Avatar photo


Author Bio ▼

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 9, 2015


State of Physical Access Trend Report 2024

Top 50 Most Influential People in Security and Fire 2015: Results Announced

The results are in for the top 50 most influential names in the security and fire industries – and it’s a triumph for Avigilon.

Dr Mahesh Saptharishi, the Canadian company’s chief technology officer (CTO), has topped the 2015 rankings after a busy year in which the Canada-founded surveillance manufacturer launched the world’s first 7K surveillance camera.

Boasting 18 years’ experience developing smart video analytics technology and network camera software/hardware Dr Saptharishi leads the company’s engineering team and recently-announced Centers of Excellence R&D initiative. As CTO he is responsible for driving innovation in Avigilon’s product and intellectual property portfolios, identifying strategic technology capabilities and exploring new business opportunities.

Writing this piece for Forbes on what the security landscape might look like in 2020 Dr Saptharishi certainly leaves his mark on the debates shaping the industry’s strategic direction too.

The most influential person in fire for 2015, meanwhile, is Jonathan O’Neill, MD of the Fire Protection Association (FPA).

Unseating Sir Ken Knight O’Neill’s triumph is not his first accolade of the past 12 months. In June of last year he won the Ian Marsh Award, which recognises individuals that demonstrate enthusiasm and selfless concern for the fire and emergency systems industry, at the 2014 ECA Annual Awards.

In 16 years as managing director at the FPA O’Neill has overseen the organisation’s separation from the Loss Prevention Council and steered them through two relocations.

The top 50 rankings were determined by a round of public voting and deliberations from a panel of 13 expert judges from across the security and fire-safety industries.

Reflecting the growing convergence between the IT and traditional security worlds the latest roll call of influential figures features more cyber-security experts and pioneers in the nascent ‘internet of things’/home automation markets than ever before.

The list below features prominent thought leaders, pioneers in product development and entrepreneurs and executives who have overseen surging revenues, profits and market share.


Mike Tennent
CEO, Tavcom Training

Founder and CEO of the physical industry’s leading trade body Mike Tennent more than warrants a place on the top 50 countdown.

Part of the renowned Linx International Group, Tavcom Training is the worlds leading provider of accredited security systems training courses. We provide award winning BTEC certificated courses to installers, operators, managers and designers of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV), Network IP, intruder alarm, access control, fire alarm and all other types of electronic security systems.


Dr Debbie Smith OBE
Director of fire sciences and building products, BRE

Debbie joined the Fire Research Station (FRS) at BRE in 1984 after completing her PhD at the University of Birmingham in Metallurgy and Materials Science.  In the subsequent years Smith been influential in a wide range of fire related work in research, testing, certification and consultancy, notably in material fire behaviour, turbulent diffusion flame dynamics and development and validation of mathematical modelling approaches.

Her contributions to European fire test methods, classification schemes for construction products and the development of fire safety engineering standards make her a worthwhile addition to this list. More recently Debbie has taken a keen interest in sustainability and its influence on fire protection and construction methods.

Debbie, who is also chair of the European Committee CEN TC127 on Fire Safety, awarded an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list for services to fire safety.

Now Director of Fire Sciences and Building Products for BRE Global Debbie steers research, protection engineering and investigation and testing and approvals of fire products, systems and services associated with passive fire protection and suppression.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Debbie-Smith-BRE.jpg”]


Alf Goransson
CEO and president

Coming second on Infologue’s Top 30 UK Security Companies 2014, Securitas is a big deal in the world of guarding.

But under the stewardship of Alf Goransson the company, which was founded in Sweden in 1934, has acted to move beyond the limited confines of the term ‘guarding’.

Recognising the inexorable convergence of physical security with digital technology Goransson oversaw the acqusitions of Belgian security and critical communications systems integrator SAIT and a 24% stake in US-based Iverify, a remote video services company.

Before joining Securitas as CEO and president in 2007 Goransson was president and CEO of NCC AB, 2001–2007, CEO of Svedala Industri AB 2000–2001, Business Area Manager at Cardo Rail 1998–2000 and and President of Swedish Rail Systems AB in the Scancem Group 1993–1998.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Alf-goransson.jpg”]


John Honovich
Founder, IPVM

Via his popular security blog IPVM John Honovich is undoubtedly an influential voice in the security-industry media.

Unafraid of controversy Honovich has won respect and a sizeable audience – and no doubt upset people along way – by giving the unvarnished truth on the industry as he sees it.

