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CRJ – Risk management in the Middle East and beyond

Emily Hough speaks to Anthony J Tesar about how he enjoys working in the Middle East, with its challenges that range from terrorism and threats from various political and religious factions, to local geopolitical rifts.

Anthony Tesar started his independent specialist security and risk management consultancy Le Beck International – which specialises in the Middle East and North Africa region – in 2001. “I came to the Middle East in 2004, following the compound bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,” he says. This was a pivotal moment, Tesar observes, as one of the of the most secure and crime free countries in the world: “Suddenly became under threat, and it was never going to be the same again. “We moved our offices to Bahrain to set up our regional hub with dedicated offices in Riyadh and Jeddah,” he adds.

So, what brought him to this role? “My background is primarily in the British military and later on, a bomb disposal officer,” Tesar notes, explaining that he conducted operations across the globe.

“Following my career in the special forces, I decided to set up a counter terrorism advisory service,” he continues. One month into the job, the attacks of September 11, 2001, occurred. In immediate response to the events, he was invited to assist and work with the US federal and government agencies, US Special Forces and US Department of Defense. “My mandate was to train their Special Forces and intelligence operatives on counter terrorism techniques and methodology.

Seismic shift

“In 2004, I was recommended to assist a number of financial institutions in regard to their security frameworks and, within a few months, we had signed up some of the largest banks in KSA.”
 This was when he decided to move operations to Riyadh, mainly because: “I saw a seismic shift occur throughout the Middle East and a genuine business opportunity arise. In 2008, when the situation in Saudi started to calm down, we moved our regional hub to the Kingdom of Bahrain.”

The risks in the region are manifold, he explains, ranging from terrorism and threats from various political and religious factions,
to local geopolitical rifts. Tesar says that an intimate understanding of these risks is essential and that regional instability can ultimately affect reputational risk considerably, and subsequently, any inward investment. Careful management is important to mitigate this.

However, he tells me that the challenges of working in this complex region are what he enjoys most. “ The only frustration I experience is when companies come into the region without fully understanding its demands, professing to be able to do what we do and then, inevitably, let their clients down.”

This brings us to human capital, the bedrock
of his success. Tesar says: “Security generally, is one of those areas, which unfortunately you just cannot learn from a book. You really do need to have lived, worked and experienced the issues first- hand.” Le Beck’s advisors hail from government, special forces, military, intelligence, or specialist security policing backgrounds. “Unlike many other professions, there is a very narrow band
of people who are able to work in the field of threat analysis,” he notes. “It isn’t one of the most conventional career paths and there are even
fewer people who have the ability to successfully make the transition into the private sector and understand its very particular demands.” CRJ.

Le Beck has recently launched MENAlert, a new security mobile application to provide real-time information and valuable analysis of most security events across the MENA region.” More info from: www.lebeckinternational.com

GDN online – Le Beck launches new security application

MANAMA: Le Beck International, a security and risk management consultancy with offices in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, has launched a new security mobile application.

Called MENAlert, the app aims to provide real-time information and valuable analysis of the most current security events across the Mena region, as well as select major global incidents.

Deemed to be an industry first, the MENAlert application, a trademark of Le Beck, is an informative tool designed with a specific focus on this region, to promote safety awareness and preparedness among individuals and businesses.

MENAlert provides users with alerts, reports and analysis on the most significant security, political, economic and environmental events unfolding in the region.

All content is compiled by Le Beck’s expert analysts who are located in key regional and global touch points, enabling for extensive coverage with detailed context and forecast.

The app enables users to delve into pressing issues and gain an in-depth understanding of the wider impact that such events can have on one’s immediate environment, business and society.

According to Le Beck’s chief executive Anthony Tesar, “The MENAlert app has been developed to cut through the clutter and provide users with the most relevant and credible content.

“Our offering is also unique in that it focusses on Mena, which as a region is prone to volatility and fast-changing dynamics.”

The app is also distinct in that it gives access to periodic studies compiled by Le Beck’s analysts who examine in detail the most pressing issues affecting the world today.

MENAlert is available as a paid service to both individual and corporate subscribers using iPhones and Android devices.

“The MENAlert app is an extension of our service offering and will boost the service offering and will boost the security consultancy aspect of our business.

“Until recently we were sending daily security briefs to an expanding database of contacts and noticed that demand for this services was growing. We therefore decided to improve this platform, enhance it, and open it up for mass subscription – we wanted to create a highly informative tool for this region that can be useful to anyone from corporate executives and security managers to journalists, academics and students,” added Mr Tesar.

“We plan to expand this service in times and roll it out across other regions in the form of ASIAlert and AFRICAlert.”

