Who We Are

Who We Are 2017-11-14T11:00:10+00:00

Groupe Tara S.A. is a Swiss security company that mainly operates in Iraq, engaging in advising and protection assignments on behalf of its clients.

About

Groupe Tara S.A. is made up of security and risk management specialists with a thorough knowledge of the context of Iraq, providing security for some 40 French CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) companies in Iraq as well as a number of other international companies, media, and NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) from around the world.

We are highly adaptable to the most sensitive ethnic, religious, political, security, socio-economic and deteriorating situations. We prioritise transparency, compliance and human rights in all our procedures.

Through our exclusive positioning, combined with the experience of our partners, Groupe Tara S.A. has been present in Iraq permanently since 2003 and is recognized as a leading specialist for protection, security and consulting.

  • We collaborate with Gulf Shield Security, a well-established Iraqi security company.
  • We are a partner of the French Business Center in Baghdad (Centre Français des Affaires) managed by ADIT.
  • We are a partner of two major French private security/military companies (PSC/PMC).
  • We are a member of ICoCA (International Code of Conduct Association).
  • We advise the non-profit organization Burma Link on matters of security when operating in sensitive areas.

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Workforce

  • We highly value team building, teamwork, reliability, stability, and respect.
  • We pride ourselves on our workforce who are professional and dedicated to the company.
  • We maintain current workforce of over 1,000 Iraqi personnel and typically employ around 90% of Iraqi personnel on our contracts.
  • We give back to the communities where we work by employing local personnel and ensuring that they are vetted and screened, trained to a high standard, and treated fairly throughout their employment.
  • We run a mentoring and coaching program to ensure that personnel are recognised and given the opportunity to progress in the company hierarchy.

Background

Groupe Tara S.A. was founded in 2003 by Jean-Philippe Lafont to provide security services in Iraq for the media, NGOs, contractors and businessmen. Groupe Tara S.A. has developed an internal structure designed to ensure best in class operations are delivered at all times to all clients. By placing market leading managers and operators within their respective functions, we have created a lean, focused, and fast moving organization that can respond to the challenges of Iraq without getting weighed down by internal corporate processes that are heavy and irrelevant.

Leadership

Jean-Philippe Lafont, Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Jean-Philippe Lafont is a security specialist with extensive experience in the field of security gained in the Balkans area (EU missions), Africa, Central America and in Asia prior to his installation in Iraq. Jean-Philippe is in charge of the coordination and the monitoring of the security of several foreign contractors and investors in the country, having supervised hundreds of missions in Iraq for more than 12 years without any incident in the field. His skills and know-how are unanimously recognized by leading French groups, including a French security firm Gallice Group, which Jean-Philippe advised during its activities in Iraq from 2010 to 2014.

Strategic Committee assists Groupe Tara S.A. in its mission of development, examining the overall strategy, reviewing the operations of outstanding strategic importance and/or advising on the strategic direction of Groupe Tara S.A.

Benjamin Lebreton

Benjamin Lebreton is an advisor for the register of lawyers in the Canton of Vaud in Switzerland. He specializes in tax law and customs law.

After a career at KPMG in France and Romania, where Benjamin led the tax aspect of privatizations and the implementation of the first French retail group, he founded his firm in France and in Switzerland where he resides. Benjamin is a graduate from the Magisterium DJCE and of the National Defense College of Romania. He is also a member of the Institute of Lawyers Tax Advisers, of the Switzerland Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and in Luxembourg and he is the author of numerous articles in the Swiss press on international taxation. Within Groupe Tara S.A. Benjamin supports the financial and legal structuring of the operations.

Fabrice Eggimann

Fabrice Eggimann is a security manager who supports the ethical policy department within Groupe Tara S.A.

Fabrice has been a Security adviser for a number of NGOs since 2005. He has participated in various external missions as Head of security, expertise, assessment and/or coordination programs in many countries. Fabrice has specific expertise in the field of safety and security, especially with regards to the analysis and determination of the ethic policy, risk management, access, and prevention. In Iraq, he stepped under a Scandinavian NGO that provides aid and relief to IDPs and refugees across Iraq and Syria. Fabrice obtained a Master II Humanitarian Crises Management and a postgraduate university degree “European Certificate of international humanitarian aid.”

General Nerdah Bo Mya

General Nerdah Bo Mya is the head of the KNDO (Karen National Defense Organization) in Burma.

The KNDO was founded in 1947 to protect the Karen people and their territory in southeast Burma. The KNDO has been closely following the peace process instigated by the Burmese government and continues to work towards sustainable and genuine peace for all Burma’s people. The KNDO is also focusing on development in the Karen hills.

Thierry Grandidier

Thierry Grandidier is the Groupe Tara S.A. Switzerland manager/administrator and he is also teacher in Switzerland.

Thierry is a long haul traveler involved in several humanitarian and development projects especially in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Madagascar and other areas. Thierry has been teaching human sciences in both Switzerland and France during more than 20 years.

Scott Johnson

Scott Johnson is a lawyer and human rights advocate who has worked with various indigenous groups such as the Montagnards of Vietnam and Karen of Burma.

Scott is also a documentary film maker and independent journalist having been published in the Washington Times, Asia Tines, Soldier of Fortune and the West Australian.

Leena Zieger

Leena Zieger is a social scientist and a human rights advocate who advises Groupe Tara S.A. on humanitarian principles and ethics when consulted.

She is a co-founder and the International Coordinator of Burma Link, an NGO that advocates for Burma’s marginalised ethnic nationalities and displaced people. Leena has been working in the Thailand-Burma border area in close collaboration with various civil society groups since 2011.