Why valuable-asset companies should put their people first

12 September 2016

The days where a criminal would use a truck to pull an ATM off the wall are largely behind us. When it comes to attacking valuable-asset companies, criminals always go for the easiest target. And as companies update their technology and security measures, they too adapt to find new weaknesses.

So, risks are now more cyber-oriented and technology is much more central to risk mitigation – whether it be enhancements in number plate recognition or personalised technology, such as biometrics.

But we also need to remember that lot of valuable-asset security still comes down to people. Take the Hatton Gardens jewellery heist, for instance, which was likely based on insider information. So the recruitment and continued training and vetting of your workforce is vitally important. Unengaged or dissatisfied workers are a threat to your business.


If you recruit good people, treat them well and train them correctly, you are building a stronger asset. In optimising your workforce as a form of risk mitigation, you may need to consider a range of measures, including refresher training courses and checks and procedures. Our clients are also investing more in programmes to improve the engagement and wellbeing of employees.

The challenges are often amplified if you have offices spread over several countries. Recruitment and management needs to reflect the company’s broader values but also the culture of the society in which each office is based. It’s usually expedient to recruit from a range of different backgrounds – such as technology, the military and finance – to avoid dependence on any single talent pool. And recruitment of significant numbers from the local community adds to the all-important sense of identity and loyalty.


New entries by insurers into the Fine Art and Jewellery sector has resulted in the most competitive market that we’ve seen in the last 20 or 30 years. It’s a good time to buy insurance. But there’s one caveat: it may take only couple of big losses to affect the appetite of some new syndicates and your programme needs long-term resilience. So we advise you to take a good look at your insurer. Have they got a strong balance sheet? Do they have a keen knowledge of the business? And a responsive attitude to claims?

You also need to keep your insurer up to speed on your investment in security. Having done the hard work of investing in your people, as well as technology, don’t forget to tell your broker and insurer about it. It could make a substantial difference to the cost of your policy and to your breadth of coverage.

For further information, please contact Barry Vickery, Senior Partner, Fine Art, Jewellery and Specie on +44 (0)20 7528 4598.