Haven’t registered for your free two week trial of MENAlert yet? Download today on the App Store: https://lnkd.in/g6SBAwn or Google Play: https://lnkd.in/g9qiBJy

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Gulf Construction speaks to Anthony Tesar about tackling mega-city tasks

August 2017

Le Beck International (Le Beck), a specialist security and risk management consultancy in Bahrain, says security of mega city and infrastructure projects is critical to their attractiveness and to providing ‘peace of mind’.

Speaking to Gulf Construction, Anthony Tesar, CEO of Le Beck International, says: “When looking at this region specifically, there are huge investments taking place in new mega-city developments in order to house the fast expanding population and attract foreign investment. It is essential that these cities are considered secure and safe by the people and companies they want to attract or who are already living and operating out of these facilities.”

He says there is a huge reputational risk that should also be considered and if people and organisations do not get the feeling the environment is safe and secure, they will consider alternatives in an ever-increasing list of choices and options that they have.

“Demonstrating from the outset that security is a major consideration and communicating the same, is critical to the attractiveness of the project and to providing peace of mind,” he adds.

Read the full story here  

Trade Arabia writes about Le Beck’s new security mobile application

Le Beck International, a top risk management consultancy, has launched a new security mobile application to provide real-time information and analysis of current security events across Mena, as well as select major global incidents.

The MENAlert Application, a trademark of Le Beck, is an informative tool designed with a specific focus on this region, to promote safety awareness and preparedness among individuals and businesses.

MENAlert provides users with timely, credible and relevant alerts, reports and analysis on the most significant security, political, economic, and environmental events unfolding in the region. All content is compiled by Le Beck’s expert analysts who are located in key regional and global touch points, enabling for extensive coverage with detailed context and forecast.

 

Read the full story here  

Le Beck International granted official approval by the HCIS in Saudi Arabia

Le Beck International, one of the region’s leading specialist security and risk management consultancies headquartered in Bahrain with two operating offices in KSA and a dedicated presence in the MENA since 2004, has received the official seal of approval from the High Commission of Industrial Security (HCIS) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under its registered partners Security Solutions Consulting Office for Security (SSOCS). Le Beck, in partnership with SSOCS can operate as a registered provider of specialist security consultancy services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the Critical Infrastructure sector, and will further enhance its services as a result to benefit other organisations across the GCC and MENA region.

As per the directives set by the HCIS, all companies in the Critical Infrastructure sector are required to undertake all their security consultancy requirements by engaging with external specialists listed under the High Commission. Le Beck, through its Saudi registered partners (SSOCS), is one of the very few security consultancies in KSA to be recently added to that list following a rigorous application and screening process. This marks a significant achievement for the company which has worked closely with many dynamic players from the region’s Critical Infrastructure, Financial and Mega City sectors.

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Arabian Oil & Gas explores scope of work, threats and expansion with Le Beck

What does Le Beck’s portfolio of services offer for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) oil and gas sector?

We are a specialist security and risk management consultancy with a dedicated presence in the MENA region since 2004. We offer turnkey solutions aligned to the operational needs of individual clients, and our services centre on security risk and threat assessments, master security plans, security system design, peer reviews of security design, project management of the tender, implementation, and testing and commissioning process.

What is the scope of your work with oil and gas industry players in the region?

We have enabled these organisations to enhance their security measures and response capabilities in compliance with international standards and local regulatory requirements. Through our Saudi partners (SSOCS), Le Beck is formally approved by the High Commission for Industrial Security in Saudi to provide specialist security consultancy services that are mandatory in the critical infrastructure sector.

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Anthony Tesar is interviewed by Business Today on how threats can be managed through proper planning

Oman: What is Le Beck International? We are an independent specialist security and risk management consultancy with a dedicated presence in the MENA region for over 15 years. Our mandate is to empower and prepare senior executives with the ability to identify and mitigate security risks, threats and vulnerabilities in order to protect their most critical assets- their people, their business and their brand reputation. We take on an advisory role and security products, systems and services that we recommend and sourced through third parties (locally, regionally or internationally) thereby avoiding any conflicts of interests.

Why did you decide to set up base in the Middle East? I started the company in 2001 and we came to the Middle East in 2004 following the compound bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It was a real paradox for Saudi, which was one of the most secure and crime free countries in the world, until 2004. Suddenly there were threats to business and reputation of the country. I made a CEO decision to move everything we had to Riyadh, because I saw an opportunity in the fact that the Middle East was never going to be the same again.

Read the full story here

German-language BILD interviews RSA Miriam Eps on the Qatar crisis

Below is an English translation of the German-language article:

BILD: What are the exact reasons behind the blockade of Qatar by four ME countries? “Only” the financial support of ISIS and Al-Qaeda or also a political affiliation with Iran? Same complex: What are the practical demands by the four states to Qatar?
EPS: The stated reasons are Qatar’s alleged interference in domestic affairs and support for terrorism, a list of which interestingly includes both Shiite (aka Iranian-backed) and Sunni groups. It’s important to mention that this is a notable escalation/expansion from what started these tensions, i.e. controversial statements attributed to Qatar’s Emir regarding Iran, Israel, and the US but which Doha stated was actually the result of a hack. The aim of these moves is likely to pressure Qatar, both politically and economically, into changing its policies, especially vis-a-vis Iran and Sunni groups like the Muslim Brotherhood.

