New Intercon head: Van Schepen

SST's Canadian counterpart to leverage bank deal toward growth
Thursday, June 1, 2006

TORONTO, Canada--Intercon Security Limited, a division of the $1 billion FirstService Security, which owns integrator SST in the United States, is growing rapidly thanks to one of the largest security contracts awarded in Canada, a 1,100-branch deal with one of Canada's largest banks.
Overseeing the implementation will be new president John Van Schepen, who's spent the past four years in Intercon's financial department, most recently as the senior financial executive in Canada, and has about 25 years in senior management. He is not a security guy, he said, but security is a very high-growth, high-change industry right now, and "I've worked for and helped manage through a lot of change... I have a strong cast of people around me who are security experts. Obviously I'm learning that very quickly, learning the industry, but it's more managing the experts that we do have."
Van Schepen serves at the same level as new SST global accounts head John Nemerofsky under FirstService chief executive officer Frank Brewer.
Certainly, Intercon has a lot of change and growth coming up. In order to support this 1,100-branch job, Intercon has in the past year supplemented offices in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary with new offices in Quebec City, Halifax, Thunder Bay, Edmonton, London (Ontario), Montreal, Regina and Winnipeg.
Currently, said Van Schepen, Intercon is roughly the size of SST, with around $60 million in revenues, though Intercon has two monitoring centers and 2,000 guards, something that SST does not get into.
"We certainly see the IP network monitoring side of [the industry] as a huge growth area for us," said Van Schepen, "we're investing quite heavily in the IP side of it." Does the opportunity for virtual guarding, though, present a threat? Van Schepen said, no. "In theory, that could have a negative impact on manpower requirements," he admitted, "but, really, that's where Intercon has a unique market position. If you're a client and just dealing with a guard company, they're going to tell you you need more guards, or if you're dealing with a company that just installs the latest and greatest technology, they would try to convince you that you don't need the people in the suits. But we've got a somewhat unbiased opinion on that because we offer both services. We can come into a client's environment and tailor a solution that covers the whole span. There's lots of credibility there, rather than if we were just selling one or the other."
Further, he sees Intercon's niche as a supplier of quality solutions, looking to work with "people who really value the security, as opposed to people who just need someone to get their insurance rates down."