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Adam Bannister is a contributor to IFSEC Global, having been in the role of Editor from 2014 through to November 2019. Adam also had stints as a journalist at cybersecurity publication, The Daily Swig, and as Managing Editor at Dynamis Online Media Group.
June 15, 2018


State of Physical Access Trend Report 2024

IFSEC Global influencers 2018: Security tech leaders

After consultation with a panel of highly respected judges, we’re delighted to reveal the IFSEC Global influencers 2018 – security tech leaders category.

The roll call of influencers across the security and fire industries is broken down into seven categories – which you can click on below to reveal the final rankings.

We defined ‘influence’ in the following ways:

  • Someone who has played a key role in driving technological innovation
  • Someone who has been a driving force in changing regulationstandards/guidance or best practice
  • Someone whose insights/opinions are widely respected and which are influential in shaping debate around industry issues
  • Someone who has been instrumental in the success of the organisation or business they lead or are employed by
  • Someone who has helped to raise the industry’s profile or been an influential voice in the national media

We’d like to thank Grant Lecky, co-founder of the Security Partners Forum, for his tireless efforts as lead judge. Lecky, who himself featured in IFSEC Global’s list of top influencers in 2014 and 2017, appointed the panel of judges (which you can also view below) and coordinated the nominations and judging process. Thanks also to Bonnie Butlin, also co-founder of the Security Partners Forum and number one in last year’s international thought leader rankings, for helping to coordinate the process.

You can network with some of the influencers during a meet-and-greet session during IFSEC International, 19-21 June 2018, ExCeL London – between 4-5pm on Wednesday 20 June in the ASIS Lounge.

IFSEC Global security & fire influencers 2018 – the other categories

Security management

Security thought leadership

Security executives


Fire safety

System design, installation & integration

Security tech leaders

Ashish Dhakan Prama Hikvision India Pvt. Ltd.

10. Ashish Dhakan, MD & CEO, Prama Hikvision India

Ashish Dhakan has been instrumental in the success of Prama Hikvision – the first joint venture company formed by Hikvision beyond China – through a pan-Indian network of dealers, distributors and system integrators. Dhakan, who holds an MBA from Mumbai University and a Bachelor’s degree in engineering, had built a diversified vertical solutions team which has developed customised solutions in Smart City, Safe City, Transport, Education, Banking Pharma and Retail segments.

He also played a key role in setting up a state-of-the-art training centre in India to train system integrators, partners and end-users. And he is a driving force behind Hikvision’s ‘Make-in–India’ plan, linked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ programme. With this initiative Hikvision will be setting up a world-class manufacturing plant to cater to India and the overseas market.

Notable nomination:

“He raised the bar of the security industry in India by setting a new benchmark. An out-of-the-box thinker and business leader, he has supported the cause of Indian security industry through various forums. His consistent efforts and initiatives led to security awareness among government and private sector companies in India. Under his dynamic leadership, Hikvision has established impeccable trust and reputation among security industry professionals in India. His pioneering initiatives led to many breakthroughs and established Prama Hikvision as one of the leading security business entities. His success saga is part of Indian security industry’s shining growth story.

His involvement with the relevant bodies in our industry, complemented by his blogs and contributions to industry media channels, has helped to shape the shift from traditional people based deployment to technology-led solution deployment. He has set up an exclusive forum for current and potential clients to debate and discuss the future of the security industry, challenging the norm and constantly assessing emerging technologies.”

IDIS - Jamie-Barnfield

9. Jamie Barnfield, sales director, IDIS Europe

In a senior sales position with IDIS Europe since 2013, Jamie Barnfield brought a wealth of experience to the role following stints at March Networks, The Solutions Group and RISCO Group.

IDIS is a global security solutions company that designs, develops and manufactures security surveillance solutions for the global security market. Today it has more than 1.7 million units installed world-wide, which is expediently growing by some 33,000 units each month. IDIS specialises exclusively in designing surveillance technology for Analogue & IP cameras, DVRs, NVRS as well as video management solutions.

“Jamie is considered a leader in the security industry, helping IDIS drive forward their expansion into the UK and Europe. His expertise around security and the technologies available on the market is second to none. I cannot recommend him highly enough.”

#9 Keith Bloodworth, CNL Software

8. Keith Bloodworth, CEO, CNL Software

Keith Bloodworth is something of a legend in the security industry having co-founded Axis Communications, which launched the first ever IP camera in 1996 and went on to become the world’s largest surveillance brand even if it has been surpassed in global unit sales by Hikvision.

