Interview with Brink's president Bob Allen

Thursday, October 9, 2008

IRVING, Texas--Sometime in July 2009 Brink's Home Security will announce its new name and begin the rebranding process, but dealers, investors, and the general public shouldn't expect a whole lot more to change with BHS in the near future, said Bob Allen, president of Brink's Home Security, in an Oct. 3 interview with Security Systems News.
"We've delivered solid results over the years, we've got a very experienced team across the management, as well as employees, and we've had a very solid strategy over the years. Nothing is going to change moving forward in that regard," Allen said. "We'll have the same team and the same strategy that got us where we are today."
He noted that BHS has three years to rebrand and that's "a very adequate time frame to make it happen. We'll invest very heavily in seeding our new brand and we've got some very good partners working through a very comprehensive program to help us," Allen said.
Brink's Home Security is preparing for Oct. 21, the date of record for the spin-off, and Oct. 31, the date Brink's shareholders will receive one share of BHS Holdings common stock for each share of Brink's common stock they own at the close of business on Oct. 21.
This week, BHS management is embarking on a three-week "road show," where they'll meet with "investors first hand and tell them about the business." Many of the investors are familiar with Brink's. For those who aren't, "We want to get our story out there," Allen said.
"As an operating unit of Brink's we've always been transparent in our operations," and this helps when you're presenting to investors, Allen said.
Allen acknowledged that investors, dealers, sales people and employees recognize the strength and importance of the Brink's brand. In September, BHS hired Landor Associates, a branding company out of San Francisco, whose long list of clients includes FedEx and P&G.
"Over the next six- to 12 months, we'll work with them, do a lot of research, and develop strategies for bringing out a new brand." Allen surmised that the new name would probably be piggybacked on the BHS name for a while.
What else will change? Well, BHS will have its own capital structure which will mean it will have its "own report card in the marketplace ... that's exciting to us," Allen said.
It also means adding office space, and personnel to take care of benefits, tax and treasury, investor relations, legal and other functions previously handled at Brink's headquarters in Richmond, Va. "We won't miss a beat on the transition," Allen said.
BHS will also have its own board. John S. Brinzo, Lawrence J. Mosner, Carl S. Sloane and Carroll R. Wetzel, Jr., will resign from the Brink's board and become directors of BHS Holdings. Carl S. Sloane will serve as the non-executive chairman, and Allen will also serve on the board.
In terms of BHS's business mix, for some time The Brink's Company CEO Michael Dan has talked about expanding BHS's commercial business. Roughly 60,000 BHS customers are commercial customers, accounting for about five percent of the business currently. "In the last few years, we've added a lot of capability in business services, adding more products and services and a lot of dedicated business sales people and technicians," Allen said. "We think it's a business that we can invest in and give a good return to our shareholders." Allen noted the commercial business "has been growing faster than our overall business."
However, BHS's overall growth strategy remains the same "to grow the residential business and the commercial business as well."
Therefore, on Nov. 1, "don't expect anything radical," Allen reiterated. "We think we're pretty good at what we do and we're just going to keep doing that. The key is everybody's pretty energized about the whole thing and we're feeling very confident as we move ahead."