Do people with a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars (and more) order taxis?
They could, but it is more likely that they will use a “chauffeur security” such as the one run by Nathan Foy is called Fortis. He is the authorWhat Rich Clients Want (But Don’t Tell You))’ and knows a thing or two about how the super rich like to get from point A to point B.
His job is to get them to Point B without being kidnapped or robbed, and his firm uses a variety of SWAT-style eye-catchers to ensure their safety, including decoy cars, armored personnel carriers, and the hiring of military veterans.
Nathan Foy, author of “What Rich Clients Want (But Won’t Tell You)” and founder of Fortis, a super-high net worth driver company.
He explained to MailOnline Travel that the “bread and butter” of what Fortis does is “chauffeur-driven vehicles and security… for customers worth $600m (£492m) or more who own one or more private jets.”
“The most discerning travelers in the world,” he added.
And it can carry customers all over the world.
He explained that while Fortis is headquartered in South Carolina (with an office opening in Nevada in September), it also has offices in Hong Kong and India – “that’s about 25,000 trips a year and about 1,000 cities.”
The goal, according to Foy, is not to “return fire”, but to “protect and evacuate”. And one of the key tactics that Fortis uses to do this is the “chase car,” which can be a direct decoy car – to confuse potential villains – or can be a second driver on site for convenience, to clean up errands and the like, similar, similar. Foy said, “After all, if your partner left something at the hotel or someone has to go get something, it will literally ruin your day.”
This is also a show of strength.
Foy said criminals tend to be less involved with the convoy as it “isn’t as easy to target”.
He continued, “The chase car is especially useful in Mexico and also in Central and South America.
Fortis headquarters in South Carolina. One of the key tactics used by Fortis is the “chase car”, which can be a decoy car to confuse would-be kidnappers.
Foy talks about the world of the rich in his book
“We had one director [client]who was trying to get from the Mexican countryside to the Mexico City airport and wanted to arrive at six in the morning in an S-Class Mercedes.
“We told him, and this is a man who has a big security force in New York where he’s based, we said, ‘You’re a target for drug lords if you’re trying to move at two or three in the morning.’ with an S-class in rural Mexico. Can you go in the afternoon or fly out later in the morning?” And he said, “No, no, that’s what I want to do.” So we said the only option is a chase car.
“Everything went well and he got out the way he wanted.”
Fortis also uses chase vehicles that mimic the movement of the superyacht from shore.
Foy said: “So, if the director decides that he or she wants to go shopping, or if there’s a medical need or whatever, there’s a quick way to get in the car by tender or by helicopter.”
The SWAT guys are really good in some places. If you’re going to Honduras, you need these guys
Nathan Foy, founder of Fortis
And what kind of people does Foy hire – are they all ex-Special Forces?
Foy explained, “We do have a lot of veterans, but most of them are people who are really good at service and have an interest in hospitality. I’d rather someone be passionate about service – raw materials that we can mold from. Experts often do not see the forest for the trees.
“The SWAT guys are really good in some places. If you’re going to Honduras, you need these guys, but most of the time they’re so set up for a dangerous environment… if you send them to, say, Oklahoma, they’ll be bored. It’s like putting a tiger in a cage.”
Fortis also provides a means to communicate securely, explaining that customers who attended the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia were issued “disposable phones” because “there is no data protection in Russia.”
These devices, Foy said, were equipped with an add-on called Beartooth. It turned phones into walkie-talkies, ensuring that customers could communicate with the chauffeur and the people they were traveling with in the event of signal loss caused by thousands of people uploading photos at the stadium and so on.
Want to ride with Fortis? “That’s a lot,” Foy said, starting at $500 (£410) for an SUV or S-Class transfer.
It’s a little more than that Fortis When Foy founded it in 2000, it charged as a prepaid taxi service for college students on America’s East Coast.
“Over 22 years, we have upgraded it to a high-end service,” Foy added. Now it’s a “travel safety” firm that “looks like a tailored Italian suit, but lined with Kevlar.”