Securitas is one of the largest security services in the world. Today, they have more than 340,000 employees operating protective services in 58 countries. How did they get there? What did Securitas do to become so successful in the security industry? It turns out that there are a few reasons for their success. They have a long and rich history and focused set of values that explain their worldwide success.
Securitas was founded by Erik Philip-Sörensen as a small security company called AB Hälsingborgs Nattvakt in Helsingborg, Sweden back in 1934. They quickly expanded by buying several smaller companies and soon spread throughout southern Sweden. In 1949, the company expanded into security technology and soon started to expand internationally.
In 1972, the company took on the name Securitas after the Roman God of security and stability. They developed their 3 dot logo representing their goals or integrity, vigilance, and helpfulness. Erik Philip-Sörensen sold the company to his sons only four years later and in 1981, the company was split between the two younger Philip-Sörensens.
The company was sold to a holding company then expanded beyond Sweden quite aggressively into Norway, Denmark, and Portugal. Then, in 1991, Securitas was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange and became a publicly traded corporation. Expansion continued into Europe and the United States throughout the 1990s.
The Modern Era
Securitas continues expanding in the United States by acquiring other protective services businesses, including Pinkerton in 1999 and Burns Security in 2000. These acquisitions officially made them one of the largest security companies in the world. In 2001, they also acquired Loomis Fargo & Company and reorganized into five different business areas, each dealing with one of the specific services they offered.
Then, in 2003, the company completely integrated and divisionalized under joint management for the US European operations. Divisions were listed in the Stockholm Stock Exchange in 2006. They were Securitas Systems, which dealt with monitoring, alarms, mobile security services, and access control, and Securitas Direct, which focused on homes and small businesses. That same year, they also created the Mobile division for small and medium-sized clients and Alert Service which focused on security service and electronic security surveillance of both homes and small businesses. These were combined as the Mobile and Monitoring arm of the business in 2007—the same year they began operating in Peru.
Securitas continued to acquire various operations in the UK throughout the 2010s. Notably, they acquired Pinkerton Government Services in 2013, which was the beginning of the Critical Infrastructure Services which focuses on government services and clearances needed for work overseas.
Their most recent acquisition was Diebold Incorporated’s Electronic Security business in North America which the received in 2015. This was a big expansion as it was the third largest security provider in North America.
How were they able to continue their success from the very beginning and keep growing? Simply by providing excellent service.
One of the reasons that the company has been so successful is that they’ve continued to grow and adapt to the needs of their clients. By adding new services and keeping up with trends and technology, they have stayed relevant and competitive. Securitas provides a range of different services to their clients. These include:
- Due Diligence
- Background Checks
- Brand Protection
- Intellectual Property Protection
- Cyber Surveillance
- Computer Forensics
- Security Analysis
- Executive Protection
- IT Security
- On-site Guarding
- Mobile Guarding
- Remote Guarding
- Fire & Safety
- Corporate Risk Management
An important thing to note is that they’ve also kept up with the times. This is a company that’s been around since the 1940s, long before most of these services even existed. Because they figured out how to embrace technology and use it effectively, they were able to go from a successful security guard company to a worldwide leader offering services cybersecurity, IT security, and computer forensics.
That said, they still know the value of the basic services they started with. They’ve seen how effective on-site and mobile guards are when it comes to safety and haven’t pulled away from the skills that are the backbone of the company. Having the right person on the ground is just as effective as all the technology available today. What’s more, they built the company with a focus on people and still hold the same values that they did from the very beginning.
One of the main reasons Securitas has been able to grow into a world leader is because they do business based on their core values of integrity, vigilance, and helpfulness. These are what they built the business on. In fact, the company actually began to conduct workshops in 1958 in order to teach these things to its staff. This idea eventually evolved into a document called “Basic Values for Guards” which remains the basis for the company employee handbook.
What exactly do these values mean to the company? It’s all about the relationship between security personnel and the clients. They believe in building trust and confidence in the community and really take these ideas heart.
- Integrity. Securitas employees are expected to be honest so that customers trust them to work unsupervised. They strongly encourage honest and open communication, sharing all information, and reporting anything that they see that doesn’t uphold the mission of the company.
- Vigilance. Employees are expected to be attentive to the clients’ needs and to always be observing, listening, and evaluating every situation. The hope is that each employee will develop intuition to notice the things that other security companies don’t. Staying aware of potential problems and risks to the clients is paramount.
- Helpfulness. Employees must always be ready to help regarding the client and their particular assignment.
Hard Work and a Strong Moral Compass
Securitas is an excellent example of a security company that is doing it right. Through hard work and strong ethics, they grew by acquiring one business at a time. Most importantly, they didn’t abandon these things when they became hugely successful. They adapted to changes in technology and stayed relevant. All of these things combined are why they’ve become one of the largest security firms in the world.