Richard Ginsburg named CEO of Central Security Group

Former Protection 1 CEO will take CSG national
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

TULSA, Okla.—Super-regional security company Central Security Group today named Richard Ginsburg as CEO. Ginsburg, who as CEO of Protection 1 grew it into one of the top three security companies in the country from 2001 to 2010, said he wants to grow CSG into a “significantly larger company.”

“The goal is absolutely to turn CSG into a national company,” Ginsburg told Security Systems News.

Ginsburg replaces Mark Wilson, founder of CSG, who is retiring.

Founded in 1999, CSG has its headquarters and central monitoring station here. It has a “hybrid model” with branch offices spread across Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona and “hundreds of dealers.”

It has 500 employees and more than 200,000 mostly residential customers, making it the eighth largest residential security company in the country, Ginsburg said. CSG is privately held. Its majority owner is Summit Partners, a $15 billion private equity group. It does not release revenue figures, but published accounts put its 2013 revenue at $74 million and its RMR for 2013 at $6.3 million.

Calling it a “diamond in the rough,” Ginsburg said CSG is the perfect platform to grow into a national company. “It has great infrastructure, strong employees and a market that is ripe for a company like this to expand. … There are a lot of levers to pull here.”

He pointed out that Protection 1 was much smaller than CSG when he took over as CEO.

The executive leadership will stay in place. Jim Boots, who worked with Ginsburg for 10 years at Protection 1, joined CSG as sales leader in early 2014. Ginsburg called Boots a “phenomenal sales person and sales leader” and said he’s putting together new training and sales programs for dealers.

“Alarm dealers have a lot of challenges now with new competitors in the market,” Ginsburg said. “But a deep-pocketed partner like CSG [with the backing of Summit Partners, is uniquely positioned to] give dealers the opportunity to grow their businesses.”

The plan is to focus on the residential business with an emphasis on growing the interactive services part of the business, which Ginsburg points out, has relatively low penetration right now.

Right now CSG dealers sell a variety of interactive products. They will continue to be able to do that, but Ginsburg plans to introduce additional interactive products.

Ginsburg said that acquisitions are part of the growth plan. “I love acquisitions and have done a fair number of them. He said CSG will be very competitive going after acquisitions. “It’s such a good platform. … I think we can acquire anywhere across the U.S. and consolidate very well,” he said.

Asked about plans for CSG’s commercial business, Ginsburg said he’ll be sorting that out over time. He noted that though the company is 90 percent residential, it has a “robust commercial business” with medium-sized and large commercial customers, especially around the Tulsa area.

Ginsburg knows commercial security well and while, he does not anticipate making CSG into a commercial security company, he would take a close look at an attractive commercial acquisition.

As president and CEO of Protection 1, Ginsburg is credited with turning the company around, greatly improving its operating and financial results. Protection 1 was sold to private equity group GTCR in April 2010.

Since the sale of Protection 1, Ginsburg served as managing partner of G3 Capital Partners, a Miami-based investment firm and adviser to private equity firms in the security, telecommunications and recurring service industries. For less than three weeks in 2012 he served as CEO of Devcon Security.