Published on 22 April, 2014
Visiting with the youngest "old company" in the security market: One of the newest companies at this year’s ISC West show is 130 years old. Allegion launched in December 2013 as a standalone, publicly-traded company following the spinoff of the commercial and residential security businesses from Ingersoll Rand. Making its high-profile debut at ISC West in Las Vegas, Allegion sponsored the kick-off ceremony and featured a big booth full of familiar brands like Schlage and Von Duprin.
I caught up with Dave Petratis, chairman, president and CEO of Allegion, for a quick interview at the company’s booth. Some in the security market may remember Petratis as chief operating officer and CEO of Schneider Electric North America from 2002 to 2008. He comes to Allegion from Quanex, a Houston-based manufacturer of engineered materials and components for building products.
SourceSecurity.com: So what’s the Allegion story at the ISC West show?
Petratis: We’re a brand new company with 130-year-old roots. We sponsored the ISC kick-off this morning, so that certainly got some attention. I’m really amazed by the level of foot traffic at the show. We’re a new company, deep roots. We launched Dec. 2, 2013 and we have been extremely well received by our employees, our channel partners and the financial community. We are already involved in acquisitions and joint ventures. That’s what was lacking under Ingersoll Rand. There wasn’t a lot of aggressiveness to build through mergers and acquisitions. We have the ability to do that. We have the ability to invest, the feet on the street, spec writers, new products. That’s really the message here. We’re a company that you touch every day through Schlage, Von Duprin, LCN. We’re independent and moving very quickly.
SourceSecurity.com: What is your brand strategy related to the new name?
Petratis: We’re a house of brands. Allegion will be the umbrella, but as we acquire, we will plug those brands into the umbrella and continue to run with our master brands, which are Schage, Von Duprin, LCN, CISA and Interflex. When you have that installed base around the world, it’s pretty powerful. We wouldn’t want to distance ourselves from that at all. As we bolt on and buy new companies, they’ll be part of Allegion.
SourceSecurity.com: Have there been any residual effects from the Ingersoll Rand era?
Petratis: The transformation and launch of the company have been extremely smooth. But I wouldn’t underestimate the amount of work involved. Anytime you create a brand and go out and raise $1.8 billion in capital to buy the company, IPO the company, there’s a tremendous amount of work. That work is behind us. The most exciting thing that I feel going forward after joining the company is: I have the capability to go out and touch the industry and touch our customers and think about the future.
SourceSecurity.com: What will be your news a year from now?
Petratis: Growth, investment, open protocols. We think having capabilities in an open environment is good for customers. Customers want to have choices and don’t want to get locked into proprietary systems. As an independent company, we have all the ability to drive that.