Philip Curlewis, private investigator Age: 35. Career path: My father was English and my mother Chinese. I was born in Hong Kong and went to school here and in Britain. After school I joined the Royal Military Police, where I stayed for eight years, serving in Germany for two years, Britain for three, followed by a year in Belize and two here. Then postings started to shrink and I thought I could make some good money here. My elder brother introduced me to Fact Finders and I started working for them as a private investigator. I am now a director and have been with the company for eight years. Philip's day: You need patience in this job and to be able to think on your feet: no situation can be rehearsed and you need to be able to tell major lies without batting an eyelid. There is more structure to my day now I am a director because administration and meetings take time each day, but I am still involved in hands-on investigations, which I really enjoy. I work from 8.30 am until any time at night; this is a seven-day-a-week occupation so I have no time for sport or hobbies. Fact Finders, now a multi-national company, has 80 staff in Hong Kong. We cover a wide range of investigations, covering everything from partner checking on partner to insurance claims, tracing individuals, surveillance and so on. There is nothing repetitious or boring about this job because each case is unique. There are many counterfeit cases, which might begin when the client, say a high-profile jewellery company, approaches me with knowledge of a counterfeiting operation. After some investigation I will meet the counterfeiter posing as a potential overseas buyer and set up meetings. During discussions I set about getting hard evidence of the counterfeit product - a sample, video, invoice or something. Once we have evidence we hand it over to the client, who goes to the Customs and Excise Department. Some of the cases concerning fake watches are triad-related so they are dangerous, but we have never been caught out. Over the years I have stalked many partners suspected of having affairs. Most cases are wrapped up in about two weeks, but we need proof so the sooner we can photograph the subjects going into a love hotel the better. Other cases are quite funny: some have involved people claiming insurance for work-related injuries and hobbling into doctors' offices. We have caught them dropping their crutches and running for the bus just around the corner. Then there are people appointed to executive positions whose CVs prove false. While this job is fascinating, seeing what people get up to has probably made me cynical and suspicious. Salary: The money's good, upwards of $1 million each year. Ambition: Make a lot of money and live comfortably. Bruce McLaren, bodyguard. Age:35. Career path: I was born in Greenock, Scotland, and grew up in Dundee. After school I worked as a marine engineer in a shipyard for five years but that was boring so I joined the fire brigade. I was there for for five years too, but that also became boring because there weren't enough fires. I did some karate while I was a fireman, which has come in handy. I spent time travelling and came to Hong Kong in 1989. I thought it would be a good place to earn some money so I started working in bars and restaurants. I then began working as a bodyguard and organising security for celebrities coming here. About four years ago I met my partner, Kim Marie Penn, who has been Australian karate champion six times, and she and I formed Signal 8 Security. Bruce's day: Between big concerts and sporting events my bread-and-butter money is earned watching the door at various nightclubs around Lan Kwai Fong. I'm not too fond of this because it often entails being abused by people who drink too much, especially women. I have had people spit at me, I've been urinated on and someone once hit me with her handbag. Women are far more abusive than men when it comes to turning them away or sorting out problems. I can go weeks without any trouble, but recently we had fights inside and outside one of the bars. My job is to diffuse a situation in a calm non-threatening way, diplomatically and without force or violence. But there are cases where I have to escort people out; I use handcuffs and lead them out, never a weapon. Obviously some action makes the night go more quickly, but Lan Kwai Fong is busy and there is plenty to watch and do. I have looked after security for Phil Collins, Depeche Mode, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Air Supply, Foreigner and other big performers. We also do security at big sporting events like the cricket Sixes, the rugby Sevens and tennis events, and I personally guarded Boris Becker when he was here last year. Security in Hong Kong is low-priority because there has never been a problem, which is why I am often contacted at the last minute before a celebrity arrives. While I'm guarding a celebrity I dress accordingly so that I am not conspicuous. I constantly watch crowds and anyone approaching, and always sit in the front seat of a car. At dinner I organise the seating and make sure I am in a position to see everyone approaching. It is also important that the bill is settled as soon as an order is placed should we have to leave in a hurry, and this is something I organise. I don't speak unless spoken to, or unless we need to discuss an itinerary or something related to security. But a lot of these people are very nice and they do talk. I do not carry bags. Some celebrities think a bodyguard is there to carry their stuff, but I make it clear what I do and don't do. I like my job - I just wish we had more concerts on the go. Ambition: To see the Hong Kong Stadium concert problem resolved so we can attract more top names. Salary: Upwards of $35,000 a month, on average.