Wiretaps, break-ins, bribes—Jules Kroll likes to dismiss competitors who use such tactics as “cowboys.” But he has hired plenty of graduates of the C.I.A. and other secret services, such as M.I.6 and the Mossad, and has also been obliged to fire some for breaking the rules. With the end of the Cold War, a flood of former spies came onto the private-security market. Their methods and networks could be useful, particularly in countries, such as the ex-Soviet states, newly opened to foreign investment.
Kroll has hired two former New York City police commissioners: Robert McGuire, in 1989; and William Bratton, in 2000. McGuire was instrumental in landing a major contract to redesign the security system of the World Trade Center after the 1993 terrorist bombing.