Latest change for Devcon welcomed

Devcon CEO Steve Hafen says ADT’s plan to buy the company is 'great news'
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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

HOLLYWOOD, Fla.— Devcon Security has undergone dramatic changes in the past few years: a rapid expansion, then an even faster downsizing and also a management shake-up. Now, an even bigger change—ADT’s announcement today that it has signed a deal to acquire Devcon for $148.5 million—is a welcome one, Devcon CEO Steve Hafen told Security Systems News.

“It is great news,” Hafen said. “It’s a good development for Devcon and I’m excited about it.”

When asked what his title will be when Devcon becomes a part of ADT in August, Hafen replied: “I’m not sure yet. Obviously, we have just signed the agreement and still have yet to begin any of the integration processes, so it’s still unclear. But I hope to remain and contribute significantly to ADT’s renewed and exciting focus.”

Hafen has been CEO of Devcon, based here, for little more than a year. Golden Gate announced in February 2012 that former Protection 1 CEO Richard Ginsburg would be CEO, replacing Robert Farenhem. Then, about three weeks later, Ginsburg was out and Hafen, former Pinnacle Security COO, took his place.

Hafen’s job then was to streamline Devcon, which had gone from nine branches in 2010 to more than 50 around the nation in 2011. Today, it has 11 branches, most in Florida and some in New York.

Hafen told SSN late last year that San Francisco-based Golden Gate Capital, which bought Devcon in 2009, was considering selling it.

There were several suitors, but ADT stood out, Hafen said. “ADT was significantly interested right from the start of the process and we’re very happy with how things turned out,” he said.

In addition to closing branches nationwide and also its new 23,000-square-foot national operations center in Irving, Texas, Devcon also concentrated on customers, operations and staff, Hafen said.

“Devcon has made significant progress over the past year … focusing on customers and customer satisfaction and helping make promoters of all our customers, optimizing our processes and systems, increasing our business intelligence—data that helps us better understand our customers and better meet their needs—and improving employee productivity through better communication and management and direction,” Hafen told SSN.

He said that ADT, which split off from Tyco to form its own independent, publicly traded company last fall, also has renewed its focus on customer service and on “embracing new technology, including interactive solutions like ADT Pulse.”

“This focus, in my opinion, is very synergistic and fits in very nicely with what Devcon has been focusing on,” Hafen said.

ADT has said it plans to expand on one aspect of Devcon’s residential sales: its thriving business with homeowner associations. Hafen said Devcon has been a leader in that area.

“Devcon has been a company with a unique ability to engage and work with homeowner associations for many, many years and it is a great business for Devcon,” Hafen said. “It is very customer-focused, meaning it requires ongoing relationships and proactive management, and it is something that ADT has expressed very significant interest in supporting. That’s something we’re very excited about.”

At the end of last year, Devcon reported having 475 employees. Hafen said it’s “unclear right now” how ADT will absorb Devcon employees because the integration of the two companies has yet to begin. However, he said, “ADT has reiterated to us numerous times they’re looking for talent and will be excited about leveraging Devcon and its people and its process however they can.”