When you're the high profile head of a global investment bank, you can't simply walk down the street on your own. You need protection: executive protection.
At Goldman Sachs, Robert Burns, a former sergeant with the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force and police officer with 21 years' service has been offering 'executive protection' to senior GS staff for the past 12 years. Working alongside him are the likes of Karl Breitenbach, a former detective with the NYPD. Globally, Goldman's executive protection program is run by Timothy McPartlin, a former sergeant with the New York Police Department's intelligence division.
Goldman Sachs isn't the only bank with an executive protection facility. J.P. Morgan has been advertising for an executive protection specialist to drive Jamie Dimon. 'Defensive and reactive skills' are required, as are 10 years of law enforcement work.
Executive protection in banks is a hot career if you're an ex-police officer looking for a corporate life. It's also an option if you've left the army and are looking for something new. Most banks now run their own recruitment programmes for ex-forces personnel who often go into operational roles. Simon Treadgold of Orion Consultancy, a recruitment firm, once specialized in placing ex-army officers into senior operations jobs in investment banks. Now, he says he places them into protection and security jobs instead.
Much as elsewhere in banking, there's a tendency for executive protection types to move from one job to another. Richard McLean, an ex-warrant officer in the British army and former security manager at Bank of America now works in the office of global security at Goldman Sachs. A whole new banking career path has opened up.