Articles by Bill Whitmore
Security officers work diligently to protect people and property and are often first on the scene of an emergency. Working alongside police, paramedics and firefighters, security officers demand our collective respect. The Freedonia Group reports that the demand for security officer and patrol services is forecast to rise at an annual rate of 4.6 percent through 2014 to $25 billion and the number of officers employed by private security firms is expected to increase 2.6 percent per year to 740,000 in 2014. This rapid rise of the security sector demands a shift in public perception about this critically important job. How do we keep this vitally important workforce engaged, productive and energised? Bill Whitmore, Chairman & CEO of AlliedBarton Security Services comments that security officers who are cared for and nurtured by their organisation with affordable healthcare and accessible and relevant training are happier on the job and possess a positive attitude. Value of providing affordable healthcare benefits In the short-term, it may not be the most cost efficient model for companies to offer a variety of healthcare coverage to employees. However, long-term, companies that truly respect and honour their workforce see the value and savings it brings, recognising that it is simply the right thing to do. An organisation’s commitment to offering employee benefits is often a reflection of how they treat and value their employees. When employees believe their employer cares for their well-being, they become more invested and engaged in their work, leading to greater morale and productivity, and better customer service. In addition to offering comprehensive training and development opportunities, ensuring that employees and their families have access to affordable healthcare is critically important. Providing employees with a choice of healthcare benefits, along with training and development opportunities, helps ensure positive attitude and initiative. While some hourly workers may be able to find affordable healthcare options on their own, this may not be the case for everyone. A well-designed employee benefits package can help drive employee engagement and increase staff retention. Employee benefits packages can help drive employee engagement and increase staff retention Employee engagement programmes for security officers Providing employee engagement and development programmes that include competitive compensation, health insurance, paid vacation, employer-supported retirement plans, and access to additional education and training can make a big difference in a security officer’s overall well-being professionally and personally. Savvy security employers realise these individuals are a worthy investment, resulting in enhanced recruitment, retention and productivity. Whether in the case of a frontline security officer assisting with a lost child or a manager developing emergency procedures at a client site, security personnel lead best when supported with employee development and engagement programs. Building morale and engagement helps to strengthen the next generation of leaders. Part of the overall engagement program, training and education allow security teams to further develop their skills and abilities. By offering security personnel the opportunity to improve themselves, they can become a proactive part of the solution to our daily security challenges, are invested in their role and organisation, and are increasingly satisfied with their work experience. Doing more to retain loyal and valuable security staff Security leaders want officers who are committed and show initiative. For example, training and expertise in CPR was critical to the heroic acts of last year’s ASIS International Ralph Day Security Officer of the Year award winner, Myisha Pullum, a security officer at a condominium complex in Coronado, California. She acted quickly and used her CPR training to save a child’s life, and then moved on to control access to the scene once paramedics arrived. Pullum is a prime example of an engaged employee with a positive attitude. And she is just one example. Security officers across the country make a significant impact on our lives daily. However, security leaders know it can be difficult to find and retain these stand-out employees. More than ever in this growing industry, we must look at the engagement, development and benefit programs we have in place, and ask ourselves, “Are we doing enough?” Organisations that value employees at all levels need to ensure that development opportunities and wellness programs are available to them. Security officers help keep us safe every day and we must work hard to retain these loyal and valuable employees.
