What The Hatton Garden Heist Means for Luxury Asset Security

As people across London left the capital to spend the Easter Weekend holidays with family and friends, a group of thieves were making their way into the heart of the city to pull off a heist in Hatton Garden – emptying over seventy safe-deposit boxes and making off with the precious and highly valuable assets within. Estimates on how much was stolen still vary – but police revealed at a press conference that at least £35 million worth of cash and jewellery had been taken.

The scene of the Hatton Garden heist
The chaotic scene left behind by the robbers – who used industrial drills to bore their way into the vaults of the building – means many people who had items stored at the facility are still not sure whether their assets were stolen or not. Any theft is incredibly traumatic and financially damaging, but luxury assets such as art or jewellery are also often unique pieces that can carry great sentimental value. In this case they can never truly be replaced, even if heavily insured.

So how can you ensure that your assets – whether it’s jewellery, gold, cars, artwork or even fine wine – are as secure as possible? It involves a mixture of technology, attention to detail, experience and expertise on the unique vulnerabilities of things like watches, wine and sports cars. Appreciating Assets spoke to some of the people involved in protecting the wide array of valuable items that borro is entrusted with every day, to find out more about best practices for security and preservation.

Luxury Asset Security

London Silver Vaults
The London Silver Vaults in Chancery Lane – © Mike Peel. CC-BY-SA-4.0

Smaller items – luxury watches, items of jewellery, diamonds – are transported under tight security with armed guards and tamper-proof bags. Upon arrival at heavily-secured vaults they are handled under CCTV, barcoded and photographed.

In the US borro work with global security experts Malca-Amit and in the UK with the London Silver Vaults. The Silver Vaults, in London’s Chancery Lane, are renowned for their security – impenetrable for nearly 140 years they even survived a direct hit during The Blitz. Both facilities have CCTV, alarm, motion detection, guards and very rapid response times from the armed Police services.

Preserving and Restoring Assets

borro’s Ray Palmer is responsible for the care of assets in the UK and US and emphasized the wide range of expertise needed to successfully carry out such security operations –

“Each asset type has different characteristics and therefore requires different types of storage, handling and care.”

For example fine art and antiques are stored in bespoke warehouses where temperature and humidity is tightly controlled – “These are very strictly monitored within a 3 to 4 degree range to ensure that no extremes of heat or moisture can impact on the stability of the works that we store”. High humidity can have incredibly damaging effects on art, leading to warping, fading and even the growth of fungi and mold. Wine has a similar level of fragility and is kept in climate controlled condition which also monitor air quality, vibrations and light exposure. You can read more about wine storage in one of our previous blogs – and take note of how crucial the use of technology is in preserving wine.

You might think cars are one of the more robust assets – hulking tons of steel, aluminium or carbon fibre – but when you’re talking about high performance sports cars or classic cars – they need just as much pampering as other assets to stay in tip-top condition.

“Luxury vehicles are only ever moved by professional transporters and put into a programme to ensure the vehicle is maintained during its stay. The batteries are trickle charged, tyres are rotated to remove flat spots, engines are warmed and brakes are tested. Also, servicing, MOT etc can be achieved at our clients behest.”

Keeping Assets Safe and Sound

With the attention to detail that goes into keeping assets not just safe but pristine, you can see how borro is able to pledge to always return assets to the client in an equal or better condition than when they arrived.

For more on how borro protects your assets, including details on insurance and transport you can visit the valuations and asset pages.

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