Garda Buys Security Firm GSS Global

The Canadian security concern Garda World met with a raft of London-based firms at the end of last year in a bid to join forces with a local business intelligence company (IOL 535). It has finally chosen to acquire GSS International, a company founded and run by a former Metropolitan Police officer, Nigel Brown.

After spending 13 years at Scotland Yard, Brown teamed up in 1993 with another policeman, Tony Brightwell, to found the investigative concern International Security Consultancy (ISC). One of the shareholders in the company was British lawyer Stephen Curtis whose leading customer was the Russian holding company Menatep, stakeholder in the defunct oil company Yukos. In the 1990s, Brown found himself working closely with the management of the two Russian groups that were fighting a series of law suits at the time. Curtis' death in a helicopter crash in early March, 2004, disrupted links between ISC, Menatep and Yukos and prompted Brown to set up his own concern, GSS Global, while his former partner, Brightwell, joined the insurance claims and services firm CMGL.

GSS Global is highly active in Israel where Brown has a lot of contacts. Brown is to be in charge of Garda's consultancy and investigations unit at its London office, which has been headed by Nick Copeland since the departure of Charles Blackmore last summer.