Daily Archives: 05/08/2014

Brady and Roberts take key roles at The Shield Group

Gordon Brady has been appointed Chief Operating Officer at The Shield Group, while Eric Roberts takes on the role of managing director for the company’s Monitoring and Systems Division.

Brady, who joined the company back in 2012 as managing director for national accounts, boasts more than 23 years’ security industry experience. As Chief Operating Officer, he will be responsible for The Shield Group’s manpower operations across the UK and Europe, ensuring customers continue to receive first class service and that they benefit from The Shield Group’s Total Security Solutions (TSS) model.

In addition, Brady will be responsible for fostering employee alignment with clearly defined corporate goals and strategies.

The announcement comes at an important juncture for the company. Brady has been an integral part of The Shield Group’s recent success and exponential growth, leading it to become one of the UK’s largest independent TSS providers with a portfolio that encompasses major clients such as the Imperial War Museum. Recently, The Shield Group also launched four strategic verticals, in turn combining traditional manpower and innovative technology to deliver intelligent, risk-based TSS to its customers.

Management of national account portfolio

John Roddy, CEO of The Shield Group, said: “We’re delighted that Gordon has accepted the role of Chief Operating Officer with The Shield Group. We have been very impressed with Gordon’s management of our developing national account portfolio and, in particular, his high standards of customer service and communication. We’re keen to ensure that our service maintains the highest level of performance, and we’re very confident that Gordon’s leadership will ensure this occurs in conjunction with our full Total Security Solutions service capability.”

Dr Richie Nanda, global chairman of The Shield Group and Topsgrup, added: “Making Gordon Brady The Shield Group’s Chief Operating Officer was an easy decision to take. His experience and time with the organisation makes him the ideal candidate. Judging by Gordon’s contribution since joining the company, we’re confident in his ability to lead The Shield Group to even greater heights.”

Gordon Brady: Chief Operating Officer at The Shield Group

Gordon Brady: Chief Operating Officer at The Shield Group

Speaking about his new role, Brady said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed Chief Operating Officer at The Shield Group. Since joining in 2012, I have seen the company transform into one of the UK’s leading security providers. The company’s innovative culture and commitment to excellence promote a progressive and co-operative environment. The company is in a position to lead the way in the industry, and I’m delighted to be a part of that. I look forward to working with the team to grow and enhance our reach in the UK and Europe.”

Prior to joining The Shield Group, Brady spent 16 years with Rentokil Initial as UK retail director and six years with a national FM provider in the role of group operations director for the UK and Ireland.

From 2006 to 2012, Brady worked in the FM sector where he was responsible for a number of key divisions including retail and commercial security guarding, overseeing account growth and development in both areas.

At Initial Security, where Brady worked from 1990 to 2006, he served as national account director specialising in the retail sector and managing a UK portfolio worth over £10 million as well as supporting 16 branches in five different regions.

New managing director for Monitoring and Systems Division

Eric Roberts is the new managing director of The Shield Group’s Monitoring and Systems Division. Roberts, who was previously business development director for Corps Security’s monitoring operation, joined The Shield Group on 1 August to manage the day-to-day operations of the Monitoring and Systems Division. He’s based in the company’s headquarters at Austin Friars, London.

Roberts brings with him a wealth of experience, having started his career over 28 years ago as a security engineer, securing and monitoring CCTV systems for several blue chip companies in the UK. He then progressed to become a sales director at Emizon where he managed business units valued at over £20 million.

Eric Roberts: managing director of The Shield Group's Monitoring and Systems Division

Eric Roberts: managing director of The Shield Group’s Monitoring and Systems Division

Roberts will now oversee The Shield Group’s new state-of-the-art Monitoring Centre based in Preston and covering the North of the UK. He’ll also be developing the company’s portfolio in Europe. Roberts’ role will further include managing the company’s expansion through planned acquisition and business development.

