The ultra-wealthy are hiring former special ops soldiers as 'nannies' for their kids, paying as much as $200,000 a year
- The Times reported on Thursday that a number of the ultra-rich living in London are now hiring ex-military personnel to act as nannies for their kids.
- This latest hiring trend follows the rising crime rate in some of the most exclusive neighborhoods in England's capital.
- It's just the latest example of how the role of an elite nanny to the rich has evolved.
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Being a "super-nanny" for the super-rich has always been super-taxing.
As Business Insider's Taylor Nicole Rogers previously reported, many nannies for the rich and powerful find their jobs as demanding as they are daunting, with one nanny telling Rogers that she had to "manually clear out a toddler's bowels" and another saying she had to clean out a rat's nest for the family employing her.
And though the benefits and work perks have been noted - elite nannies can make nearly $150,000 a year - it often comes at the expense of the nannies' personal lives, with late working nights and extensive travel requirements resulting in a lack of time with their own families. The role of a nanny is as complicated as ever. In addition to watching the kids, many are expected to be housekeepers, personal chefs - and now, even bodyguards.
Les Militaires meets La Maison
The Times reported on Thursday that some families in London are hiring ex-military personnel to act as nannies for their children. This is to combat the rising crime rates in London, as well as the threat of child abduction for ransom. The more experienced "close protection guards" among this group are paid as much as £150,000 a year ($196,000), according to what Sam Martin - the co-founder of 19 London, an international staffing agency that finds staff for ultra-wealthy clients' homes, offices, yachts, and private aircraft - told The Times.
"People wanting this sort of protection come from places where the criminal model includes kidnapping and ransom, and in the 1990s in Russia this was the way they operated," Sergei Migdal, a former security expert and head bodyguard for a Russian oligarch, told The Times.
The Times also reported that the crime rates in two of London's most affluent neighborhoods - Westminster, and Kensington & Chelsea - have risen by 25% and 15% respectively. Magoo Giles, a former Coldstream Guard who is now the principal and founder of a £20,000-a-year ($26,252-a-year) private school, told The Times that many families both at his school and other schools in the area have arrangements to have their children dropped off and picked up by these private security guards.
"All of the bodyguards that we recruit are ex-military," Martin told The Times. "However, when it comes to close protection for children, clients tend to demand more high-level staff, someone who is trained in emergency first aid and possibly from special forces like the SAS."
The role of an elite nanny has evolved
Nannies have long been a fixture in the households of the rich and powerful. As reported by Katie Warren for Business Insider, many families have more than one nanny - often one for each child. Chrissy Teigen, for example, personally confirmed that she has a rotating staff of four nannies for her two kids. And many nannies seen today are expected to have post-high school education, with some even holding master's degrees, according to Seth Norman Greenberg, vice president of the domestic staffing firm Pavillion Agency, which pairs wealth families to household staff.
"There's never been wealth like there is now," Greenberg told Business Insider. "Leading up to the '60s, maybe even the '70s, most wealthy families had a primary property. They possibly had a second home. But now, I'm seeing families that have four, five homes, a yacht, a plane. I mean, the wealth is growing and people are living a life not tied to one property as in years past."
But while the idea of a nanny has remained consistent, the role itself and its requirements have been ever changing, constantly adapting to the evolving wants and the needs of modern day society.
For example, The New York Times' Nellie Bowles reported in October 2018 that wealthy families in Silicon Valley are drawing up contracts with their nannies to guarantee no screen time for their kids. Bowles also reported that these parents have even been secretly snapping photos of nannies who were using cell phones near the kids in their charge, then posting the images to parenting message boards to shame the rule-breakers.
"Most parents come home, and they're still glued to their phones, and they're not listening to a word these kids are saying," one nanny told the New York Times. "Now I'm the nanny ripping out the cords from the PlayStations."
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