Bloodworth was also founder and CEO of FormScape, a specialist document management company based in UK, before setting up CNL Software (Computer Network Limited), a pioneer in the PSIM field that transformed the industry in the mid noughties. Now achieving annual revenue growth of 100% plus CNL continues to be a major player in the vendor space, partly driven by its flagship software suite, IPSecurityCenter.

Also known as Situational Awareness or C4i, PSIM has revolutionised gathering and analysis of intelligence in control rooms, reducing costs and dependency on manufacturers. It is particularly useful in critical national infrastructure like transport and utilities.

Notable nomination:

“Keith continues to push the security industry further towards intelligence based automation. His commitment both in terms of time and resources is only possible because of his personal desire to see change in he industry. Fifteen years ago when he started on this path, there were many who didn’t see where the future was taking us, but Keith had a vision and help to steer the future path towards it. We need more Keith Bloodworth’s in this industry to help us stay ahead of those out to create distribution to our societies, organisations and our lives.”

Gallagher Group - Sir William Gallagher

7. Sir William Gallagher, founder, CEO and chair, Gallagher Group

Sir William Gallagher’s father – also called William – founded the eponymous family business in New Zealand in the 1930s. Gallagher Group, which develops animal management, fuel and contract manufacturing solutions as well as security products, sells its products in 130 countries.

William Junior started working on the Gallagher shop floor in 1962. Moving up through the ranks, he turned the company from an innovative alternative to conventional fencing into one that developed integrated animal management systems and then access control and intruder alarm systems.

Gallagher is said to still spend 150 days a year on the road representing the company and its philosophies. As well as being involved in the day-to-day running of the business he attends and presents at seminars, training sessions and field days.

He was knighted in the 2011 New Year’s Honours List, named Exporters Champion at the Air New Zealand Cargo Export NZ Awards in 2016, and was the 1996 winner of the prestigious Excellence in Communication Leadership award, the first time in its history that it had been awarded outside of North America. He also received an MBE in 1987 followed by a New Zealand Order of Merit in 1998.

Sir William has been immortalised in the book ‘LEGEND – From Electric Fences to Global Success:  The Sir William Gallagher Story’ by Paul Goldsmith.


“The driving force behind the highly acclaimed Gallagher Security.”

Verwint - Kevin Wine

6. Kevin Wine, VP, customer engagement solutions & business unit marketing, Verint

Kevin Wine has been with Verint, which develops solutions for security, surveillance, cybersecurity and business intelligence, since August 2013. Joining as senior director of business development, he later became VP for marketing in the Americas, VP of marketing and now VP of business marketing.

Kevin started working in the security industry in 1986 selling residential security systems for ADT Security. Soon thereafter, he was chosen to fulfill a role in Sales for U.S. Military accounts in Washington, DC. By 1990, he achieved the ADT President’s Club award in 1990 as their No. 1 sales representative. Then Kevin moved on as the Director of Channels at Edicon. From there, he transitioned into the position of Vice President of Marketing at Lenel Systems, where he co-created and managed the go-to-market strategy, and developed the primary marketing initiatives for the business. Lenel launched with sales of less than $1 million. In 2005, it was sold to United Technologies for $440 million. Then Kevin joined Verint in 2013 as Senior Director of Business Development, which lead to a Vice President of Marketing position. Earlier this year, he transitioned into the role of Vice President of Business Unit Marketing and Sales Support, where he is responsible for select marketing programs and business initiatives within Verint Customer Engagement Solutions.

He was nominated for Security World’s 2016 Physical Security Industry Influencers Award. Frost & Sullivan Named Verint Physical Security Intelligence Solutions Company of the Year in 2017.

“Kevin is a 2017 Security World Industry Influencer, a frequent speaker and contributor to industry journals, and a leading voice in the industry.”

#3 Joe Grillo ACRE LLC

5. Joe Grillo, CEO, Vanderbilt Industries

Down two places from last year, 2016’s overall winner Joseph Grillo is a veteran of the electronic security and identification industries with a track record of successfully growing, acquiring and restructuring businesses. In 1993 Joe was appointed National Sales Manager for HID Corporation. He participated in the management buyout of HID from Hughes Aircraft/General Motors in 1995. From 1995 to 2001, Joe became Vice President of Sales and Marketing, COO and eventually President as HID grew from a $15M card and reader company to the dominant $100M industry leader.
At Assa Abloy, Joe created and managed the Identification Technology Group, completing more than a dozen acquisitions, primarily in Europe. In 2005, he was promoted to Executive Vice President of the parent company Assa Abloy AB, and appointed President of its Global Technology Division, which included HID Global, Assa Abloy Hospitality and Besam Automatic Doors.

