In the world of Fantastic America, Haruko Sato has been a prominent figure in corporate and personal security since the 1970’s. From humble beginnings he built a financial empire around the International Ess Group of companies. Headquartered in New York City’s famous 9 West building, The Ess Group has divisions around the world. They are leaders in finance, tele-communications, physical security, cyber security, real estate, fine art, and higher education.
Sato-san’s origins are murky, but public records indicate he is a natural born American citizen. His parents immigrated to Los Angeles before World War Two. Beyond graduating high school in 1968, his education and early life are largely undocumented. His first rise to prominence was joining the former brokerage firm of Silverman and Baggs in 1971. Sato-san eventually bought out the partners and parlayed his wealth from that venture to found The Ess Group in 1974.
Beyond his vast financial holdings, Sato-san was active in politics for over a decade from 1974 to 1988. He remains a significant donor to a number of American politicians, including current President Michelle Grander. Privately, he also backs a number of foreign heads of state through the byzantine structure of The Ess Group.
Publicly, The Ess Group’s main focus is multi-national security for elite corporations, wealthy business owners, royal families, and major celebrities. They maintain a number of regional offices, safe houses, and secure compounds around the world. Sato-san has trained subordinates to run the day to day operations of The Ess Group. Never the less, he still maintains a firm grasp of the company.
He demands absolute loyalty. From his penthouse apartment over looking Central Park, Sato has re-cast his role as a modern day American Shogun. He calls an ornate observation room his Aerie, his lieutenants are Daimyos, and calls his financial holdings an Empire. He has become a self-styled Dragon Lord, and his closest confidants and employees accept this whole-heartedly.
Although he is officially retired, Sato-san is still the president of the company’s board of directors. He still issues company policies, directs strategic decisions, and makes long term plans for the growth of The Ess Group. Behind closed doors, Sato-san also directs the less savory, unofficial dealings of his Empire.
Beyond the personal body guards and visible security measures The Ess Group employs, Sato-san trains Federally sanctioned para-military forces. He deploys these units around the world. Like other private military contractors, much of the work of these security forces remains out of the public eye. This has led to a shadowy network of Ess agents who operate outside of traditional legal boundaries.
His New York Daimyo is Gavin Dalton, the de facto Chief Operations Officer for the entire Ess Group. Sato-san recruited Gavin directly from the Air Force’s 24th Special Tactics Squadron, where he operated as a combat controller. Chael Gerges, Sato-san’s former NY Daimyo and current Major Domo further trained Gavin.
Sato-san operates largely behind the scenes. He has eschewed publicity and operated, especially in recent years, through intermediaries. His influence extends to boardrooms, governments, and organized crime syndicates on six continents. He is one of the only people not surprised by the return of magic.