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Response services

We fully understand the stress, disruption and disorientation that erupt without warning as crises unfold.

We meet these head-on, creating an environment that enables clear thinking and stimulates initiatives that focus calmly and objectively on solutions for the best possible outcome.

We bring to bear an enormous amount of experience, deep insights of the driving factors and proven methodologies.

Crux advisers deploy on demand to any location in the world, where we live and work unobtrusively alongside our clients until the crisis is resolved.

At the outset we provide essential telephone advice and coaching that will contain and stabilise the crisis during the first critical 24/48 hours.

In location we help our clients manage their crises in a way that meets their individual circumstances and requirements.

Our proven doctrine focuses on the preservation of life and the mitigation of financial loss, influenced where appropriate by an approach that reflects corporate and personal culture or governance.

We provide balanced and candid analysis, mentoring and coaching in order to present quantified options that enable carefully judged decisions.

We never attempt to over-manage a crisis or remove the decision-making authority from a client.


Kidnapping is one of the fastest growing crimes in the developing world. There are few definitive statistics but it is estimated that as many as 20,000 incidents occur every year on a global basis. Variations of the crime include multiple kidnaps, ‘express’ kidnaps and ‘virtual’ kidnaps.

Some make the world’s headlines; the majority remain quietly unknown.

Abductions can last for as little as a few hours to several years of hostile captivity.

The motive for kidnapping is primarily, but not exclusively, financial. Recent world events have seen kidnapping used as a tool by extremist and terrorist groups in pursuit of their political and religious objectives.

Crux Risk provides immediate and critical telephone advice to help contain and stabilise an incident. We deploy consultants to the incident location who bring order to chaos and clarity to the opaqueness of the situation. Crux consultants help define and manage the gamut of issues and activities critical to resolution. These include preservation of life, strategic decision-making, negotiations, recovery and repatriation.

Crux helps to make sense of the myriad of stakeholders, each often with their own competing agendas. Our expertise helps protect victims, their families and the reputation of organisations. We never attempt to take over decision-making, thereby ensuring overall control remains with the right people at all times.


Extortion is a growing threat in both developed economies and emerging markets.

Illegal threats to a person or organisation, including their property or reputation, are without exception alarming and distressing. They are also severely damaging and disruptive to the operations of multi-nationals as well as small family owned businesses.

Invariably made for financial gain, the most common forms of extortion are bribes, ransoms and ‘hush money’.

The demands of political and religious groups are varied and infinitely more complicated.

Acquiescing to the demands of sophisticated political groups or common criminals can lead to vulnerability, restricted business operations and often divestment or commercial withdrawal. There is the added complication of contravening international anti-corruption legislation.

Crux Risk advisers assist in extortion crisis-response, the preparation of crisis-management plans and crisis-simulation training. During an incident we bring the ability to generate weighted options that minimise risk and increase success. Whilst law-enforcement is often involved in such cases, Crux advisers focus on issues of critical importance to the organisation or the individual. These might include, for example, continued commercial operations, patronage or reputation management.

We are able to bring substantive value through our team’s network of global contacts, acquired over many years, and which include law-enforcement, governments, non-governmental organisations, religious communities, intelligence and the military.

Maritime piracy

The exponential increase of hijacks since 2007 has since abated due to the introduction of armed escorts on vessels and increased naval operations in high-risk areas.

However, vessels of all sizes from private yachts to crude-oil tankers continue to remain at risk from pirate attacks and are targeted on a regular basis.

Piracy risk areas remain in the Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin and the Gulf of Guinea. As the crime of maritime-piracy continues to evolve incidents of piracy are growing in the littoral waters of South East Asia and the Indian Sub-Continent, South and Central America and the Caribbean.

Crews held hostage, bunkered oil, depreciating cargoes, loss of hire, damaged vessels and massive commercial disruption are just some of the problems experienced by victims of piracy.

