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Michael Barnes

Barnes Associates/SSN release results of 2012 Wholesale Monitoring Study

Growth in 2011 is 5.7 percent, down slightly from 2010
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03/23/2012

YARMOUTH, Maine—By most measures, the economy is slowly improving. But that doesn’t mask the pain of the past four years, and for many sectors—the security industry included—the recovery has been a case of two steps forward, one step back. Caution still abounds and it continues to temper growth in jobs, investment and spending.

In the face of this sluggishness, how has the monitoring industry fared when it comes to keeping and adding customers? To find out, Barnes Associates, a consulting and advisory firm specializing in the security alarm industry, teamed up with Security Systems News for a second annual survey of wholesale monitoring companies.

Pro1 goes after national accounts in N.C.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Protection1 announced on Monday that it has acquired Camtronic Security Integration of Wilmington, N.C.

I’m scheduled to do an interview with Protection1’s Jamie Haenggi, who is on the road, so I’ll have more in a story later this week. From the press release, it’s the national accounts that attracted P1 to this buy. After he took over P1 in 2010, CEO Tim Whall said national accounts would be a priority.  Last fall, Haenggi spoke to us about Pro1’s national accounts research

Judging by its web site, Camtronic seems to be soley focused on retail accounts. Its client list includes:  Winn Dixie, Coach, Saks Fifth Avenue, Safeway, Louis Vitton and Whole Foods.

In business since 1991, the founder and president is Jay Linton. Linton, Jim Finley, Camtronic’s vice president, managing director, and Paul Yezzi, managing partner of Camtronic, and the rest of the Camtronic employees will stay on with Pro1.

Does it seem like more owners are staying on with companies after acquisitions? It does to me. At the Barnes Buchanan conference this year, Michael Barnes said that keeping owners and staff is increasingly something sellers are looking for in today’s market.

 Pro1 acquired accounts from Sting Alarm in Feb. 2010

Barnes/SSN survey takes pulse of industry

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How did the wholesale monitoring industry hold up in 2011? Michael Barnes knows.

Barnes, founding partner of Barnes Associates, a consulting and advisory firm specializing in the security alarm industry, recently completed a joint survey with Security Systems News that involved the biggest players in the industry. It was the second year that Barnes has conducted the survey with SSN, and it provided some interesting insights.

Without completely tipping Barnes’ hand, let’s just say that the industry grew. I had a chance to find out more about it this week in conversations with two leaders of the monitoring world, Russ MacDonnell of Rapid Response and Don Maden of COPS Monitoring. They both confirmed what the Barnes/SSN survey found, and that bodes well for the industry.

I’ll have more about the survey soon, both on the SSN website and in the April issue.

CSAA webinars: The Central Station Alarm Association has two sessions on tap that promise to be of interest to members and nonmembers alike.

“Building a Partnership with Insurers,” scheduled for 1 to 2 p.m. March 14, will focus on how insurers are resurrecting the insurance/alarm industry/law enforcement triad for lower losses and greater profits. “Social Media in the Central Station,” set for April 18 from 1 to 2 p.m., will examine the benefits and hazards of Facebook and Twitter in the monitoring workplace.

For more information on either webinar, contact Stephanie Morgan at smorgan@csaaintl.org or call 703-242-4670, Ext. 15.

Talk at Barnes Buchanan: Cable companies' motivation for entering security

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I am just back this week from our TechSec new technology conference.

Unable to make it? There’s lots of coverage of on the site about the various the educational sessions--Mobile Apps; Ensuring your cloud provider is secure; the keynote; Video analytics; and, Emerging technology. 

TechSec took place in Delray Beach, Fla. on Feb. 7 & 8, after which I headed up Route 1A to The Breakers in Palm Beach for the Barnes Buchanan Security Alarm conference which took place Feb. 9 and 10.

You may wonder how a hardy New Englander such as myself can stand so much warm weather. It’s not easy, but I’ve toughed out these back-to-back conferences for a few years running.