The new organisation is the largest security services company in North America AlliedBarton Security Services and Universal Services of America have finalised the merger to form Allied Universal, a security services and solutions company. The new organisation, with more than 140,000 employees, is the largest security services company in North America. Allied Universal will maintain headquarters in Santa Ana, California, and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, and is expected to have annual revenues of approximately $4.5 billion. Serving, securing and caring Allied Universal provides service, systems and solutions to serve, secure and care for the people and businesses of our communities. A commitment to understanding clients' needs and aligning solutions with their goals will position Allied Universal as a resource for clients and integral element of their operations. Allied Universal's new tag line – There for you. – is representative of this deep client commitment and also the organisation's dedication to creating better environments for clients' stakeholders and every community where Allied Universal operates. Shared commitment "Allied Universal brings together two industry leaders, and combines best practices, leadership and expertise to provide even greater support to our clients and employees," said Steve Jones, CEO, Allied Universal. "Our shared commitment to the success of our clients and the development of lasting partnerships has created a seamless melding of purpose and cultures." "The growth of this industry and the expanding need for safer and more secure environments in response to emerging threats is tremendous," said Bill Whitmore, Chairman of the Board, Allied Universal. "Through the continuous evolution of our business, we are positioned to help our clients succeed. Allied Universal combines high quality people and technology to deliver customized solutions to meet clients' specific needs." "Allied Universal is poised to make an even more significant contribution to the advancement of the security and facility services industries," Jones added. Jones had served as CEO of Universal Services of America and Whitmore had served as CEO of AlliedBarton. Additional service lines Along with Allied Universal Security Services, additional service lines include Allied Universal Security Systems, Allied Universal Janitorial Services and Allied Universal Staffing Services. Warburg Pincus and Wendel will be lead investors in Allied Universal with equal voting rights and Board representation; Partners Group and members of management will also have ownership interests in the combined company. The majority of the integration is expected to be completed by the end of first quarter 2017. David Darmon, Managing Director and CEO of Wendel North America, commented, "We see a very compelling opportunity in the creation of Allied Universal. Two best-in-class companies, distinguished by strong leadership talent, have been combined to provide unmatched service and support to their clients and advance the security industry." Chandler Joel Reedy, Managing Director of Warburg Pincus, commented, "We are excited to bring together two best-in-class management teams distinguished by strong leadership talent and proven track records. We look forward to our continued partnership with management to support the growth of the business."
The combined company will operate under the AlliedUniversal brand following the close of the transaction AlliedBarton Security Services and Universal Services of America recently announced that they have agreed to merge, creating the leading security company in North America. Merged company to operate under AlliedUniversal brand The combined company, which will operate under the AlliedUniversal brand following the close of the transaction, will offer its clients localised response and national support with industry-leading technology solutions and approximately 140,000 highly-trained officers. It is expected to have total annual revenues of approximately $4.5 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016, subject to customary regulatory approvals. The two companies have a shared value proposition and aligned values. Founded in 1957, AlliedBarton Security Services is a leader in providing responsive and customisable security services to a diversified group of clients from more than 120 regional and district offices located throughout the United States in a number of markets. Founded in 1965, Universal Services of America is the largest American-owned security company, providing an innovative mix of traditional manned security solutions and advanced digital security technologies to ensure the safety of clients throughout North America. The company also offers clients janitorial solutions, as well as safety and emergency preparation services. Steve Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Universal Services of America, will serve as the CEO of the combined company, and Bill Whitmore, CEO of AlliedBarton, will serve as its Chairman of the Board. Warburg Pincus and Wendel will be lead investors in the combined entity with equal voting rights and Board representation; Partners Group and members of management will also have ownership interests in the combined company. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016, subject to customary regulatory approvals Technology-based security solutions Mr. Jones commented, "AlliedBarton Security Services and Universal Services of America share a deep focus on the customer experience. Bill Whitmore and the AlliedBarton team have established a sterling reputation in the industry for reliability and support. This combination brings together two excellent teams, and we are very excited to partner in a seamless integration that we expect to complete by the end of the year." Mr. Whitmore remarked, "Through this combination with Universal Services of America, we expect to deliver tremendous value to our clients through access to Universal's portfolio of technology-based security solutions. This merger will drive compelling opportunities for both our employees and clients, creating an organisation that is well-positioned for continued growth, and I look forward to working with Steve." Chandler Joel Reedy, Managing Director of Warburg Pincus, added, "The key factors in contemplating this merger were the mutual respect of these organisations and the overwhelming support and enthusiasm exhibited by the leadership teams of both companies." David Darmon, Managing Director and CEO of Wendel North America, commented, "We see a very compelling opportunity in the combination of AlliedBarton Security Services and Universal Services of America. These two best-in-class companies are distinguished by strong leadership talent, and together they will provide unmatched service and support to their clients." Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP acted as legal counsel to Warburg Pincus and Universal Services of America. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acted as legal counsel to Wendel and AlliedBarton Security Services, along with Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, who acted as counsel with respect to executive compensation matters.
