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UMBRA International – The Home of Secure Lifestyle.

On a mission to make the world a safer place for everyone.

How did it all begin?

During 2013 CEO Kate saw a gap in the provision of ‘Invisible Security’ and Secure Lifestyle in all it forms, from her unique standpoint as one of only a few women in the security industry at an Operator level. Prior to this, as a gatekeeping Executive Assistant and Chief of Staff she struggled to bring together the right holistic security strategy as physical, digital, reputational and emotional risk started to evolve more quickly. As the business developed it responded to a huge need to challenge the industry norms, and we were gradually able to change the industry mindsets around the modern private client and their holistic needs, based on the team’s deep knowledge and decades of experience. Having coined the term ‘Secure Lifestyle’, this seemed to give us an instantly recognizable concierge lead USP, underscoring – a white glove approach that traditional security companies seemed to be struggling with – as it is time (and labour) – intensive compared to corporate security provision. We are now a global business with a core team based in London and partners across the world, including a sister office in Geneva, Switzerland.

What sets your business apart?

We are the only business globally providing a navigation through the complex and sometimes hard to understand, private security industry. We have brought a new paradigm of ‘Secure Lifestyle’ to an age old industry and are crashing through the stereotypes of what it is to be protected and feel safe.

We work with the world’s most interesting, dynamic and successful people and their families empowering them to take ownership of their feelings of safety, and help them hone their own ability to become more situationally aware in a fast-paced permacrisis world – focusing on education rather than simply a protective sticking plaster.

As a female founded business in a historically male dominated industry we tend attract a new generation of clients who learn about our unique and future proofed ways to protect them, and who value our Founder’s journey through the Close Protection world as a woman, from ‘Boots on the Ground to the Boardoom’ – as an Operator herself working with prominent families, and now sitting in governance roles within the industry at governmental level.

The business story is often specifically the reasons our client & community hear about, are referred to, and ultimately work with, us.

What is the concept behind your business or the problem you’re solving?

Never before have private clients, or wider still into society, been able to navigate the Security sector with ease and understanding. We believe that security should be accessible, timely, acronym free and proportionate to the risks our clients face, and they should be empowered through the process of supporting them. We also believe that if we are able to be more proactive with our services, working in a precrisis way, then we are able to solve problems before they arise. All of this is done in a fairly priced and value driven manner working with some of the most incredible people and service partners that are often unseen.

We are proud to be able to bring the best services and suppliers in a jargon free manner, sitting at our client’s site of the table through times of change to their circumstances. This change can be through relocation, liquidity event, succession or reactive life events that alter our client’s perspective of their risk and emotional safety.

Where to next/What is your brand vision?

International expansion and Impact are two key pillars of our 5 year strategy.

We formalised our Swiss Partnership in Geneva during the pandemic and having this second base in Europe has given us a unique foothold for clients going through change. We want to continue this so we can better support our clients in the US, Africa, UAE and APAC.

We are proud to work with some of the worlds most impactful leaders and philanthropists who share our vision to create a safer world for everyone through our UMBRA Academy projects which is a big focus for us going forward – and we are delighted to see other companies in the sector following suit and realizing that growing businesses sustainability and with impact at the core is precisely why the modern consumer engages with any business. We are excited as to how we can measure and grow the impact our business is having on helping to be a part of societal inequalities and the future of the planet. B Corp here we come!

Kate Bright

Founder & CEO of

UMBRA International Group Ltd

What do you feel passionate about/what drives you?

So many things. General themes include: making the world a safer place, giving young people support and confidence, making the boardroom a more accessible place. My main triggers in life is the plight of those who cannot protect themselves, and injustice in any shape or form. As I grow in confidence and have a platform, I’m determined to harness my Imposter Syndrome to use my voice to highlight the issues facing those who don’t.

Share an example of early life that has shaped you?

My best friend died when I was 11. She had a brain tumor – it was detected after she developed a headache while at school, and she then died 3 days later. A few years later I developed a serious kidney issue and had a major operation just before my A levels. In 2020 another schoolfriend died suddenly. All 3 events, and the subsequent work I’ve done to make sure I have processed them properly, have sharpened my view around the delicate nature of life & purpose, the importance of deep relationships, the value I have for my health, and living in the moment. Subconciously I think it is why I have an obsession for raising money for charitable causes, to push forward the unknowns of medicine and science so we can save others and progress mankind.