In 2012, Mr. Grillo and his former colleague Will West formed ACRE, LLC as a platform to consolidate acquisitions in the electronic security industry, with a special focus on access control. They successfully acquired the Schlage SMS business from Ingersoll Rand – now known as Vanderbilt Industries – in September 2012 and then completed the acquisition of Mercury Security in May 2013. In 2015 Vanderbilt completed the acquisition of the Siemens Security Products business with Joe as its Managing Director based at the new headquarters building in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Joe graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. He served as President and Board Member of the Security Industry Association (SIA) from 1998-2007.

Notable nomination:

“For more than 30 years, Joe Grillo has been actively involved in the security industry, where he’s been active in growing, acquiring and restructuring businesses. The market has benefited from his expertise in technology innovation, customer acquisition and engagement, and developing market and channel strategies. He has been instrumental in bringing ACRE LLC to the next level in the security world, by growing and shaping how companies like Vanderbilt and ComNet do business in today’s world. Additionally, this past year, he sold Mercury Security to HID Global to solidify his stance as one of the top security professionals in the business.”

#6 adam stroud paxton

4. Adam Stroud, CEO, Paxton

Up two places from last year’s rankings, Adam Stroud, who began his Paxton career 20 years ago on the factory production line, is now at the helm of a company that made it into the illustrious FT1000, an index of the 1,000 fastest growing companies in Europe. The company has also been named as one of the London Stock Exchange’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain. In 2017, Paxton was included in the inaugural list of the FT1000 of Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies. The company also consistently ranks in the Sunday Times International Track 200 list and is a regular finalist in the Sussex Super Growth Awards. And Paxton recently made it into the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 2018 – the only security manufacturer on the list.

Paxton’s turnover has grown by £13m in three years, a rise of more than 65%, while profits have grown 50% year on year since Stroud became CEO in 2012. Paxton has seen its turnover double every four years, twice the industry average, and is now at approx. £40 million. The company currently employs over 300 people across the globe. Adam has overseen international expansion with Paxton opening offices in the US, France, Germany, Benelux, South Africa and the UAE.

Stroud has also overseen the introduction of IP technology to its Net2 system. He has also recognised the synergy between access control and door entry to introduce Net2 Entry to the market, and more recently bringing access control and building automation together to create Paxton10. The Net2 Entry Touch panel’s design and build quality saw it awarded two prestigious design awards, the 2017 iF DESIGN AWARD in the Building Technology category and the Red Dot: Product Design Award 2017.

Last year the company trained over 7,000 installers and achieved a 20% increase in the number of installers trained globally compared to 2016. The new 29,000-sq. ft. Paxton Technology Centre is now home to the company’s product Research and Development departments.

Notable nominations:

“Played a leading role in the company’s journey to become the UK market leader in the access control sector.  Adam encourages Paxton’s Development team to continuously improve the company’s product portfolio championing superior design, high-quality, innovative products that align with both the company’s strategy and customers’ expectations. He has long held a vision of product diversification for Paxton, and via a forward-thinking product roadmap, this has led to the introduction of a range of innovative solutions.

“Adam has spearheaded recent developments to the Net2 Entry system, most recently with the launch last year of the Net2 Entry Touch panel. Adam strongly believes it is his team, not just simply product and business strategy, that will steer the company to success and has developed a set of company values that underpin the culture at Paxton. 

In November 2017, Adam introduced Paxton’s Scholarship scheme for the first time.  Establishing an ongoing relationship with local universities shows Paxton’s long-term commitment to securing the bright-minds needed for continued success and prosperity. 

“Adam remains a driving force behind the company’s core values of simplicity, quality and honesty. He ensures they are upheld so that the customer experience is a positive one. Retaining focus and maintaining discipline at what you are good at is a key factor for any company.  Adam believes Paxton’s core strength comes from its focus and commitment to educating installers working in the mid-market (e.g. education, healthcare, retail, leisure, public sector commercial premises) about its products.  

“The company invests significantly in the free training of its installers across the world to ensure its products are sold and installed with confidence.”

Robot Assistance - Steve Reinharz

3. Steve Reinharz, founder & CEO, Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD)

Steve Reinharz oversees the development, sales and marketing, and strategic vision for the company he founded. Before RAD he was founder of security integration firm Security Zone Inc. As CEO of RAD, Reinharz leverages his extensive knowledge and interest in robotics and artificial intelligence to design and develop robotic solutions that increase business efficiency and deliver cost savings.

Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD) is an innovator in the delivery of artificial intelligence and robotic solutions for operational, security and monitoring needs. RAD is founded on the belief that next-generation robots can help organizations streamline operations, increase ROI and strengthen business.

Reinharz is a native of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and attended the University of Western Ontario, where he earned dual bachelor of science degrees in political science and commercial studies. Follow him on Twitter: @SteveReinharz.

