Select Security heads West...again

Earlier this month this super-regional expanded into Utah and California, now it has acquired in Ohio
 - 
Thursday, October 20, 2011

LANCASTER, Pa.—Select Security—a super-regional that made news by branching out into door knocking in Pennsylvania and now California and Utah—recently acquired a security company in Medina, Ohio, with more than 3,000 accounts.

“This is our first branch outside of Pennsylvania that’s not ‘mass res’ like Utah and Sacramento—our first traditional branch,” Select Security president Patrick Egan told Security Systems News. “We’re excited because it puts us in a whole new market area … for future additional tuck-in acquisitions and other branches. Ohio is a big state and we’re going to be a contender in the Ohio marketplace.”

Select Security purchased FM Systems, a 12-employee company founded nearly 40 years ago, on Aug. 31. FM was about 70 percent commercial, but Egan intends to grow the resi side of the business and to do door knocking from the Ohio location next summer.

“We will be doing a ‘mass res’ office there next year,” he said. “They obviously have never gotten into the high-volume residential business, so we’re really excited.”

He said what distinguishes Select Security’s door-knocking plan from those of the companies that sell door-to-door in a host of states is that, “we’re only creating mass accounts in markets where we already have a traditional business.”

Branching out into eastern Ohio with the acquisition of FM also will help grow the conventional side of the business, Egan said. For example, he said he is in conversations with other Ohio companies and may make another acquisition or two by the end of the year. “We haven’t forgotten our roots, our traditional acquisitions,” Egan told SSN. The traditional side of the business is expected to generate more than $10 million in revenue this year, he recently has said.

But the super-regional also has been growing the door-knocking side of its business, which Egan started last year to compete with the big out-of-state companies that come to Pennsylvania and other states in the summertime. Earlier this month, Egan announced the opening of door-knocking offices in California and Utah. 

Thirteen-year-old Select Security bills itself as “Pennsylvania’s largest independent security dealer and installer.” It has five offices in Pennsylvania: its Lancaster headquarters and branches in Altoona, Stroudsburg, Williamsport, and Franklin. The new Medina, Ohio branch is now its largest, Egan said.

All 12 former FM Systems employees will stay on, including a former owner Dan Gurich, who is now the new branch’s sales manager.

FM Systems’ founder, Ben Hallock, now deceased, started the company in 1975 and thrived in the Akron/Medina/Cleveland market, which now is growing because of a burgeoning medical technology industry, Egan said. Select Security said it plans to continue and expand FM’s existing business telephone systems operation.

“Select Security offers products and services that we were unable to offer to our customers and that will help set us apart in this market,” Gurich said in a prepared statement. Managed access and managed video will be among services offered, Egan said. FM will be rebranded as Select Security but the rebranding will take place gradually over a year, Egan said.