And as a former integrator and manufacturer he has the credibility to back it up. Leading a team of engineers who test, research and analyse the video surveillance and physical security markets Honovich is arguably to the security world (along with Benchmark Magazine) what What Hi Fi is to consumer electronics.

“John brought light to the closed doors of the CCTV industry,” wrote one those who endorsed Honovich in the initial voting round. “Instead of fluff pieces in trade magazines we can now see which cameras are actually good solid pieces of equipment and which are junk.”

Wrote another: “In an industry media where articles are simply repurposed press releases, he has provided a voice of sanity for users and practitioners by doing objective (or as objective as possible given one man’s resources) testing of technologies and publishing without fear. One may not always agree with his conclusions but his service is truly revolutionary in an industry desperately lacking in objective product evaluations.”

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Honovich.jpg”]


Alex Carmichael

Formerly Director of Technical Services and Exports at the BSIA Alex Carmichael became CEO of the SSAIB in December 2014.

Carmicheal, who replaced Geoff Tate at the helm, joined the BSIA in 1998 as Technical Officer. He was promoted to Technical Manager in 2002 and then eight years ago became Director of Technical Services.

“I’m delighted that someone with Alex’s skillset will be heading up SSAIB,” said Geoff Tate upon the appointment. “I’ll be handing over the reins to someone with over 15 years’ involvement in the security sector, where he’s widely known and respected.

“Besides working with him during a transitional handover, I’ll remain in close contact with Alex as SSAIB’s Chairman. It’s a significant boost for SSAIB to appoint a new Chief Executive of such calibre and provides the foundation for our future. SSAIB certificated organisations in the security, fire and telecare industries can rest assured that they’ll be in good hands with our staff under Alex’s capable guidance.”

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Alex-Carmichael-SSAIB.jpg”]


Graham Bassett MSyI, FIRP, FInstSMM
Managing Director, GBRUK

After 20 years in security recruitment Bassett set up GBRUK “to provide a more focused and personal offering to both candidates and clients in the security job market.”

Claiming to offer a “high street mentality” approach to recruitment – “it’s all about PEOPLE and doing our best to manage people’s needs and expectations” – Bassett brings a wealth of knowledge and contacts to the industry.

Bassett is also Vice Chairman – Operations, ASIS UK Chapter 208, member of ASIS European Advisory Council (EAC) and Chairman of the London Project Griffin Board.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Graham-Bassett-Vice-Chairman-ASIS.jpg”]


Andrew Foster
MD, C-Tec

Andrew Foster has been a driving force in the success of Wigan-based fire-safety manufacturer C-TEC.

Nominated as an outstanding example of manufacturing excellence in the Government’s prestigious ‘Made by Britain’ initiative, C-TEC is one of the fire-safety industry’s most respected manufacturers.

The manufacturer of quality life safety electronic equipment, whose portfolio encompasses fire alarm control panels, voice alarm systems, disabled refuge systems, nursecall systems and audio-frequency induction loop systems, was established in 1981. Many of its products are third-party certificated by internationally recognised test and approval bodies such as the LPBC, the BSI, Intertek and the VdS.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Andrew-Foster-C-Tec.jpg”]


John Davies
Managing Director, TDSi

John Davies, who led the buyout of access control veterans TDSi from Norbain in 2003, began his working life at British Aerospace Military Aircraft Group in 1979. In 1981 he left the UK to work with Litton Industries Inc in Japan, Singapore and the USA working on Oil & Gas and Petrochemical projects. Thereafter he moved again, this time to South East Asia to establish a business for a Canadian environmental services company, where he negotiated a 20 year service support contract with the Malaysian government for the supply of air and water pollution monitoring data which could be used to prosecute polluters.

Returning to the UK in 1997, he took up a directorship at Zellweger Analytics a manufacturer of toxic gas detection equipment, and moved to a telecom software start up in 1999.

During his time as MD at TDSi export sales have grown from 40% of the business to 50% plus.

John is active in the BSIA (British Security Industry Association) where he was Chairman of the Export Council from 2010 to 2013 and also sits on the Security Sector Advisory Group (SSAG) for UKTI DSO.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/John-Davies-Managing-Director-TDSi.jpg”]


Richard Bell, FSyI
Head of Cyber Security Threat & Investigations, TFL, and and Board Advisor with Ten Intelligence

As cyber security threat and investigations function for Transport for London (TfL) Richard Bell manages delivery of TfL’s cyber security competency and conducting special investigations as they apply to national security and local threats. He has a wide ranging security background, having undertaken the following prior roles for TfL – Security Auditor, Security Audit Manager – Fraud & Security, Strategic Security Planning & Audit Manager and Security & PCI Compliance Manager as well as the TfL Corporate Security Manager – 2012 Olympics.

