Former Viisage CEO joins USBX
McLEAN, Va.--USBX Advisory Services announced in late November the opening of a new office here, to be headed by managing director Stephen Ritterbush, with assistance from newly hired James R. Stone. This is the investment bank's second office. Its headquarters remain in Santa Monica, Calif.
The office was opened in an attempt to capitalize on the expanding homeland security and government IT services markets. USBX sponsored the Homeland Security Investors Conference in Washington, Dec. 5.
One new employee inhabiting these new offices is Bernard Bailey, USBX CEO in residence and former chief executive officer of Viisage, a biometrics firm now part of L-1 Identity Solutions. Bailey said the CEO in residence position is a common one in the banking and finance industry and in no way implies he is the chief executive at USBX, rather he offers the perspective of a former chief executive, as USBX evaluates deals and advises companies.
"Usually it's kind of a way station," Bailey said, "until you determine what the next step is going to be."
Though Bailey has experience with homeland security matters, and will be working on such matters with the rest of the DC office, he said he was most interested in "this whole drive toward convergence." With 17 years at IBM on his resume, and a non-compete with L-1 that means he can't do much in the biometrics space, an exploration into the combining of physical security and IT services is a natural, he said.
With acquisition price multiples in the security space being historically high, Bailey reasons that increased value is going to come from increasing capabilities, especially for security integrators. "People are going to pay," he said, "for companies that can compete in the direction of the future of the market ... To just go out and be an integrator and buy 10 other integrators isn't creating value in itself. An ability to maintain a strong strategic position that allows for expansion and growth--that's where the value will be created."
How can integrators stay ahead of the market? "They need an underlying set of networking skills," Bailey said, "and with that core, no matter what fundamental core business you have, whether it's access control or CCTV, you can use that skill set."
USBX Advisory Services has managed and negotiated more than 500 transactions in the consumer, business services, technology and security fields, including Red Hawk's 2006 sale to United Technologies.