Wealth migration to PBC a boon to security providers, like this former Secret Service agent

The "Wall Street South" migration of wealth to Palm Beach County hasn't just attracted billionaire financiers, as well as celebrities and other public figures. It's lured a bevy of for-hire professionals offering to keep them safe.

One of those is ex-Secret Service agent Lester Blount. Five years ago, Blount retired after a 20-year career at the protective federal agency, in which he drew assignments protecting Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.

Since then, Blount has been developing a niche "executive" security business he says offers personal and technology-based protection services that he personally provides along with a handful of other former Secret Service and FBI agents he would not identify. The options include a sort of a-la-carte selection depending on whether the high-profile individual wants 24/7 coverage or simply a temporary assignment in case that person seeks to venture out in public for a show or a dinner.

Blount's LMB Security offers a white-glove service in a county where national and global security firms predominate. The industry big names located here include ADT, Allied Universal Security Services, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Cambridge Security Services, Johnson Controls Security Products and Tyco Integrated Security.

Employment statistics do not break out security jobs separate, but rather those positions are included in two categories, business professional services and technology. According to the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, there are more than 30,000 people employed by the 21,000-plus companies in the two sectors combined.

U.S. Secret Service agent Lester Blount with his dog. The retired agent has opened LMB Security, a personal protection service on April 24, 2024 in Lake Worth Beach, Florida.
U.S. Secret Service agent Lester Blount with his dog. The retired agent has opened LMB Security, a personal protection service on April 24, 2024 in Lake Worth Beach, Florida.

A drive along a main Palm Beach roadway yielded security lapses, ex-Secret Service agent noted

Sometime ago, Blount said he was driving County Road through exclusive Palm Beach neighborhoods and noticed a lack of security cameras and other protective features in the homes he drove by.

"I can provide a lot of assistance to a lot of those residences," he said.

But Blount insists what separates his boutique firm is the top secret clearance status he and his team enjoy. That status allows him, for example, to pick up the phone and inquire about threats that already may have been made against a potential client.

It also includes the capacity to use drones in securing on a property, plus expertise in cybersecurity as well as explosives. Say you a client wants to go to dinner on Atlantic Avenue in Delray, Blount's team can run specially trained bomb-sniffing canines to detect explosives.

"I have top secret clearance and it's kind of hard to come by," Blount said. "I don't have much competition as far as that's concerned."

Former U.S. Secret Service agent Lester Blount has opened LMB Security, a personal protection service on April 24, 2024 in Lake Worth Beach, Florida.
Former U.S. Secret Service agent Lester Blount has opened LMB Security, a personal protection service on April 24, 2024 in Lake Worth Beach, Florida.
Former U.S. Secret Service agent Lester Blount has opened LMB Security, a personal protection service on April 24, 2024 in Lake Worth Beach, Florida.
Former U.S. Secret Service agent Lester Blount has opened LMB Security, a personal protection service on April 24, 2024 in Lake Worth Beach, Florida.
U.S. Secret Service agent Lester Blount, second from right, with his family, with President Joe Biden and Jill Biden. The retired agent has opened LMB Security, a personal protection service on April 24, 2024 in Lake Worth Beach, Florida.
U.S. Secret Service agent Lester Blount, second from right, with his family, with President Joe Biden and Jill Biden. The retired agent has opened LMB Security, a personal protection service on April 24, 2024 in Lake Worth Beach, Florida.

He offers security but also privacy, said ex-Secret Service agent

And there's one other level of security he offers — privacy.

"I meet all kinds of people, but I don't talk about them," he said.

Blount's resume lists the work he did at the Secret Service, including two years as the lead motorcade driver for then-Vice President Al Gore. During the Clinton years, he was also assigned to the White House security, where he coordinated protection in the residence with the sniper teams, the agents monitoring airspace, a counter surveillance unit and others.

Blount also worked the advance team to secure Mar-a-Lago when Trump ventured to his private club during his term in the White House. He was mostly assigned to the first couple's Palm Beach residence, dubbed the Southern White House, although he did occasionally venture with the president to events like his Super Bowl party at his West Palm Beach golf club and a fundraiser at the Trump National Doral resort west of Miami.

Who did he see and what happened? He will not say.

"You see on TV now cases where the bodyguards are telling secrets and stuff like that," Blount said. "But you don't have to worry about that with me."

Antonio Fins is a politics and business editor at The Palm Beach Post, part of the USA TODAY Florida Network. You can reach him at afins@pbpost.comHelp support our journalism. Subscribe today.

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Secret Service agent protects Palm Beach County 'Wall Street South' execs