Previously he held security management roles with Boots, the General Trading Company and Jaeger. Until recently, Richard was a Director at the Security Institute, and he is a member of the Advisory Board for Ten Intelligence, a global due diligence and investigations firm based in the UK and UAE.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Richard-Bell-FSyI.jpg”]


Niall Rowan

Niall has worked in fire since 1979 managing Warringtonfire and co-ordinating their European activities. In 2007 he became President of EGOLF, the European organisation of fire laboratories.

Since 2010 Niall has been ASFP’s Technical Officer managing the association’s technical output including the Yellow Book and many other publications. He runs several technical committees which provide the technical focus for the association.

One of his champions on the independent panel of judges said Rowan “deserves more credit than he gets” and praised his work revamping several of the ASFP guides – “industry bibles” – in 2014.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Niall-Rowan.jpg”]


Chris Lewis
Founder and CEO, Chris Lewis Fire & Secury and Lewis Building Technology

The eponymous CEO and founder of Chris Lewis Fire & Security as well Lewis Building Technology has more than 25 years experience in the security industry and won a string of awards along the way.

Founded in 1993 Oxfordshire-based Chris Lewis Fire & Security has expanded to provide their security services to the south coast and Dorset and in 2010 they set up an office in London to match the demand from customers in the area.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Chris-Lewis.jpg”]


Bob Forsyth
MITIE Total Security Management

Last year’s winner was the driving force behind the formation of a dedicated security risk and business resilience team at MITIE.

MITIE Total Security Management’s MD since April 2010, Bob is also a member of the Security Institute, Institute of Directors (IOD) and RISC.

In June 2009 this avid West Ham fan and military history buff drove a strategic shift to an integrated, risk-based approach to security that combines people, technology and consultancy services.

Bob plays a prominent role in City Security and Resilience Networks (CSARN) and the BSIA and is a member of the Institute of Directors (IOD), the Security Institute, and Resilience Industry Suppliers Community (RISC).

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Bob-Forsyth.jpg”]


Wilf Butcher

CEO, Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP)

Wilf Butcher has played a prominent role in the fire industry since his appointment to CEO of the ASFP in 2007.
Among the praise issued in support of his nomination was this comment:
“Wilf has been the driving force behind a series of seminars on Passive Fire Protection touring the FRS Regional HQs. He also supports many aspects of passive fire protection, through networking; lobbying and generally cheer-leading.
“He’s passionate, extremely knowledgeable, a good strategean and tireless in his efforts. His work is significantly raising awareness and providing education to a wide audience hungry for information.”

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Wilf-Butcher.jpg”]


Tony Fadell
CEO, Nest Labs

In a market yet to mature Nest Labs stands out as the one home automation company to truly capture the imagination and its name resonates well beyond the security industry.

If its design credentials seem Apple-esque – simple but sleek – then that perhaps owes something to its founders background.

Tony Fadell, the company’s CEO, led the team that created the first 18 generations of the iPod and the first three generations of the iPhone. Before his time at Apple Fadell also built the Mobile Computing Group at Philips Electronics and boats more than 300 patents to his name.

Headquartered in Palo Alto, California Nest Labs designs and manufactures sensor-driven, Wi-Fi-enabled, self-learning, programmable thermostats and smoke detectors. Fadell co-founded the company with fellow former Apple engineer Matt Rogers in 2010 and its first product, the Nest Learning Thermostat, landed on the market in 2011. In October 2013, Nest Labs announced the Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector.

Following the company’s acquisition by Google for $3.2bn in 2014 the company now has formidabble financial muscle to invest in more product development.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Tony-Fadell-Nest.jpg”]


David Ward
MD, Ward Security

David co-founded Ward Security with his brother in 2000. Ward Security is an award-winning company providing bespoke security solutions from security guarding services to dog patrol teams, alarm response and keyholding services, for both private and public sector organisations throughout London, the Midlands and the South of England.

The company has achieved a near perfect Approved Contractor Score (ACS) from the Security Industry Authority (SIA) following its annual assessment placing the company at the very top end of all ACS companies nationally.

