Guardian Jet

What It Is: A Connecticut-based company providing online tools for finding, purchasing, and managing private aircraft as well as brokerage and consulting services.  

How It Grew: Aircraft brokers and pilots Mike Dwyer and Mike Mikolay founded Guardian Jet in 2002 to create a “transparent, client-focused” brokerage for corporate aviation. By the end of 2005, the firm was assisting 8 percent of Fortune 100 companies with their business aircraft sales or acquisitions. 

When aircraft values plummeted in 2008, Guardian Jet began focusing on consulting services. Dwyer developed the company’s first software tool, Guardian 20/20, a set of financial and operational dashboards aimed at helping corporate leaders understand the value of their business aircraft. By the end of 2009, Guardian Jet was servicing 15 percent of Fortune 100 companies and revenues had risen 40 percent. 

In 2010, Dwyer’s brother, Don, joined the company as a co-managing partner and brought additional aircraft-finance, asset-management, and fleet-planning experience to the firm. Guardian Jet launched its Vault asset-management portal in 2012, combining aircraft valuation and management in one online tool. Upgrades to Vault in 2017 and 2019 added a JetFinder aircraft-search tool, an estimator tool, and an aircraft-comparison tool.  

In 2013, the company launched the Guardian Jet Trading Floor Call Center with its 7-Touch Sales process and exceeded 40 aircraft transactions annually. Market share increased to 31 percent of Fortune 100 companies.

Guardian Jet, which exceeded 50 aircraft transactions in 2016, expanded its presence in Europe that year by hiring its first executive based on that continent, former Bombardier Aerospace vice president of sales Trevor Lambarth. In 2018, Guardian Jet generated more than $1 billion in sales. 

What It Offers:  

Fleet planning. Consulting with corporate flight departments to determine the right mix of aircraft and positioning through strategic travel and financial analysis. Clients obtain access to additional tools and documents through the Guardian Jet Vault portal. 

Aircraft sales and acquisitions. As of March 2020, the company has approximately 40 aircraft listed for sale on its website.

Online tools. Aircraft brochures and comparisons plus light versions of the JetFinder and Guardian Estimate tools are available to any visitor. 

Recent News: In February, Guardian added a Cabin Comparisons tool to its website, allowing visitors to view layouts and cross sections for more than 80 models of business jets.

Fast Facts 

Founded: 2002

HQ: Guilford, Connecticut 

Employees: 33

Revenues: more than $1 billion in 2018

Managing partners: Mike Dwyer, Don Dwyer

Website: guardianjet.com

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