It’s at Barnes Buchanan that I get an overview of the capital and debt markets, hear from lenders, and attend panel discussions (often remarkably candid) featuring leaders of some of the industry’s  major alarm companies.

The focus of the conference tends to be more residential and small business, but as more and more integrators get into the RMR business, there’s more information about these companies at  Barnes Buchanan. According to Barnes, overall monitoring and service revenue was up 5 percent in 2011 to $18 billion from $17.2 billion in 2010 and $16.3 billion in 2009. There’s been a notable increase in the number of integrators who have an RMR component (not just maintenance contracts) in the past three years.  That sounds like good news to me.

That last tidbit is from Michael Barnes’ annual Industry and Market Overview--which features a feast of numbers on monitoring revenue, M&A activity sliced and diced and served up in a lively presentation.

Mike’s two-hour overview always includes a lot of back and forth with the audience and this year. This year,  there was a lot of talk about new entrants.

Many, many questions started out this way: “If Comcast acquires ADT ...” Barnes himself said he expects cable companies to do some acquiring soon and “ADT’s likely the first one to get picked off.”

The cable company that picks off ADT would instantly get 28 percent of the resi market share. Tied for No. 2, with 2 percent apiece are Monitronics, Vivint, Pro1 and Stanley.

But Barnes asked an interesting question: Will big cable companies really be motivated by the economics of the security industry? The security industry, he said, is just not that big in comparison to the giant telco and cable industry.

He talked about visiting Comcast--a major enterprise—and noted that a cable company that decides to go into security has a lot of barriers to overcome.

But, say for argument’s sake, a cable company does a truly bang-up job and starts creating a large number of accounts. Say that cable company grows like Vivint, Barnes posited.

Vivint has gone from no accounts in 2006 to 600,000 accounts today. Most would agree it’s had remarkable growth and success in a short length of time in this industry. But, Barnes said, however impressive that is, will 600,000 accounts in five years really wow the board of a cable company that has 24 million subscribers?

One reason the Bell companies that got involved in security in the last decade left, he said, is “they can’t make [the security piece] big enough.”

We're putting final touches on the March printed issue of SSN today, but I'll have more on the Barnes Buchanan conference later this week and next.

 

 

Iverify’s new $39m video monitoring contract ‘largest in the industry’

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05/19/2011

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—In what it says is the “largest video monitoring contract in history,” Iverify at the end of April announced it won a five-year contract valued at $39 million to provide guard replacement and shrink-reduction services to 529 Family Dollar stores, nationwide.
Iverify president Mike May said Iverify brought big savings to the table for the Family Dollar.

Devcon goes national

Super regional now has more than 50 branches, new key personnel
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05/05/2011

HOLLYWOOD, Fla.—There’s a new national player in the home security market—Devcon Security.

Alarm companies, are you focused?

New Barnes Associate study: When you sell, focus pays dividends
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01/20/2011

IRVING, Texas—A new Barnes Associates study shows that alarm companies that specialize in vertical markets within residential security are likely to have a greater return on investment when it comes time to sell.
“We analyzed more than 120 transactions over the past 10 years (those involving $100,000 to $10 million of RMR) and looked for correlations across a number of variables [including size, metrics and operational focus],” Michael Barnes told Security Systems News.

The numbers on the Protection One deal

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06/17/2010

LAWRENCE, Kan., and CHICAGO—Equity firm GTCR announced today the acquisition of Protection One, the second-largest security alarm company in North America, now that ADT and Broadview have combined. Our lead story has the ins and outs of the whys and whos, including interviews with ProOne CEO Richard Ginsburg, Michael Barnes, John Mack, and principal of GTCR David A. Donnini.

Tyco acquires Broadview/Brink's for $2B

What was the multiple paid? Discussions continue
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01/19/2010

SCHAFFHAUSEN, Switzerland, and IRVING, Texas--ADT's parent company, Tyco International, announced this week that it will acquire Broadview Security, formerly Brink's Home Security, for $2 billion. The exact multiple paid for the transaction appears to be in the mid 40s, though discussions continue on that topic.

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