Guest Speaker: Alan Bell
.updated 2013 Nov 25xx
Disclaimer This is a page for students who are in an international business course taught by Tim Richardson.
Sometimes, Mr. Alan Bell is a guest speaker in that course.
While this page exists with the consent of Mr. Bell, this is NOT an official bio of Alan Bell. 
For Bell's company, see

Mr. Bell was born in England. He joined the British Navy as a young teenager and soon after became a member of the Royal Marine Commandos where he served for 10 years - then passed selection to the Special Air Service (SAS) and spent 12 years with this elite regiment as a paratrooper commando.

He operated worldwide as a Special Forces commando in classified areas over a period of twelve years, including combat in several wars (including the Falkland Islands). He trained commandos in all aspects of anti-terrorist tasks, and VIP protection teams in sensitive high-risk areas. 
Alan Bell's expertise is of interest to our class on international business management because more and more Canadian companies are operating in more dangerous areas of the world, and to do so successfully requires knowledge of the risks, and how to deal with it.

INTRODUCTION , There are several important reasons for having a guest lecturer like Alan Bell.
    • Successful "International Business Management" is based 

    • on solving problems. 
    • If there were no problems, you wouldn't need managers. 
But because there are lots of problems, you need managers to analyze the problem, think of a solution, then supervise implementing a solution.

Part of being a successful Int' Business Manager (especially after 911) is recognizing that risk and threat situations effect int'l business in many ways, and, these situations have to be dealt with, and "managed", or your company will be compromised and subsequently uncompetitive.

When you listen to Mr. Bells remarks, and when you are reading the related material at you should try to understand the 
  • range of risk and threat situations that challenge companies and individuals - and understand 
  • some of the ways to plan for, and deal with those situations.
Alan Bell - guest speaker - discussing risk and threat situations for international business travellers at the University of Toronto, Scarborough campus
AWB-MGTC44-2010Jan27-1926x941.jpg Mr. Alan Bell with the class of MGTC44 Jan 27th 2010 at University of Toronto (UTSC) - holding the UofT shirt we presented to him 
Bell on TV (Global News)

MGTC44 student Wilmer Yee (in the Jan-Apr 2006 term) emailed me in June 2006 to say "thanks for bringing in Alan Bell".

Mr. Bell is often interviewed on TV for security and terrorism incidents and sometimes when students see him on TV they say "heh, that's the guy Richardson had come talk to our class - I guess he really is an expert"

Wilmer's email to the right is an example of such a "spotting".

Bell on TV (CBC)

CBC did a short documentary called "Shadow Company" which was about mercenaries, or, as they like to be called Contract Security Specialists.

Alan Bell's company was featured in the documentary and AWB was also interviewed in a short segement that can still be seen on the CBC site.

Click the screen capture to access that CBC page. Select MediaPlayer or QuickTime and watch the short clip.
Mr. Bell was a member of the UK Counter Terrorist Special Projects Team in a multiple of roles which included assaulter, method of entry team and sniper roles. His combat experience includes the Falkland Islands, Ireland, Afghanistan and other classified areas. Additionally, he has provided training and operational assistance to CIA, FBI, RCMP, CSIS and other Intelligence Agencies worldwide.

In the late 1980's, after finishing an assignment with the SAS related to security for the British Prime Minister on a forthcoming visit to Canada, Mr. Bell decided to retire from the army and immigrated to Canada to work in the security services industry here.

Since having moved to Canada and establishing one of the elite international security services companies here, he has been frequently called upon to be an expert commentator on security related events, which has included him be regularly interviewed by the CBC, CTV, Global News + various national newspapers for stories on things such as 9/11, kidnappings, hostage events, Gulf War, etc.

Mr. Bell's specialty in the millennium includes advising Canadian companies involved in international business, on preparing contingency planning, and risk and threat assessment for developing business, and operating in hostile regions.
During the 1st week of October, 2005, Prof. Richardson was interviewed by journalist Jeremy Ferguson for a special report in the Travel section of The Globe & Mail for a story about Business Travel Security. 

The story ran in The Globe Oct 27th, part of the quotable quotes are listed below.

. Richardson explained that part of being a successful Int' Business Manager (especially after 911) is recognizing that risk and threat situations effect int'l business in many ways, and, these situations  have to be dealt with, and "managed", or your company will be compromised and subsequently uncompetitive.

The story ran in The Globe Oct 27th, part of the quotable quotes are listed below.