Welcoming Roberts’ appointment, John Roddy said: “Eric joins the company at a time of dynamic transition and growth for our business, reflected in our rapid expansion and ability to attract and recruit talented individuals at all levels of the organisation. Eric’s industry-recognised experience in CCTV and monitoring systems will further enhance our Total Security Solutions service to customers in both the UK and Europe. I’m delighted to welcome someone of his calibre to the team and the unique perspectives he will bring with him to the role.”

Eric Roberts commented: “I’m pleased to be joining one of the UK’s leading security providers and look forward to being part of an outstanding and vibrant team. The company’s constant drive for innovation complements my determination to deliver continued success and world class security solutions to all of our clients. It’s my aim to see The Shield Group continue to lead the way in excellence and professionalism.”

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Securitas AB issues Interim Report covering January-June 2014

April-June 2014
Total sales: MSEK 17 120 (16 510), Organic sales growth: 3% (1), Operating income before amortisation: MSEK 788 (809), Operating margin: 4.6% (4.9), Earnings per share: SEK 1.23 (1.26)

January-June 2014
Total sales: MSEK 33 231 (32 370), Organic sales growth: 2% (1), Operating income before amortisation: MSEK 1 526 (1 558), Operating margin: 4.6% (4.8), Earnings per share: SEK 2.36 (2.30), Free cash flow/net debt: 0.20 (0.15)

Comments from the President and CEO

Speaking about the results issued this morning, Alf Göransson (President and CEO at Securitas) said: “Organic sales growth continues to show a positive trend and all business segments improved compared to the first half of last year. Primarily supported by the US, the organic sales growth reached 3% in the second quarter. In France, we are showing positive organic sales growth in the second quarter, while organic sales growth in Spain continues to be negative. Latin America continues to exhibit strong organic sales growth.”

Alf Göransson: President and CEO of Securitas

Alf Göransson: President and CEO of Securitas

Net income improved in the first half year
“In real terms, the operating result was slightly behind last year, while earnings per share improved with 3%. The operating margin in Security Services North America was on the same level as last year, while Security Services Europe is 0.1% behind. The positive development in Security Solutions and Technology continued in Spain, but is not yet sufficient to mitigate the difficult conditions in the guarding business and the labour-related charges imposed by the Spanish Government in December last year. Corrective actions are continuously being taken to adapt to the reduced guarding sales.”

Sales of security solutions and technology gradually increasing
“In 2012, sales of security solutions and technology represented approximately 6% of Group sales. We have set a target to triple this share of sales by the end of 2015. We continue to invest in resources within security solutions and technology, and the share of sales run rate in the second quarter 2014 was 9%.”

Changing market dynamics creating opportunities for growth
“Due to current market dynamics and a gradual increase of the use of technology in security solutions, the security market in mature markets is no longer expected to grow by 1%-to-2% faster than GDP as it has historically, but rather at the same pace as GDP. In the future, this trend could be improved through increased outsourcing of currently in-sourced guarding activities and by allowing the private security industry to take over services performed by public authorities and Governments.”

Göransson concluded: “In Securitas’ markets, the degree to which technology is being integrated into security solutions varies from country to country. However, as the pace accelerates, we’re confident that we will be able to gain market shares by having a stronger and more cost-efficient offering than many traditional security guarding companies. We’ve already seen proof of this in markets where we are well equipped to offer security solutions, and where we will be able to grow our business faster than the security market average.”

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MITIE appoints security systems sales director for Total Security Management business

MITIE Group plc has appointed Christian Watts as security systems sales director for its Total Security Management business division.

Watts joins MITIE TSM from Reliance High-Tech where he spent eight years and was responsible for sales and business development. At MITIE, he will be responsible for building the growth strategy for security systems and developing new industry-leading offerings in systems integration.

Christian Watts: joining the team at MITIE TSM

Christian Watts: joining the team at MITIE TSM

“I’m delighted to be joining MITIE,” said Watts, “and I’m very excited about the opportunity to help drive the continued growth of the business’ security systems expertise. Aside from being a major player in strategic outsourcing, MITIE is really in touch with the convergence of the security industry and is at the forefront of delivering great security solutions while evolving to meet future customer needs.”