AlliedBarton has hired more than 17,500 veterans and reservists since commencing challenge in 2013 AlliedBarton Security Services, the industry's premier provider of highly trained security personnel, hired more than 5,000 military veterans and reservists in 2015 as part of a commitment to hiring 25,000 veterans and reservists in five years. AlliedBarton has hired more than 17,500 veterans and reservists since commencing this challenge in 2013. Commitment to recruiting miltiary personnel to security industry "Our consistent commitment to hiring military and meeting our 5,000 hires per year goal consecutively further demonstrates the strategic link between military and security careers," explained Bill Whitmore, AlliedBarton Chairman and CEO. "Military personnel are very well-suited to the security industry and we and our clients value their training, dedication and leadership skills. This is an important component of our recruiting strategy, and our commitment to providing high quality, well-trained security teams to help our clients maintain safe and secure environments." AlliedBarton was named a 2016 Military Friendly Employer by G.I. Jobs magazine. Hire its Heroes(SM), AlliedBarton's military hiring programme, is critical to the security leader's recruiting strategy. To reach military hiring goals, AlliedBarton works closely with military assistance groups such as the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Wounded Warrior Project, Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, the National Guard and others.
As the security industry continues to grow, recruiting must have more sophisticatedscreening and hiring processes, and a commitment to hiring quality personnel The physical security industry today is driving focus on finding the right talent. Deborah O’Mara, SourceSecurity.com's dealer/integrator correspondent, in an exclusive Q&A with Brent O’Bryan, Vice President of Training and Development for AlliedBarton Security Services, discuss the challenges that security companies face while recruiting top talent and practices the physical security industry should adopt to attract qualified security officers. Offering security training and education to hire top talent SourceSecurity.com: How important is it for the security industry to attract top talent today? What are some of the ways in which they should do this? O’Bryan: People want to join growth-oriented job sectors that offer continual training and advancement. The physical security industry and the systems integrator community can attract talent by demonstrating the path to leadership and the training and educational opportunities they offer. Physical security officer companies offer on-the-job training that is site-specific and customised for each client. The curriculum consists of numerous training modules covering various topics important to clients, the employee and the security industry in general. Ambitious employees can take advantage of a wide variety of courses and training, both online and in the classroom setting, from industry-specific curriculum to personal and professional development. The physical security sector demands that the security officers’ and managers’ qualifications merit the position. Today’s security officer requires a balance of formal education and industry-specific training to be competitive and effective in their position. Learning continues throughout the career of a security professional. Course work ranges from demanding advanced Master Security Officer courses, e-learning, scenario-based learning and executive leadership modules, classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Security officers receive significant and ongoing training. Training can include fire safety, terrorism awareness, emergency planning, and evacuation procedures. In addition, officers participate in industry-specific training geared to the market they serve whether it is a petrochemical installation, government facility, shopping mall, hospital, commercial building, residential complex, industrial facility or college. Security companies offer on-the-job training for their officers that is site-specificand customised for each clients’ needs Combining security technology and management experience SourceSecurity.com: What are some of the new and emerging disciplines that are needed, such as IT expertise, integrated systems expertise? O’Bryan: The physical security sector has benefited from advances in technology. Integrated technology solutions enable more complete and easily searchable databases for visitor logs, real-time incident reports and recordable security officer tours. Security officers monitor state-of-the-art security software and hardware, quickly identifying unusual activity enabling immediate responses. Digital devices and integrated video surveillance allow security officers on patrol to effectively monitor the entire facility. Additionally, security isn’t the only area of expertise needed in the security industry. The behind-the-scenes support and infrastructure that allow for seamless security programs require professionals in a variety of fields from IT to accounting, legal, HR and more. That, coupled