“We are business-enablers”
Result Group celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Walfried O. Sauer founded the company in 1996 and initially ran it alone from his home as a security consultant. Today, the company advises and protects clients worldwide against criminal and terrorist attacks of all kinds. Axel Wochinger has been the managing director since 2021.
Mr. Wochinger, what goes through your mind when you look back on the successful growth of Result Group?
Wochinger: From today’s perspective, the Result Group would have to be invented if it didn’t already exist. The challenges around security, whether for companies, private individuals or even states, have become more diverse and complex worldwide. This goes hand in hand with the increased demand for professional services that provide clients with competent advice and guide them safely through these challenges. Result Group has succeeded in doing this very well over the last 25 years. As a premium service provider, we offer services that are unique. We owe this above all to our employees, who are among the best in their field, a global network that has been developed thoroughly over many years and the will to always work in a results-oriented manner for the benefit of our clients. Our high-quality standards have been maintained since the company was founded until today.
Result Group enjoys a reputation as a leading international consulting firm for risk and crisis management. Please briefly summarize the core competencies in both areas.
Wochinger: The competencies result, on the one hand, from the long experience that our company has accumulated over a quarter of a century and, on the other hand, from our personnel selection, in which we claim to recruit only the best candidates from security agencies. Coupled with excellent university degrees in various disciplines, outstanding international contacts and experience, and the ability to work in German and English at a native level without friction. Our employees have deep knowledge from different fields of security, so that in combination we can cover a wide range of security topics. In addition, our personal security officers are also former members of special forces units of the military, police and intelligence services.
How do you find your clients and how do you gain their trust?
Wochinger: Our acquisitions are very much based on positive feedback from our clients, who often recommend us to others. For us, that’s the best compliment we can think of. In addition, we have very good international contacts through which we are constantly expanding our network and sustainably strengthening the Result Group brand abroad. Last but not least, we try to spend as much time as possible with the client, which strengthens the mutual relationship.
When do clients come to you – when a crisis has already occurred or preventively to minimize risks in advance?
Wochinger: Both occur, but prevention plays a particularly important role. For example, Result Group works in an analytical and advisory capacity for all well-known German insurance companies as well as for several American and British insurance companies that insure companies against corporate risks. For example, against product extortion, espionage or kidnapping of personnel. On their behalf, we check with potential policyholders whether they are sufficiently prepared for crises – among other things, with crisis teams, emergency plans and security concepts. If this is confirmed, they get the policy they want. If not, we support them in setting up the necessary infrastructure or provide it ourselves. We also train staff who are to be sent to international crisis regions on how to behave in extreme situations. Overall, our task in this context is to prepare companies so that they can concentrate fully on their business. That is why Result Group sees itself as a business enabler.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, many companies still do too little on their own in terms of prevention; this sometimes results in very large losses. Some only get in touch with us when the worst has already happened and they don’t know what to do. Then they try to find out through lawyers or their network who can support them and end up at Result Group.
The situation is different for exposed private individuals: as soon as people have large wealth, they are almost inevitably confronted with the issue of security sooner or later. They then often actively seek advice and support for themselves.
In its anniversary year, Result Group presents itself as an agile, economically sound medium-sized consulting company. What particular challenges had to be overcome in the course of growth and what essential learning steps were required for this?
Wochinger: The challenge is essentially to underpin growth in such a way that quality does not suffer at any time. We pay special attention to staff selection and the continuous development of our services. Especially when it comes to recruiting new staff, it is very difficult to find suitable personnel. Many would like to take the step into consulting, but only very few have the prerequisites for it. By the way, the same applies to our personal protection personnel, who are all hand-picked and specially trained, as well as having many years of experience.
Result Group is divided into the business units Corporate Security, Government Security and Private Security. How and why did this division come about?
Wochinger: It serves above all to make our very diverse portfolio of preventive and reactive security services for companies, government institutions and private clients transparent.
Historically, the Result Group began in 1996 with the first consulting mandates for setting up crisis management organizations and advising on attacks caused by organized crime. The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 in the USA triggered further strong demand for crisis and emergency plans for companies, whereupon Result Group launched its Corporate Security division. With the founding of the Private Security division in 2003, Result Group responded to the wish of numerous entrepreneurs to extend its services to their private security. Government Security was founded in 2009 and since then we have been carrying out projects on behalf of the European Union, advising governments and state organizations, but also many non-governmental organizations in developing and emerging countries on security sector reforms. With Government Security, we have a unique selling point – no other security consultancy in this country offers this in this form.
In the past, you had other branches in Berlin, Hamburg and Brussels. Why were these closed again?
Wochinger: We realized that these offices do not provide any added value in the long run, since we are always called to the clients and permanent representative offices in different locations no longer make sense.
Instead, we invested early on in the digital transformation of our company, which benefits us especially in the current challenges of the Corona crisis. In the same breath, we have built up decentrally managed teams and made working models more flexible. We can claim to be very well positioned digitally as a medium-sized company. This allows for a high degree of flexibility, which we offer our clients – a key pillar of the company.
When companies and private individuals use Result Group’s services, they expect the highest level of discretion. Mr. Wochinger, even though this is why you generally do not name clients: Which particularly exciting, perhaps adrenaline-fueled mandates do you think back to together on the occasion of the 25th anniversary?
Wochinger: We have earned the trust of our clients over decades. Many of us started our careers with the security authorities and have the highest security clearances. This still influences our staff today. Confidentiality is part of the job description. We attach great importance to this and select our staff in special selection procedures according to our values of integrity, reliability and professionalism.
We can certainly give many examples where people and companies have sought our help in cases of kidnapping and blackmail. However, the evacuation of almost 800 Europeans from Latin America in the spring of 2020, after the government organized return flights in the wake of the Corona crisis were over, airports were closed and people were desperately stranded, was certainly exciting from a more recent point of view. The press had already reported extensively on this. The thanks we received more than made up for the lengthy negotiations and countless night shifts. This also showed what experienced staff and a sustainable network in the respective countries, but also with decision-makers in politics and administration, can make possible.
Crime is always on the rise, the fear of terror is growing and the security situation is currently getting worse all over the world. What effects do you feel and how do you deal with them?
Wochinger: The range of possible threats is very wide. One challenge for us is to quickly have effective countermeasures ready for new forms of crime. For example, product extortion was on vogue for a long time and currently “cyber extortion” or ransomware attacks are becoming a huge topic. We have to observe such developments closely and react quickly. We are also seeing an increase in threats against wealthy families, which we counter with personal and property protection measures in addition to comprehensive security concepts.
Contingency plans and resilience for companies due to very rapidly changing security situations are also in greater demand. The impact of the Corona crisis on the global economy and the labour market is enormous and most countries do not have the social security systems we know from Germany. This has a direct impact on the security situation. Social tensions are increasing, both in our country and in the many international markets where our clients do business.
Mr. Wochinger – thank you very much for the interview.