02-12-2013 | Career Advancement
"Nick had stumbled on a key piece of the corporate intelligence business model. Most of the hundreds of firms in the world don't have large staffs. Instead, they serve as a kind of facade that helps connect corporate clients with the netherworld of intelligence, the more shadowy "contractors" who do the actual work. Each time a client project comes up, the firms put together teams of subcontractors with the specialties needed for that situation. Need surveillance n London? Hire a contractor. Need linguistic help? Contractor. Need a forensic accountant? Ditto. The teams are assembled for each case and managed by the firm..."
"Because the skills required for surveillance are so rare, the industry isn't huge. Nick estimates that even in spy-infested London, there are only enough crews to tail twenty executives at any given time. Given the typical nine or ten man surveillance crew, this implies that there are somewhat fewer than 200 surveillance people working in London. (Another operative there gives a higher estimate: 100 executives could be tailed at any one time. This implies a high-end range of something under a thousand surveillance operators prowling London's streets.) Clients, therefore, sometimes have to join waiting lists for surveillance on a given target, or they have to pay huge fees for American or German teams to be flown in during a busy time."
From Eamon Javers, "Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy", pg 226, 228