with the business and management experience needed by security managers, positions this industry as a robust opportunity for job seekers looking for meaningful careers. Career advancement in the security industry SourceSecurity.com: What are some of the unique challenges to both the systems integration and end-user communities in attracting talent as the economy improves? O’Bryan: The physical security sector needs the current generation of high school and college graduates and returning military veterans to take a fresh look at this market as it presents meaningful career opportunities. As the security sector continues to evolve, we need to actively promote our growth and advancements so that professionals see value in a security career. SourceSecurity.com: What's important in particular with physical security providers to ensure they keep top talent, such as training, certification, other perks? O’Bryan: While many people don’t look at the physical security sector as a “glamour” field, the reality is that it is an industry that offers significant opportunity for education, growth and promotion. As the industry continues to grow, there is greater need for sophisticated recruiting, screening and hiring processes, as well as a strict commitment to hiring quality personnel who are a right fit for the position. The physical security sector actively promotes from within by encouraging continual training and education. Security officers must be trained and proficient in numerous security technologiesand systems integration to effectively monitor their facilities Employee engagement, recognition initiatives and formal employee feedback programs are all also critically important to retaining top talent. A strong learning culture is also essential. It is important that we, as an industry, invest in our people. At AlliedBarton, for example, in addition to the extensive training courses available to all employees, we also encourage continued learning through higher education and have partnered with several colleges and universities to offer tuition reduction programs to employees. Nurturing a leadership culture to prevent workplace violence SourceSecurity.com: Since workplace violence and active shooters are increasingly in the news, how can individual security companies be prepared in this area and perhaps also help their end-user customers in these areas? O’Bryan: Numerous studies over the years have proven the link between leadership and physical safety – especially at job sites where there is a higher risk of accidents, such as at industrial facilities. What has been less examined is the relationship between solid leadership and workplace violence prevention. Bill Whitmore, Chairman and CEO of AlliedBarton wrote “Potential Workplace Violence Prevention and Your Organisational Success,” which addresses this in great detail. We believe that strong and steady leadership is at the heart of workplace violence prevention. Any company that fails to embrace a leadership culture, with a definitive mandate on what defines leadership for each and every employee, will be more prone to an incident of workplace violence. In terms of helping our clients in their workplace violence prevention planning, every organisation should have a workplace violence prevention plan in place to help avoid a tragic event. Workplace violence happens every day and businesses that are prepared are better positioned to help prevent, respond and recover. We work with leaders at all levels to develop a plan that works best for their organisation since there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
National Security Officer Appreciation week recognises security officers' contributions to our daily lives AlliedBarton Security Services, the industry's premier provider of highly trained security personnel, is proud to honour all security officers with the industry's first National Security Officer Appreciation Week. The inaugural National Security Officer Appreciation Week will be held the week of September 20, 2015. Subsequent National Security Officer Appreciation Weeks will be held each year during the third full week of September. "The security officers who strive to help maintain safe and secure workplaces, business, schools, shopping malls and communities deserve our heartfelt appreciation," says Bill Whitmore, Chairman and CEO, AlliedBarton. "These individuals deter crime, lead evacuations, provide information and directions, work closely with local law enforcement and are constantly vigilant in their efforts to keep us safe." AlliedBarton is establishing National Security Officer Appreciation Week to recognise security officers' many contributions to our daily lives. This includes contract and in-house security personnel across all industries. The appreciation week is also an opportunity to profile the many roles security officers fill; debunk misconceptions and stereotypes; and raise awareness of the career opportunities that exist within the security services industry. This annual event will be featured in the upcoming edition of Chase's Calendar of Events. Join in the celebration on social media using #ThankUSecurity in your posts.