Ferguson, quoting Prof. Richardson

"International business consultant Tim Richardson, who lectures at the University of Toronto and Seneca College, specializes in security and risk analysis in hostile regions. "For enterprising companies, the easy places in the world have been maxed out," he says. "Now the real business potential is in places like South America and Central Africa. Canadians are extraordinarily active there, as mining and forestry experts, financiers, medical personnel and other specialists.

"Safety becomes a critical issue in maintaining a company's competitive edge. What-if scenarios and contingency plans make or break survival in a competitive climate. Right now, only a small number of companies in Canada are prepared, but as litigation increases, they'll have to have plans in place or be ready to be sued."

He [Richardson] says having contingency plans "mean decision-makers can perform sensibly under stress. They prevent a crisis from becoming a disaster. They ready companies to deal coolly with hurricanes, tsunamis, terrorists, thieves, criminals, random kidnappings, murders, assault -- the works. If the companies don't pony up on services, they won't get the talent they need to operate in these places. If they lose access to this talent, it's game over."

Ferguson, writing about his interview with Alan Bell

Former British secret service agent Alan Bell, described by Mr. Richardson as "the guy who trained James Bond," is president of the Toronto-based Globe Risk Holdings International, which advises CBC and CTV and was recently retained to recruit, train and manage Canada's first private security tactical armed response team for the Canadian nuclear power industry.

"In Ecuador," he [Bell] says, recalling a case, "one Canadian client ran into a kidnap and ransom situation. Two years earlier, it had requested a crisis management plan specifically including kidnapping. The majority of the board were unbelievers. But we went ahead and completed the plan, which focused on skillful negotiation. It worked because the company knew what to do instead of thrashing around in a panic."

. Bell presentation on digital video

In October 2005, when Mr. Bell had been a guest speaker for the 6th time to the MGTD06 class, we made a digital video of his 1 hr presentation. The presentation was burned on to a DVD and edited into several smaller segments. These segments were uploaded to the UTSC server and are available for students to download and view on their own computer. 

Advisory - the segments are large sized files. It is best to do this only if you have cable access and at least 512 MB of RAM

Clicking on the screen capture to the left will take you to the MASTER INDEX of all the segments, or you can select individual segments as indicated by the screen captures below.

SOFTWARE You may have the propert software on your PC or MAC to listen to these files, but just in case you don't, you can go to the Quick Time website and download the latest version to these .mov files can run, the URL is . I put QuickTime 7 on my machine in 1st week of October and it runs better than Quick Time 6.3

The Introduction
- file size 95 MB

Prof. Richardson introduces Alan Bell

In 2005, companies are increasingly aware that their ability to do business internationally means being able to handle risk and threat situations, particularly in emerging economies in hostile regions

. Segment 1
- file size 170 MB

In this segment
- the int'l circumstances of companies operating in hostile environments
- the fundamentals of risk and threat assessments

c Segment 2
- file size 76.2 MB

In this segment

what is risk?

- nationalization of the industry
- political risk


Segment 3
- file size 47.8 MB

In this segment Bell explains that Terrorism is global, not just in the Middle East
- you also have to deal with rebels
- the threats and risks needs to be assessed so a company can read a report and make a decision to GO or NOT GO into a particular region

c Segment 4
- file size 31 MB

In this segment TR discusses security in terms of the main environments and resources effecting Canada - namely mining
The mining business is big business and many Canadian mining companies operate overseas
- mining industry worldwide dominated by Canadians
- Canadian mining companies are aggressive in going to locations that are high risk

c Segment 5
- file size 125 MB

In this segment Bell discusses
(1) Unstable ethnic conflictes
Richardson adds an example and notes the influence of the technological environment facilitating ethnic conflict
(2) Climatic conditions
Bell explains why this effects business travel

c Segment 6
- file size 23.6 MB

In this segment Richardson discussed Topographical extremes and how they effect personal travel which in turn effects communications within members of a company

c Segment 7
- file size 77.4 MB

In this segment Bell discusses the 
"Deny and Repress" Syndrome

The tendancy for Canadians to think they can wear a maple leaf flag pin on their and everybody around the world will think they are wonderful

The problem is, there are a lot of people in some distressed regions around the world to whom a Canadian flag means nothing

c Segment 8
- file size 136 MB

In this segment Bell tells a story about a Canadian mining company that wanted him to carry firearms on a bodyguard job - and the wisdom of NOT doing that when held up by guerillas.

A good example of the "integrative approach", compared to the "defensive approach"

c This is a screen capture from Alan Bell's company, Globe Risk, clicking on this link will take you to their main index page which is interesting and useful to learn a bit about.

There are no "official" web sites for the SAS, but you can obtain some information from