BILD: Is there a connection between the recent Trump speech in the KSA – on terror financing – and the measures taken now?
EPS: No, I don’t think there’s a direct link, even if one of the alleged statements by Qatar’s Emir related to “tensions” with the US administration. This should be primarily seen as related to intra-GCC disagreements.

BILD: How will the blockade affect Qatar, talking about security of supply, tourism and (air) traffic?
EPS: In practical terms, Qatar will suffer economically from these measures. The closure of the four countries’ airspace to Qatar, for example, means that its national airline will need to reroute its flights travelling west and northwest, such as to Europe and North Africa. The shuttering of the border with Saudi Arabia means that any overland shipping will cease, while the closure of territorial waters means that shipping routes will need to be altered. Tourism will also likely take a hit.

BILD: How will the blockade affect Qatar’s role within the US-led “anti-ISIS coalition”? (The participation in the Yemen coalition was terminated, we hear.)
EPS: Qatar was, indeed, ejected from the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen. When it comes to its participation within the US-led coalition, I don’t think this will alter the status quo and statements from the US indicate it will be business as usual. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson specifically stated that it won’t have “any significant impact, if any impact at all” on the fight against terrorism regionally or globally. The US Ambassador to Qatar also tweeted statements expressing US support and appreciation for Qatar’s fight against terrorist financing. In addition to its interest in maintaining membership in the coalition, the US a key military presence in the country, with CENTCOM’s forward headquarters based there.

BILD: “Was this it?” Or is there a change escalation in diplomatic measures, maybe even resulting in military conflict?
EPS: I think the risk for military conflict is low and this is because a unified (emphasis on unified) GCC is still considered an important counter-balance to Iran in the region. It’s not in anyone’s interest to see this devolve into a military conflict.

BILD: How long do you think, the four states will maintain the taken measures. Is it a short / medium or long-term strategy?
EPS: If the strategy is to strong arm Qatar into changing its policies, then the ultimate goal is a mediated solution that sees a shift in these policies. Although this rift far exceeds that of 2014, we can look to events of that year for guidance. The four countries involved here withdrew their ambassadors then for similar reasons, but predominantly Qatari support for the Muslim Brotherhood. Ultimately, relations resumed after mediation, including by Kuwait, and I think we might see a similar situation here.

BILD: What would Qatar have to do so the “blockade” measures removed? And do you think it will it fold to the demands?
EPS: If 2014 is any indication, a negotiated settlement can likely be reached. While Qatar will need to weigh the pros of resuming relations as usual with the cons of being seen as giving in to demands, the other states will also need to consider the ramifications of long-term disunity within the GCC and the potential of pushing Doha too far into the arms of other parties (i.e. Iran).

BILD: Last but not least: The FIFA world cup will be in Qatar in 2022. Do you think the international planning will continue if the country is accused of collaborating with designated terror organisations?
EPS: I don’t know a lot about soccer, but I think there’s a lot of time between now and 2022 to resolve this. It’s also worthwhile to mention that Qatar has weathered other controversies related to the World Cup, including issues related to conditions of foreign workers and bribery allegations.

Access the article in German here

FinanceME interviews CEO Anthony Tesar on his role in the company and how it all started

Both my parents are Austrian and I was born in the UK where I grew up and went to school. I joined the military rather young, before going to university. At that time, in the 80s, the British Government and the military ran various projects to find the leaders of the future and they took the top five per cent of all recruits within that year and put them on a special training programme. The programme ran for a year and a half, rather than the standard few months of basic training, to develop individuals from an educational, a physical fitness, and a leadership point of view.

I went through this programme. I was part of a small group of people that were fast-tracked through the system thereafter because we were seen to be capable enough to be promoted quite quickly. The programme only lasted for a couple of years, but I was fortunate enough to be part of it.

I did my special forces, commando, and paramilitary training. I was a diver and I learned how to fly helicopters and planes. Afterwards I moved into bomb disposal, starting off in normal explosives and incendiary devices and that moved into a niche area of nuclear, chemical and biological devices.

Read the full story here  

CEO Anthony Tesar talks to Times of Oman about Le Beck and planned expansion

Muscat: Le Beck, which has a presence in some of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, is planning to begin operation in the Sultanate in coming months, a top-level official said.

In an interview with the Times of Oman, Anthony Tesar, chief executive officer of Le Beck International security and risk management consultancy, highlighted the company’s future plans and its intended operations in Oman to enhance the already high standard of security prevalent in the country.

Read the full story here  

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