leading independent business risk consultancy. Its
large team of expert consultants provide advice
and support about strategic, operational and
reputational risks to companies across the world.
While we were often asked by customers to
strengthen our security offering, Control Risks
found that many of its customers were suggesting
that they should also provide medical advice and
assistances services. In the autumn of 2006 Richard
Fenning, Control Risks CEO, contacted Arnaud
proposing a chat. They met for lunch at the River
Café by the Thames in London and so began a long
series of discussions via email & phone. We shared
many of the same clients and, whilst our core
businesses were different, there was a place in the
middle where we overlapped. Ours was primarily a
medical company and Control Risks had a strong
focus on security; neither wanted to undertake the
core business of the other, but clients wanted a
broader service. Arnaud and Richard Fenning
agreed to meet in that middle ground.
In early 2007 they signed a Memorandum of
Understanding. Teams from both companies then
came together to start planning. This first project
meeting was held at the Apex Hotel in London.
Laurent Sabourin, Tim Daniel and David Cameron
were all closely involved. As Tim explains, it was
“very complicated with lots of moving parts to
think about, including organising a joint venture
(JV).” In September 2007 the Heads of Agreement
were signed and in January 2008 the JV was
announced. David Cameron ran the JV at the start
which was, Tim adds, “a very challenging task.”
Richard Fenning, CEO, Control Risks
“The alliance integrated the security operations of
both companies at the point of delivery giving our
clients high quality risk assessment combined with
an on-the-ground response.”
The JV consisted of a joint operating unit, Travel
Security Services. All the travel security people
from Control Risks plus all our security people
joined together to form a highly specialised team,
more than a hundred strong, making it the biggest
such team in the world. A 24/7 Global Security
Desk, based in London, became the hub of all
activity, supported by regional security centres and
a Global Information Centre, was set up in New
Delhi, to report on any travel security threats and
travel disruptions. Both companies already had
sophisticated software to track travellers anywhere
in the world. Work immediately began to combine
these, resulting in TravelTracker which became the
leading software of its type.
Our two companies have a strategic alliance to
support our respective clients, by offering each
other’s services to those clients. For example, we
offer Travel Risk Awareness Training and Control
Risks provides Hostile Environment Training for
people going to hostile places. As appropriate, we
offer the latter to our clients, on behalf of Control
Risks, to complement our own training.
Tim points out that “the strategic alliance was a
vital experience in showing us how we could find
like-minded people and create constructive working
relationships with them. Being self-sufficient had
been a huge benefit in the early years, but as we grew
we needed to adopt other approaches to offer an
even broader service. This alliance taught us a lot about
how to “conduct JVs and acquisitions efficiently.”
Arnaud Vaissié: “We could see that in a crisis our
clients wanted both medical and security advice.
Bringing together the two leaders in the field
created a world leader.”


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