Saturday, October 24, 2015

the paranoid world of london's super-rich


standard |  Most people come to Mayfair to buy. It could be dinner at Scott’s or a little but rather expensive something from the boutiques on Mount Street. Perhaps it’s a fancy car from Jack Barclay on Berkeley Square. The Bentley Bentayga, the firm’s first 4x4 — bigger than the average starter home and more expensive — is currently the most coveted ride for one per centers. Biggest of all is a new house. The starting price for a pied-à-terre is £5m and the damage quickly rises to £40m.

Heyrick Bond Gunning — yes, that really is his name — visits Mayfair most days, but he does not come to buy. He comes to sell. The imposing 44-year-old, a former Grenadier Guards officer, is one of a new breed of salesmen.

He’s selling building and contents protection, but not the kind you’re used to. As the managing director of security firm Salamanca Risk Management, he sells a guarantee that you and your family will never again be bothered by anyone or anything you don’t want to be bothered by. 

Business is booming because billionaires are a paranoid bunch.