Conference highlights financial opportunity in security

Saturday, May 1, 2004

SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Some of the most well-known names in the security industry recently pitched their business strategies to leading players of the finance community who are looking to invest in today’s growing and thriving security market.

The Security Growth Conference took place March 9 and 10. Presenting companies ranged from systems integrator NetVersant and digital recording company March Networks to bagging screening product manufacturer InVision Technologies, a company that General Electric recently announced plans to purchase. Forty-three companies presented at this year’s event.

Paladin Capital Group, The Carlyle Group and Spire Capital Partners were among the group of investors who attended the conference and are three firms that have recently been active in acquisitions and financing in the security market. Spire Capital is one of three investors in the acquisition of Sonitrol Corp. from Tyco (See related story), while The Carlyle Group recently provided financing to ISR Solutions (See related story).

The conference, in its second year, was sponsored by investment banking firm USBX, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, a law firm with a major practice in the security industry, and security-industry newspaper, Security Systems News.

"One of the best parts of the event was that it brought together a series of different companies," said Jay Koh, principal of The Carlyle Group.

Keynote speakers at the Security Growth Conference included Los Angeles Assistant Police Chief Jim McDonnell, who spoke about the challenges faced by an understaffed L.A. police force and the unique position the security industry is in to work together on Homeland Security issues. David Willett, vice president of Homeland Security for Honeywell, and Brian Poggi, president of GE Security’s video systems group also spoke at the event.