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Making Protection an order of business

Security firm offers more services for existing executives

February 21, 2000

By Stephen Gandel

Robert Tucker, executive vice president of T&M Protection Resources, doesn't only want to ensure his client's safety, he also wants to hold their hands and lead them around town.

Besides providing traditional bodyguard services, T&M will act as chauffeur, make restaurant and hotel reservations, and even check out banquet halls for the closest bathroom to a client's seat.

"There are a growing number of visiting executives to New York who want a similar level of security services traditionally reserved for dignitaries," says Mr. Tucker, who purchased T&M last year from founder Robert Trotta, a retired cop who still works for the firm.

EXPANSION BID
A safer city has meant harder times for security companies - growth in guards has slowed to about 5% a year, according to Mark Lerner, president of Manhattan-based Epic Security Corp.

Demand for personal security is growing more rapidly. A rising economy and, more important, a buoyant stock market have boosted the number of individuals able to afford high-end security. New bodyguard revenue helped double T&M's sales in 1999.

The company had estimated revenue of $10 million to $15 million last year.

WHERE'S THE NICHE?
Industry observers, though, believe the number of individuals and corporations that want high-end bodyguard services in Manhattan is still very small. And in the market for bodyguards, T&M will have to compete with much larger rivals.

Since buying the company, Mr. Tucker, who was a special assistant to the Queens district attorney, has added services such as bomb detection and executive protection.

"He scouts out event locations as if they were political functions," says Richard Fields, an investment banker who hires T&M for business leaders and politicians visiting the city. "His service is completely unique."