Core focus: FSS returns to its financial sector roots

Sunday, August 1, 2004

DALLAS - It’s all about getting back to basics.

Financial Security Services, a provider of financial services to the security industry that dabbled in a number of different industry sectors, has returned the company’s focus back to its specialty - offering financial services.

“Our strength is in the financial side,” explained Dan Linscott, vice president of FSS. “(Previously) there were some things we were doing that may have been seen as competing with our dealers.”

That competition aspect, which attributed to the company’s decision to change its focal point, stemmed from two services FSS was actively promoting. The company’s primarily residential installation arm, which at its high point generated 300 accounts per month, and a UL-certified monitoring center that monitors 50,000 accounts out of its location in St.Paul, Minn.

Both of those services are now considered additional services the company offers, but not its core business.

FSS currently provides financing to roughly 100 dealers. Linscott noted the company has seen higher numbers in the past, but hopes it will increase now that it has retooled its efforts.

In a push to attract dealers, FSS is not requiring them to monitor their accounts at FSS’ central station - although it may be factored in as part of a loan agreement in some cases.

“A number of transactions we have made this year included leaving monitoring at the central station in which they are already located,” Linscott said.

One thing that is not part of financial agreements, is the purchasing of accounts. Although the company had purchased accounts in the past, it has moved away from that practice.

“We’re not in the account ownership business,” said Jeff Peiper, president of FSS.

It’s a distinction that sets FSS apart from other financiers in the security market, according to Linscott, and will assist them in developing financing partnerships with its installers.

“We’re hoping to develop relationships of a long-term nature with our dealers,” Peiper said.

And both concur that FSS can provide long-term services because it understands the industry from a variety of angles, due to its experiences in other sectors.

“We understand the industry, we understand the challenges dealers face,” Linscott said, “and we are here to assist them in any way we can.”