Wendel will make an equity investment of approximately $670 million, for a c. 96% ownership in the company Wendel (MF.FP), a global investment firm, recently announced that it has agreed to acquire AlliedBarton Security Services, one of the largest security officer services companies in the United States, from funds managed by Blackstone, one of the world’s leading alternative asset managers, for approximately $1.67 billion or. c. 11.6x FCF1 for the twelve months ended March 31, 2015. As part of the proposed acquisition, Wendel will make an equity investment of approximately $670 million, for a c. 96% ownership in the company, alongside AlliedBarton’s management team. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter, subject to customary conditions and regulatory approvals. Industry leader AlliedBarton is a leader in the U.S. security services market providing physical guarding and related services to a diversified group of more than 3,300 customers in a number of markets. These markets include, for example, commercial real estate, higher education, healthcare, financial services, government services, aerospace and defense, petrochemicals and retail. Some of these clients are very large enterprises – including approximately 200 of the Fortune 500 companies – and others are smaller organisations. Founded in 1957 and based in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, AlliedBarton has more than 60,000 employees and 120 regional and district offices located throughout the United States. For the twelve months ended March 31, 2015, AlliedBarton generated revenues of approximately $2.18 billion and an adjusted EBITDA of $148 million with a free cash flow conversion rate of greater than 95%2. The market for outsourced security officer services in the U.S. is estimated to be greater than $20 billion. The industry, and in particular, AlliedBarton, has demonstrated strong growth over a long period of time and proven quite resilient during economic downturns. Over the years, AlliedBarton transformed from a regional participant to an industry leader with a national presence. The Company integrated 12 acquisitions since 1998 and developed a unique go-to-market approach driven by customised, vertical segment expertise. U.S market expansion Taking this investment into account, Wendel has fully achieved all of its 2013-17 strategic objectives and will have invested €2.1bn in equity since 2013. “AlliedBarton is a world-class franchise with a tremendous reputation for integrity and reliability and a very impressive management team, led by Bill Whitmore.”, said Frédéric Lemoine, Chairman of Wendel’s Executive Board. “The company has an outstanding track record of profitable growth and cash generation. It is well positioned to continue to grow both organically and through acquisitions. This is Wendel’s second investment in North America in less than seven months and represents a significant step in our efforts to diversify geographically, particularly when considering that AlliedBarton’s business is predominantly in the U.S.” “We are very excited to join Wendel”, added Bill Whitmore, Chairman and CEO of AlliedBarton. “Their long term investment philosophy and successful track record of building world-class companies will help AlliedBarton continue its extraordinary growth and achieve the next level of success. The senior leadership team and I look forward to working with Wendel and building a strong relationship based on our shared values and strategic vision. AlliedBarton will continue to deliver high quality security services tailored to the individual needs of our clients.”
AlliedBarton hired more than 5,000 military veterans and reservists in 2014 AlliedBarton Security Services, the industry’s premier provider of highly trained security personnel, hired more than 5,000 military veterans and reservists in 2014, working toward their goal of 25,000 veteran and reservist hires in five years. To reach military hiring goals, AlliedBarton works closely with military assistance groups such as the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Wounded Warrior Project, Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, the National Guard and others. “Currently, 30% of our employee base is military or former military,” said Bill Whitmore, AlliedBarton Chairman and CEO. “Hiring almost 11,000 veterans, reservists, their family members and caregivers in the last two years is critical to our long-term recruiting strategy. We value the skills, dedication and drive these individuals bring to the workplace and are proud to hire the best of the best to fill essential security roles for our clients.” According to recent figures from the U.S. Labour Department, the jobless rate of veterans of all ages is 4.5 percent, with the unemployment rate for post-9/11 vets at 7.2 percent. AlliedBarton recognises that the security services industry is an ideal career for transitioning military and offers the training and advancement opportunities necessary for reservists and veterans to continue their careers. AlliedBarton was named a top 2015 Military Friendly Employer by G.I. Jobs magazine, a top 2015 Military Friendly Spouse Employer by Military Spouse magazine, and a top 2014 Veteran-Friendly Company by U.S. Veterans Magazine.