The SIA advised in its report that Ward Security’s ACS score of 169 from a maximum of 174 was a tribute to the professionalism and dedication of the management team as well as the efforts of all 511 employees.

Ward Security has a head office in London and a network of regional offices including Rochester, Bracknell and Manchester.  It provides a broad range of bespoke, integrated and flexible security services working with clients in the public and private sector.   Areas of specialist expertise include the provision of search and selection guard dogs, wireless intruder detection systems and concierge services.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/David-Ward-security.jpg”]


Martin Harvey

Martin Harvey has been involved in the fire and security industry for nearly four decades. The chairman of the Security Systems section of the BSIA has sat on countless British standard committees and working groups.

Beginning his career with EMI Electronics, he later helped develop the UK’s first microprocessor based intruder alarm in the R&D department of AFA Minerva.

He then moved into the marine and offshore division, designing control systems for North Sea rigs and platforms, before moving into project management of a range of fire and security equipment.

In 2012, he was appointed Director of Regulatory Affairs at Tyco International, where he remains to this day.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Martin-Harvey.jpg”]


Richard Jenkins

Richard Jenkins became the NSI’s Chief Executive in March 2014. succeeding Jeff Little OBE. A change management specialist Richard’s expertise includes business reorganisation, supply chain integration, process design and customer-focused strategic development. Arriving from IKEA Ltd, where he developed and implemented the furniture retailer’s auto enrolment pension scheme strategy and led the work launching their UK internet and home shopping delivery service, Jenkins is a security industry outsider and brings a different perspective to the sector.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/richard-jenkins.jpg”]


Troels Oerting
Group CISO, Barclays Bank

Before joining Barclays as its new group CISO in February Troels Oetering headed up Europol’s European Cybercrime Center (EC3).

In a post on Twitter EC3 special advisor on internet security Brian Honan wrote “Troels has proven to be an effective leader for Europol EC3 and has been able to bridge the communications gap between a highly technical field to business leaders, policy makers, and the general public. Europol’s loss will be Barclay’s gain where no doubt Troels will continue to raise cybersecurity as a strategic business issue for the bank to deal with.

With cyber crime high on the agenda for a beleaguered banking industry Oerting certainly has a challenge on his hands.

In 1997 he was promoted to director of the Danish National Police’s Serious Organized Crime Agency, a position he held for over nine years before moving to head up operations at the Security Intelligence Service in his home country.

Oerting’s move to Europol came in 2007, when he joined as a police chief superintendent. Other roles followed at the transnational police force based in The Hague before he became head of the fledgling European Cybercrime Center (EC3).

EC3 officially opened its doors in January 2013 with the aim of supporting member states in cybercrime investigations.

With Oerting at the helm EC3 made numerous arrests, dismantled global credit card fraud networks, disrupted botnets and police ransomware networks and was successful in combatting online child sexual exploitation.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Troels-Oerting-Group-CISO-Barclays-Bank.jpg”]


Brian Robinson
Chairman, Fire Sector Federation (FSF)

One of our independent judges put Brian Robinson right at the head of his list of fire-safety professionals.

As chair of the organisation Robinson has been an influential voice in fire-safety debate. Established as a forum to foster the discussion of fire-related issues of interest to its membership the FSF brings together representatives from across the UK fire sector.

Originally formed in 2011 as the Fire Sector Partnership, the Fire Sector Federation was established in June 2012 following a merger with the Federation of British Fire Organisations (FOBFO) in response to the Fire Futures review. Launched in 2010 by then Fire and Rescue Minister Bob Neill MP this strategic review of fire and rescue provision was designed to enable sector partners to shape the future direction of fire and rescue services in England.

The FSF’s mission can be encapsulated as promoting horizontal integration, and challenging a prevailing ‘silo’ mentality in working practices by addressing both the built and natural environment, as well as fire and rescue service issues.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/brian-robinson.jpg”]


Dave Tyson CPP
President, ASIS International

As ASIS International president Dave Tyson CPP has responsibility for a huge transnational members body with chapters in in more than 125 countries.

“The greatest challenge facing security management professionals is the velocity of data and technology,” Tyson has said. “Our mission today, as it has been for 60 years, is to deliver the information and education required for security professionals to meet such challenges and perform with a high degree of efficiency and effectiveness. Security practitioners need to be prepared to take a leadership role in protecting what matters most to their organizations. With 38,000+ members globally, we have a distinct advantage to offer our members.”

