Aargus calls it quits, SMI benefits

Thursday, May 1, 2008

CHICAGO—The owners of Aargus Security Systems, a firm largely supplying manned guarding services to the commercial real estate community here, have notified Illinois state officials they will dissolve the company and lay off roughly 400 workers. However, Security Management and Investigations has hired a majority of those workers, including president George Zander, and picked up much of its business.
"We basically assumed about 90 percent of their accounts," said SMI chief executive officer Larry Doria. "It was unexpected," he said of the Aargus dissolution. "It was a good company, one of the largest in Chicago at one time. [Founder Janet Joyce and husband William] just decided to retire and they came to us. They knew our company, liked what they saw, and they wanted to make sure their current clients had someone trustworthy to take over their accounts."
SMI was founded in 2002 by Doria and his partners, and now has more than 1,000 employees and serves more than 100 locations, mostly class A office buildings in downtown Chicago.
Zander will now serve as vice president of business development and sales for what Doria called "the fastest growing company in downtown Chicago." ssn