The emotional and reputational impact on crews, their families and the commercial operations of shippers can be crippling.

Despite attempts by global powers to curb piracy, the crime continues to be a major and increasingly sophisticated threat, unlikely to abate in regions where instability is rife.

Crux Risk advisers assist in piracy crisis-response, the preparation of crisis-management plans and crisis-simulation training. We advise our clients on all aspects of case management both during and after the event. These include the most appropriate legal advisers to use, negotiations, government liaison, family management, media management, vessel recovery, crew reception, repatriation and post incident counselling.

Our expertise helps protect victims, their families and the reputation of organisations. Our tradecraft acquired over many years in this field and across countless cases provides reassurance to our clients and confidence to victims’ families that they can be brought home and safe.

Air/Sea supply and delivery to hijacked vessels

Responding to a hijack through negotiation is only part of the solution.

Once a negotiated settlement has been agreed, the vessel and crew need to return to a port of safety without fear of further attack. In some instances the vessel is unable to sail under her own engines; bunkering, medical or provision re-supply may also be essential.

Crux Risk is able to re-supply vessels by parachute airdrops or by sea. In extremis, an armed tug will be required to return the vessel safely to port. Crux Risk has strategic relationships with maritime specialists in many areas with whom the company has worked closely on recovery.

Hijack recovery, reception and repatriation

Once a crew has been freed from a hijack or kidnap victims released, the problem is far from over.

It is essential to ensure the recovery, reception and repatriation of the crew to their domicile. After a long period in captivity the crew will have few belongings and/or documentation. Many will require immediate medical and psychological treatment. Recovery, reception and repatriation all require sensitivity, careful planning and expert management

Crux Risk has extensive experience in this field and its consultants have master-minded these essential services in many different political environments and countries including Kenya, Oman and Yemen. Crux Risk has access to private jetties where such activities can take place without the interference of the media.

Accidental or malicious tampering

Trend data for Malicious Product Tampering & Extortion (MPTE) incidents is not readily available due to the sensitive and confidential nature of these incidents and the drive to reduce the number of ‘copy-cat’ incidents by restricting media reporting. In extremis, MPTE can be lethal to unaware or unsuspecting members of the public.

It is widely recognised, however, that MPTE incidents are persistent and increasing in all major developed countries with particular incident clusters evident in North America, Germany, UK, China and Australia.

MPTE crises are further compounded by the international prevalence of counterfeit products which also require crisis management intervention.

Crux Risk advisers assist in MPTE crisis-response, the preparation of MPTE crisis-management plans and crisis-simulation training.

During an incident our consultants work at board level advising the executive and crisis team on options to minimise loss and protect valuable reputations. We present weighted options and help prioritise critical decision-making and the preservation of life.

Unlawful detention

It is an increasing problem that individuals find themselves detained in countries where their freedom of movement is restricted or their passport is held by the authorities.

This is often justified on the grounds of investigation into illegal or improper activities; though no formal charges are made against the individual.

In certain jurisdictions these detentions can last for many months during which the individual is not allowed to work and has to find outside means to live and support him/herself in the country.

In many instances, unlawful detentions are forms of extortion perpetrated by criminal groups who bribe officials to support their causes.

Crux Risk has the specialist skills to assess and diagnose these situations, inject clarity into the situation and initiate options to bring these detentions speedily to a close. Incidents of wrongful detention are rarely the same and critical to their resolution is understanding of the root causes, a diverse network of contacts and creative thinking.

International problem solving

Many of the dilemmas faced by companies operating in high-risk environments cannot be neatly labelled or packaged and are often as idiosyncratic as they are unexpected. We bundle uncategorised incidents of this nature under the heading of ‘International Problem Solving’.

An example of one of these incidents was a mining company operating in Indonesia. An indigenous tribe refused to allow operations to take place on ground that was sacred and religious to the tribe. All commercial activity had to be halted while the local Indians protested with spears and other weapons.