A frequent speaker at industry events Tyson has also written books including “Security Convergence: Managing Enterprise Security Risk”, the first book on security convergence.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Dave-Tyson.jpg”]


Ray Hope
MD, Advanced Electronics

Ray Hope has been managing director of Advanced Electronics since 1999, before which he spent a decade at Morley Electronic Fire Systems.

Based in Newcastle Advanced Electronics sells products that protect people and property in 60 countries. Its systems are found in applications from small, single-panel sites to huge multi-node networks, in many of the most prestigious and challenging locations.

Dedicating 25% of its business to R&D the company sees itself as an innovator and Hope has been instrumental in forging that approach.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/2-Ray-Hope.jpg”]


Peter Strom
CEO of March Networks

Peter Strom is President and CEO of March Networks. He joined the company in 2003. Under Peter’s guidance, March Networks has grown from a start-up to a leading provider of IP video solutions with over $100 million (U.S.) in annual revenue. In 2005, the company completed a successful IPO, and in 2012, was acquired by the Infinova Corporation.

Prior to joining March Networks, Peter served as President and CEO of Gyyr, Inc. (1999-2002), a California-based video storage manufacturer. There, he led the company’s digital transformation, returning it to profitability. Before Gyyr, Peter was VP of International Operations (1997-1999) with Ohio-based Mosler Corporation, where he expanded its global reseller network into 40 countries and helped establish a Beijing-based joint venture banking security company.

Prior to Mosler, Peter held positions with Sensormatic Corporation and Honeywell International.

A native of Sweden, Peter speaks Swedish, English and French, and holds a B.A. from McGill University and an M.B.A. in International Business from Concordia University.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/2-Peter_Strom.jpg”]


Alastair McLeod
CEO and founder, Veracity

The company Alastair McLeod founded in 2005 is a pioneer in IP video surveillance solutions focusing on transmission, storage and display systems.

It wasn’t McLeod’s first introduction to entrepreneurialism though, as he also Visimetrics, a DVR specialist, in 1996 and guided as MD until 2004.

McLeod briefly ventured into the Twittersphere in 2011, writing just two tweets, the first of which being “Colin has finally persuaded me to join Twitter. Can’t think why anyone would read the crap I write though.”

Our judges begged to differ on whether his opinions carry weight in the industry.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/2-Alastair-McLeod-Veracity.jpg”]


Jonas Andersson
Samsung Techwin senior vice president

One time ONVIF Steering Committee chairman Jonas Andersson is Senior Vice President for product planning and strategic marketing for the security solutions division of Samsung Techwin. Joining the company in January 2013 he also brought a wealth of knowlesge from an 18-year period working in a number of senior roles for Axis Communications, including director of video product management and video solutions and business development director. Andersson was Chairman of the ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) Steering Committee between November 2008 and December 2012.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/2-Jonas-Andersson.jpg”]


Eugene Kaspersky
Chairman and CEO, Kaspersky Lab

Eugene Kaspersky is the eponymous founder of one of the world’s biggest cyber security companies. Born in Krasnodar Krais, Russia in 1965 Kaspersky first developed his passion for cyber security in 1987 when he detected the Cascade computer virus. He established Kaspersky Lab in 1997 and has written articles on computer virology and speaks regularly at security seminars and conferences. Kaspersky Lab now operates in almost 200 countries; with more than 30 regional and country offices worldwide, it is the world’s largest privately held vendor of software security products.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/2-Eugene-Kaspersky.jpg”]


Peter Holland
Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

Replacing outgoing Sir Ken Knight – who topped the 2014 rankings – Peter Holland provides professional advice and support to senior officials and ministers on fire policy, national resilience, fire safety, and the inspection of Crown premises in his role as chief fire and rescue advisor. Peter also provides advice and support to the government in the event of any national emergencies.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/2-peter-holland.jpg”]


Dr Neil Cohen
Capability Adviser for Digital Investigations, Home Office Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST)

Dr Neil Cohen won a ringing endorsement from one of our judges in particular, who praised his work on i-LIDS (the government benchmark for video analytics) and the ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) standard for The Home Office Scientific Development Branch.

As well as co-authoring ‘Working towards an International ANPR Standard : an initial investigation into the UK Standard’ and ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) standard.