Notable nominations:

“A visionary in the world of security technology, artificial intelligence and robotics, and an influencer in each of these spheres. Steve is widely leveraged in the security and technology worlds as a thought leader and valued speaker, serving on numerous panels about the future and implications of robotics in guarding, as well as the growth of AI in the security world for day-to-day applications. He is influential in the design and development of robotic and AI solutions that increase business efficiency and deliver cost savings.”


2. Johan Paulsson, CTO, Axis Communications

Johan Paulsson is Chief Technology Officer at Sweden-based, leading intelligent security solutions provider, Axis Communications, where he is responsible for creating the company’s innovative security surveillance solutions. As part of his role at Axis, Johan is involved in R&D, Product Management and Solution Management.

Holding a Master´s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Lund, Mr. Paulsson is an established and respected member of the Swedish tech scene. Prior to joining Axis Communications, Mr. Paulsson developed his progressive technology skills having held the revered positions of COO and Head of R&D at Ericsson Mobile, and COO at Anoto. Mr. Paulsson is also a member of the board at poLight AS, an innovative, cool Norwegian company trying to replicate the lens of the human eye.

Mr. Johan Paulsson has been the Chief Technology Officer of Axis AB (publ) since 2008. Mr. Paulsson serves as Chief Technology Officer of Axis Communications AB. He has been employed by Axis since 2008. Prior to this, he served as Chief Operating Officer and Head of R&D at Ericsson Mobile Platform at Ericsson. He also served at Anoto. He serves as a Director of Agellis. He has been an Independent Director of poLight AS since 2010. He was educated as Graduate Engineer and has a Master of Science in Electrical engineering from University of Lund.

“A forward thinker in the security and surveillance space, Mr. Paulsson has written numerous blogs about innovation in the security market, with his thoughts often being quoted in the media –eg his comments from his blog about his 2018 predictions were published by IFSEC Global. Mr. Paulsson has led many new security innovations at Axis Communications. For example, his team successfully brought to market the company’s award-winning Zipstream compression technology, which allows for important security footage to be recorded in full image quality and resolution while other, less important details are compressed to maximise available bandwidth and storage.”

#1 Martin Gren axis

1. Dr Martin Gren, co-founder, Axis Communications

Martin Gren topped the list in 2013 and has never been outside the top 10 since, finishing second in 2016. This now represents his second year in the top spot and third overall.

He has also been awarded the H.M. the King’s Medal, from the Swedish Royal Court in 2015, for “significant contributions to Swedish industry”, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the year 2010 (Sweden), an Honorary Doctor at Faculty of Engineering LTH, Lund University, for his entrepreneurship and leadership skills and he has been elected into the to the Security Hall of Fame in the USA by the Security Sales and Integration magazine.

Gren helped invent the world’s first network camera in 1996 when few people used the internet and those that did used dial-up access. Under his stewardship Axis Communications led the migration from analogue to digital video surveillance and is considered to be the second biggest supplier of video encoders behind only Hikvision.

As well as being one of the founders of Sweden-based, leading intelligent security solutions provider, Axis Communications, he is currently Chairman of Axis Communications AB and a member of the board of Axis AB, the Swedish parent company.

Since Dr. Gren co-founded Axis Communications in 1984, the company has more than 2,700 dedicated employees in more than 50 countries around the world, supported by a global network of over 90,000 partners. Axis is listed on NASDAQ Stockholm under the ticker AXIS.    Dr. Gren is a member of the board at Proact, Askero Sagoboks Förlag AB, Eikos Aktiebolag, AB Grenspecialisten and H. Lundén Holding AB.

Notable nominations:

“Under Dr. Gren’s vision, Axis Communications has been instrumental in leading the worldwide security surveillance market’s convergence from analogue CCTV to more sophisticated digital video surveillance. With nearly 25 years of engineering and entrepreneurial experience, Dr. Gren is invited to speak at many global security events and receives great feedback on the quality of his market insight and expertise.

“As the co-founder of Axis, Dr. Gren held an executive and operative role in establishing many of Axis’ new businesses and flagship products in Europe, Asia and the Americas. His innovative thinking has resulted in Network connectivity products such as Axis´ state-of-the-art network video products and in 1996 he invented the world’s first network camera together with Carl-Axel Alm. 

“Atul Rajput, Regional Manager Business Development at Axis Communications has said of Mr. Gren, “Martin’s incredible career has seen many achievements. He has been a fundamental part of Axis’ success and continues to be involved with the company through the research, development and technological innovation that is powering our momentum to drive the security market forwards.”

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Anthony Searle
Anthony Searle
July 2, 2018 11:35 am

Congratulations to Adam Stroud and the rest of the team at Paxton!