Wackenhut has long been a name tied to manned security services, and the name had two iterations: There was G4S Wackenhut, a global firm providing both manned security and security systems integration, and also Wackenhut Services Incorporated, the Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., firm spun out of Wackenhut and known for providing armed security services to the U.S. government and critical infrastructure (see WSI corporate overview). Now, the Wackenhut name of G4S Wackenhut is being dropped as the company rebrands itself purely as G4S, in a move that the company says will position itself "to deliver a new category of integrated security solutions that combine manpower and technology."
G4S has been building up the technology and integration component of its business over recent years, acquiring Nuclear Security Services Corporation (NSSC), Touchcom Inc., Adesta and AMAG Technology. It was a strong technology integration portfolio that the company was able to add to its long-standing presence in manned security services. Today the company stands at almost 600,000 employees worldwide, and company executives say that while it will still be focused on "core competencies" in the manned security business, it ends tie those competencies with the technology component added in recent acquisitions.
The acquisition of NSSC brought aboard a risk management, engineering and design firm focused on integration solutions for the nuclear industry; Touchcom brought software for visitor management, elevator management, work flow management and even facility concierge services. Adesta was the full systems integration arm, known for working in the petrochemical industry and ports, while the addition of AMAG Technology brought in a company with a full access control, visitor management and smart card solution offerings.
"Our transformation from G4S Wackenhut to G4S is not something that happened overnight," said Drew Levine, the president of G4S Secure Solutions. "Since before Wackenhut became part of the G4S family of companies, we've been developing new and more efficient means of supplementing our security officers with powerful technologies such as our Secure Trax Management Software platform. Now with the global resources of G4S, we can deliver a wider range of services -- including security consulting, design, and engineering; compliance and risk management; facilities management and remote video monitoring -- to deliver truly integrated security solutions unlike any other company in the industry."
Levine said that the tie-in of all the technology systems with the physical security staple of security officers put the company in a position to offer a complete solution. "Although there are many companies touting 'solutions' in the industry today, no other single company delivers the whole package," said Levine in a statement announcing the drop of Wackenhut from the G4S corporate name. "That's G4S innovation today."
According to a report from FundingUniverse.com, which sources a 1983 Forbes magazine profile of George Wackenhut, the origins of the Wackenhut Corporation date back to 1954, when George Wackenhut co-founded Special Agent Investigators with other former FBI agents. Wackenhut went on to buy out the partners and renamed the company in 1958 as Wackenhut Corporation. In 2002, the company was purchased by Group 4 Falck, a Denmark-based firm that later renamed itself as G4S Wackenhut. The Wackenhut page of FundingUniverse.com provides additional information on the history of Wackenhut before it was acquired.