Published by Focusweek
BY Rita Jong
Welcome to the world of executive aides-de-camp, or EADCs. Aide-de-camp is French for “assistant in the field”. Traditionally, they were personal assistants or secretaries to a person of high rank, such as a senior military or government officer or head of state.
The services of an EADC does not come cheap. But for such a high price, one can expect service of a high standard. After all, the EADC’s responsibilities encompass not only personal security but also involvement in the business affairs of their charges, mostly government leaders and high net worth individuals. In the corporate world, they are the right-hand man to business leaders.
Niho Khoo is executive director and head of the EADC division at Chico Force Sdn Bhd, one of the few Malaysian companies that offer such services. Its EADCs are assigned to work as assistants to their principals.
Just like any aide, they plan the itineraries for their bosses, but they have the added responsibility of coordinating the security needs of the principal and that involves managing the security team. Chico Force’s EADCs are trained in combat and defence as well as handling firearms and close protection.
“Traditionally, aides-de-camp served high-ranking officials or heads of state. But now, there is a demand from the corporate world for similar services. So we started offering the service to business executives and entrepreneurs,” Khoo tells Focusweek.
“The EADC arranges everything. In a meeting for instance, he will decide where his principal sits, who remains in the room and attends the meeting, down to the nitty-gritty detail of whose hand is shaken,” she explains.
Khoo says EADCs are not mere bodyguards, but represent an integral part of the business leader’s circle. An EADC introduces an individual to the principal and he directs his bodyguards on where to stand.
“They are fit, have combat skills and will be the first to come to the aid of the principal should any untoward incident happen,” she says.