AlliedBarton was selected based on criteria that included having a formal leadership process in place AlliedBarton Security Services, the industry's premier provider of highly trained security personnel, has been named to Chief Executive magazine's 2015 Best Companies for Leaders within the private companies category for the second consecutive year. "A successful leadership program is an essential part of operational excellence," said Bill Whitmore, Chairman and CEO, AlliedBarton. "This is especially critical in the security industry where our teams must maintain safe environments for businesses and communities. For the second consecutive year, we're honoured to be recognised as one of the top companies for leaders. We are focused on promoting personal and professional development, while engaging employees and establishing a highly-respected client experience. As a result, our leaders at all levels continue to make a valuable impact every day." AlliedBarton, the most honoured security officer services company, was selected by Chief Executive based on criteria that included having a formal leadership process in place, a dedicated commitment from the CEO to the leadership development program, the percentage of senior management recruited internally, and a company's reputation among its peers as a source for well-rounded talent.
AlliedBarton actively seeks out and hires family members of veterans through employer assistance groups AlliedBarton Security Services implemented its program to hire retired service veterans five years ago. “Our CEO Bill (William C.) Whitmore announced one day that ‘we’re going to have a lot of American heroes coming home soon, and I want to give them jobs,’” said Jerold Ramos, Director, Strategic Recruiting and Military Liaison with AlliedBarton. “Bill thought it was the right thing to do.” Pennsylvania-based AlliedBarton has earned praise from veteran assistance organisations for its program called Hire Our Heroes. “The Wounded Warrior Project says, for instance, that we are by far the largest employer they have in the country,” continued Ramos. Other groups have recognised AlliedBarton’s commitment to veterans. Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs and Military Spouse magazines, for example, has named AlliedBarton a 2015 Top 100 Military Friendly Employer. About 18,000 of AlliedBarton’s 60,000 employees are veterans — 30 percent of the total. Good for business “Turns out, it’s more than the right thing to do,” said Ramos. “It has also been good for business.” Some veterans, of course, have years of security experience — patrolling facilities and monitoring video, access control and alarm screens in security control centres. Their experience ranges from security officer to manager. Ramos added that security is only one skill that veterans offer. “While we provide security services, we’re a large company in need of all the corporate support services that any large corporation needs: IT, HR, legal, financial, administrative, public information and so on. Veterans offer all of these kinds of skills.” Moreover, veterans are accustomed to undergoing training and learning new disciplines, making them potential candidates for any company department, observed Ramos. Additional qualities include dependability and the ability to perform under pressure. Finally, Ramos said that AlliedBarton found that employing veterans cuts costs. It has reduced training costs as well as high fees for background screening — veterans have already been well screened. Companies can also earn tax credits, ranging from $3,000 to $9,600 per hire, for employing veterans. Finding veterans AlliedBarton has earned praise from veteran assistance organisations for its program called Hire Our Heroes The hard part of hiring veterans may be finding them. AlliedBarton’s Hire Our Heroes program makes a science of finding veterans. The company has formed partnerships with many military assistance groups that help veterans find employment. These groups include Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Wounded Warrior Project, HireVeterans.com, American GI Forum, Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, the National Guard and others. “At their sites, employers can post jobs and look up resumes,” Ramos said. “Our recruiting strategy includes visiting the local offices of our partners in person. We use the national office to find the local partner. I can’t emphasise how important knowing your local partners personally is. “You also have to brand yourself as a veteran friendly company,” he adds. “We get calls from Afghanistan about employment. Their friends here have told them that we are veteran-friendly, and they call.” The company actively seeks out and hires family members of veterans through employer assistance groups from the Veterans Administration and Department of Defense. Those efforts led Victory Media to name AlliedBarton as a 2015 Military Friendly Spouse Employer. “Military families have different needs than civilian families,” said Ramos. “Because of military service of a family member, the family may live in an area with few job opportunities. We recruit in those areas. “If a service member is deployed, and the pay isn’t enough to keep the family going, we want to provide a job for family members — if the family can’t make it, that service member will fail, too, and come home. We want to prevent that if we can.”