Highlights of your business journey so far?

I have an irrational love of the early days when I first set the business up – the simplicity and naivety of building a business – where ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’. I work hard to celebrate the small wins now to keep myself grounded. Becoming Chartered Security Professional, our business becoming ISO accredited and starting the B Corp journey are three more recent highlights.

Key lessons you have learned along the way?

SO MANY! Here are the highlights: You are only as good as the team, and network around you. I am blessed to have big brains and specialised experts around me on a daily basis to learn from and to provide clients with the best service possible. Realising that you need to embrace terms like ‘entrepreneur’ and ‘leader’ was an ‘Aha moment’ and making a pledge to invest as much time in my own development as I would advise those around me to. Face problems head on, and learn the art of handling difficult conversations positively by forcing yourself to have them at every opportunity. Eat the big things first, hard parts of the to do list, difficult projects – don’t let them fester, break them down into small parts and ask for help whenever you feel you need it. Professionally and personally.

Best piece of advice you have received?

Control what you can control, and that only. Hire better than you, and have a working knowledge of P&L and balance sheets to keep a regular eye on numbers, regardless of how big you grow.

Advice to an aspiring entrepreneur or woman just starting her career?

Stay humble and hungry. Humble when ‘success’ comes knocking, and hungry to develop, learn, understand and question. Listening to podcasts like High Performance has taken me out of my own head into other industries and business leaders mindsets and I learn from every conversation they have.

What funding route have you chosen for your business and why?

Self funded – I am 100% owner of my business with zero external investment – at the moment! We are always innovating, finding new ways to bring solutions and services so our clients can work with us in a variety of ways – from the recruitment of the right teams, to an advisory practice that now enables us to offer pro bono advice for those in crisis and a project management division that can assemble at a moments notice but also help clients on a long term basis. A lot of this learning we have done on the way, learning fast, failing forwards and so thus far we have done this on our own to build even more value into the business going forward.

Some of the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them?

Every day is a challenge – as you grow, the micro decisions become more prevalent and the bigger picture strategy needs to not get lost along the way. One of our Advisors always tells me to plan for 5-10 years time and track back to keep the daily, weekly and monthly to do list in line with this. I have found growing into the ‘business leader suit’ a tricky one – I instinctively want to remain on the metaphorical shop floor whilst also being pulled more and more into the Ambassadorial role of the CEO. I have had to learn when to be able to switch on very different skills, especially when growing a team – namely finding someone to manage while I lead. Leadership development is something I came to very late in the day and I credit my monthly personal and professional coaching with the ability to see where I am making mistakes, not to make them twice, and hiring better people than me, whilst keeping a core Advisory team very close. My issue is as an inherently ‘glass half full’ person is that I rarely see mistakes as such – I see them more ways to break the mould, do things differently and recreate. By retaining a growth mindset, always learning and listening better to those around me you can create a bulletproof way to face any challenge, in my experience.

Why is it important to support women-led business?

Women represent 51% of the UK population at the last Census. The statistics about what women bring to the economy are eyewatering, as are the figures showing what they could bring to worldwide economies. We need to challenge stereotypes and support women and their default position in caring roles, as well as pushing for the right financial support needed to raise children being readily available. Female lead businesses perform better according to the Rose Review, and as Entrepreneurs are the engine room of any economy, we need to maximise the impact that women-led business can have on the world by ensuring that no woman faces barriers to setting up and growing businesses – as a priority.

60

Seconds

with

Kate Bright

My inspiration is...

My parents and grandparents – my family in general. I do it all for them.

My greatest fear is...

Not leaving a positive and impactful legacy.

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is...

Start and grow a challenger business.

Guilty pleasure?

Chocolate, spicy margaritas and Biohacking.

Mantra you live by?

Control the controllables.

Female role model?

Both grandmothers Nanna Olive and Granny Viktoria.

Women-led brand you love?

EVERY SINGLE WOMEN'S CHAPTER MEMBER BRANDS!

Top productivity tool?

AI Assistant and timeblocking deep work out of hours/whilst on flight.

UMBRA has created a SPECIAL OFFER exclusively for Women's Chapter Members

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