Bob Forsyth, managing director of MITIE TSM, said: “Our security systems capability is integral to our TSM ethos, so I’m delighted to welcome Christian to the team to develop and grow our systems integration portfolio.”

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GCHQ certifies Masters degrees in cyber security

The certification of six Masters degrees in cyber security has been announced by Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office. This announcement marks another significant step in the development of the UK’s knowledge, skills and capability in all fields of cyber security as part of the National Cyber Security Programme.

The National Cyber Security Strategy recognises education as being absolutely vital to the development of cyber security skills and, earlier in the year, UK universities were invited to submit their cyber security Masters degrees for certification against GCHQ’s stringent criteria for a broad foundation in cyber security.

Partnerships have been key throughout the process with the assessment of applicants based on the expert views of industry, academia, professional bodies, GCHQ and other Government departments.

The six successful Masters degrees were judged to provide well-defined and appropriate content, with all of them delivered to the highest standard.

Francis Maude MP: Minister for the Cabinet Office

Francis Maude MP: Minister for the Cabinet Office

Development of GCHQ-certified Masters degrees will help the successful universities to promote the quality of their courses and assist prospective students in making better informed choices when looking for a highly valued qualification. It also assists employers to differentiate between candidates when employing cyber security staff.

A further call for Masters certification will take place in late 2014 and extend to those degrees focused on critical areas of cyber security such as digital forensics.

Details of certified status for six universities

The six successful universities whose cyber security Masters degrees have been awarded GCHQ-certified status are as follows:

Full certified status
Edinburgh Napier University: Degree – MSc in Advanced Security and Digital Forensics
Lancaster University: Degree – MSc in Cyber Security
University of Oxford: Degree – MSc in Software and Systems Security
Royal Holloway, University of London: Degree – MSc in Information Security

Provisional certified status
Cranfield University: Degree – MSc in Cyber Defence and Information Assurance
University of Surrey: Degree – MSc in Information Security

“Every time I visit GCHQ I see at first-hand the tremendous work being conducted in relation to cyber security,” explained Francis Maude MP. “Cyber security is a crucial part of this Government’s long term plan for the British economy. We want to make the UK one of the safest places in the world to do business online. Through the excellent work of GCHQ in partnership with other Government departments, the private sector and academia we’re able to counter threats and ensure that, together, we’re stronger and more aware.”

Nigel Smart, Professor of Cryptology at the University of Bristol, stated: “I’m delighted to have been appointed as independent chairman of the panel that assessed applications, and am excited that GCHQ has introduced this rigorous standard for judging general cyber security Masters degrees. For the first time, UK universities which become certified will have a means to promote the quality of the cyber security issues they teach.”

Smart also commented: “Over the next few years, as GCHQ certification is applied to more specialised areas of cyber security, I expect the number of UK universities achieving certification of their Masters degrees to increase, thereby helping to raise the overall standard of teaching in cyber security at Masters level.”

Mark Hughes, the President of BT Security, commented: “At BT, we’re acutely aware of the impact of the UK cyber skills gap. Recruiting the right people with the right knowledge and skills is a big deal for us. As a leading Internet service provider we want to employ the very best. That’s why we welcome GCHQ’s certification of Masters degrees in cyber security. The fact that GCHQ recognises these courses as high calibre gives us, at BT, the confidence that those graduating with a Masters from one of these universities will have the sound knowledge base in cyber security we would be looking for. This is a great step forward in developing the cyber specialist of tomorrow.”

Chris Ensor, deputy director for the National Technical Authority for Information Assurance at GCHQ, added: “As the National Technical Authority for Information Assurance, GCHQ recognises the critical role academia plays in developing the UK’s skills and knowledge base. I’d like to congratulate the universities which have been recognised as offering a Masters degree which covers the broad range of subjects that underpin a good understanding of cyber security. I’d also encourage those that didn’t quite make it this time around to reapply in the near future, particularly as we begin to focus on more specialised degrees. Recognition of these degrees is an important first step towards delineating academic Centres of Excellence in cyber security education.”

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