Canadian Services Firm, Paladin, Acquires Criterion

Founded 40 years ago, Paladin Security provides a fascinating human and financial story. Ashley Cooper was a college student decades ago and obtained a job as a security guard to help pay for expenses. A time came when he asked the owner if he could buy the business. He could. It employed four security officers.

From that beginning, Cooper began to grow the business. His management philosophy differed from the competition. Great emphasis was placed on personnel selection. Employees received greater training than the competition. Security guards realized that career advancement was possible in a quality-oriented growing company. Guard, supervisor, shift supervisor, site supervisor, account manager, district account manager, and so on.

Another innovation was to bundle security systems, including alarm and communications design, installation, and monthly monitoring. Paladin could provide a single monthly invoice that a client base regarded as a fair deal.

Today, Paladin is the largest privately-owned, full service security company in Canada. It was named one of Canada’s best-managed companies by Waterstone Human Capital, a consultancy.

Moving south, Paladin has purchased Criterion Security in St. Petersburg, FL, a firm with a focus on healthcare security, operating in 16 states. The new entity will be named PalAmerica Security in the US. The Canadian name remains the same. Robert Buchanan, formerly with Criterion, will be president of the new entity. The acquisition was brokered by Keith Oringer, President of Security ProAdvisors.

Cooper sees security system integration combined with security officer services a natural fit and amenable to further change. He envisions using remote video monitoring, GPS, and mobile security response to provide customer high security at acceptable, though not low, rates.

On a consolidated basis of North American operations, Paladin Security has revenues of about $400M with employment in the 10K range.

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