Each of these problems, however improbable and unexpected, can have a profound and destabilising effect on commercial operations or present risk to life. They require handling with great sensitivity and cultural awareness.

Crux advisers assist in analysis and definition, and can offer an individual and bespoke response approach to resolution.

Expert witness and analysis

In the aftermath of a kidnap or piracy incident, stakeholders are often required to investigate the detail and management of the crisis.

With our high level of experience and specialist knowledge, Crux Risk is routinely instructed by underwriters and lawyers to provide ‘expert witness & analysis’.

Where there are concerns over conduct, management, fraud or improper behaviour Crux Risk examines and analyses material to provide impartial and confidential opinion on the facts and circumstances.

Emergency/Country evacuations

If a company, project-management team or business traveller does not have a nominated travel-tracking and advisory service, they may become vulnerable and exposed in fast-moving crisis escalations around the world.

Crux Risk has a depth of experience and a network of regional connections for the safe location and evacuation of both individuals and larger company employees & families in Africa, South-America and the Middle East.

The ability to initiate and activate rapidly a bespoke and focussed solution to a crisis-evacuation scenario often determines the success of the operation. Crux Risk understands the mechanics, politics and logistics of evacuation and the critical paths necessary to achieve a safe outcome.

Breach response

With the increasing reliance of modern businesses on 24/7 operations for communicating and trading with customers, suppliers and the entire value chain, a measured, planned and effective executive breach response is required to ensure business continuity and to retain the confidence of clients and partners. Business continuity plans often focus on recovering after a crisis rather than ensuring an organisation’s ability to continue business activities both during and in the aftermath of the breach.

In preparing a company for a breach, Crux Risk consultants work with the Board to develop and build an Executive Breach Response Playbook which will address essential activities such as triggering regulatory mandated responses, identifying key players and required roles, responsibilities and actions and rehearsals of scenarios to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum.

If the Playbook is not in place and breach response plans poorly prepared, the company will waste valuable time - vital time needed during a crisis - and be forced to implement instantly reactive plans which exponentially raise the danger of highly public errors and the resulting detrimental impact on corporate reputation. A planned and tested executive data breach response plan creates the infrastructure for successful leadership through crises.

In response to a breach, Crux consultants work with the Board to provide an independent perspective on the developing situation, advice and coordination of the breach response, while liaising with forensic investigations and the impacted value/supply chain. Control of the breach remains firmly with the Board at all times.

Reputation response

In the ‘hyper-transparent world’ of today, businesses face intense scrutiny. Crisis is a fact of life for all, and crises are inextricably linked to reputation risks. More often than not the reputation crisis overtakes the incident, and becomes the crisis itself. It is no wonder that reputation management ranks high in concerns expressed by Chief Executive Officers.

In the event of an incident or crisis it is inevitable that a working environment of complex and disjointed information will evolve. This in turn may hamper the resolution of the incident and threaten individual and organisational reputations.

In responding to reputation crises, Crux Risk provides immediate support to the Executive and Chief Executive Officer, either remotely or in situ with the Board. Crux guides, advises, coaches and monitors to ensure a balanced equilibrium is achieved between reputation and crisis.

We are in effect the Executive’s personal sounding board, counsel and over-watch, able to identify and avoid perils in a maze of reputation damage.

Crux advisers help the organisation take immediate and corrective action to avoid the incident evolving into a full-blown reputation crisis. Crux consultants focus on critical choke points, communication, stakeholder management and perceptions. While our consultants help the organisation to respond, they will simultaneously advise the Executive on implementing resilient measures to make the organisation robust and withstand any subsequent aftershocks.

Typical areas of support include crime-specific background intelligence, threat assessment, situation analysis, negotiations, strategic and tactical planning, presentation of options, coordination and briefing of victim’s families, liaison with other stakeholders, government bodies, non-governmental organisations, field experts and the media.