As well as co-authoring ‘Working towards an International ANPR Standard : an initial investigation into the UK Standard’ Neil Cohen is a highly respected figure within the Home Office Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST), which engages in contraband detection (illicit material includes people/stowaways, money, drugs, explosives, weapons and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear material); crime investigation; crime prevention and community safety; identity assurance; and protective security.

[mk_circle_image src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/neil-cohen.jpg” image_diameter=”500″]


Colin Todd
MD, CS Todd and Associates

Colin Todd formed C.S. Todd & Associates Ltd in 1982 after years of experience in risk management and fire protection engineering. His team includes both chartered engineers and fire safety professionals with local authority fire and rescue service experience. Consultants undertaking fire risk assessments are all listed on the IFE’s register of fire risk assessors.

The practice offers consultancy services in all aspects of fire safety, including fire risk assessments, surveys and audits, fire safety design and management, fire engineering/fire safety strategies, specifications for fire protections systems such as sprinklers, fire detection and alarms and gaseous extinguishing systems, and fire training. The practice also conducts investigations into the suitability of existing fire protection systems and fire safety designs and acts as expert witnesses for contract disputes and litigation cases.

Under Todd’s stewardship C.S. Todd & Associates Ltd has also been instrumental in educating responsible persons on their new-found legal role since the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which placed the burden of responsibility for fire safety squarely on the shoulders of building owners or managers, was introduced. The practice is certificated by the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) under the recent UKAS accreditated scheme for companies that carry out fire risk assessments, BAFE SP 205.

It was also the first consultancy practice to be registered with BAFE for the design and verification of fire detection and alarm systems under the SP203 scheme.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/2-Colin-Todd.jpg”]


Mike Howard
Chief security officer, Microsoft

Mike led development of Microsoft’s three interconnected Global Security Operations Centers (GSOCs), which perform global security monitoring and response. Based at Microsoft campuses in the United States, India, and United Kingdom, the GSOCs have become well known in the security field as a leading model for conducting operations globally.

A security leader, Mike contributes to the field through key roles in numerous industry organizations: International Security Management Association (ISMA), Board of Directors; Security Industry Association (SIA), Board of Directors; U.S. State Department Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), Forecast and Innovation Committee; International Security Conference (ISC), Advisory Board; and Security Executive Council.

As an internationally renowned speaker, Mike draws on his extensive security background to help drive the industry to innovate. He speaks regularly as a subject matter expert on security and leadership. Mike has been profiled in the security press, including Security Technology Executive and Security magazines. Security named him one of the most influential people in security in 2010.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/2-Mike-Howard-Microsoft-chief-security-officer.jpg”]


Tony Porter
CCTV Commissioner

Tony Porter was appointed Surveillance Camera Commissioner in March 2014. He has a combination of business and law enforcement expertise. He is an intelligence specialist (most recently within the financial sector) and retired senior police leader. His experience spans community and business engagement, international counter terrorism and serious and organised crime.

His role is to:

encourage compliance with the surveillance camera code of practice
review how the code is working
provide advice to ministers on whether or not the code needs amending
provide advice and information to the public and system operators about the effective, appropriate, proportionate and transparent use of surveillance camera systems.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/2-Tony-Porter.jpg”]


Richard Widup CPP
President, ASIS International

Richard Widup CPP hasextensive experience in private sector and federal law enforcement environments, including work with the US Army Criminal Investigation Command and FDA Office of Criminal Investigations.
He has worked on several high profile counterfeiting, cargo theft and diversion investigations, developed and implemented innovative and successful supply chain security best practices, colleague travel and security programs, and unique pharmacy crime efforts.
As president of ASIS International he plays a prominent role in an influential international organisation whose membership exceeds 38,000 members from 150 countries.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Richard-Widup-CPP.jpg”]



Hu Yangzhong

HIKvision CEO

Hu Yangzhong has led Hikvision Digital Technology through its astonishing growth since its foundation in 2001. With more than 25 years in the IT and security industries Yangzhong has broad experience in formulating innovative strategic plans in the ever-changing surveillance market.

Under his stewardship Hikvision has become world’s biggest supplier of CCTV and video surveillance equipment, surpassing its nearest challenge in 2012, according to a report by IHS, and jumped to the top three in A&S’s 2014 Security 50 rankings. Since being publicly listed in 2010 the Chinese giant has achieved market capitalization of US$32.3bn.

Hikvision’s reach extends to more than 100 countries, with its cameras deployed at the 2008 Olympic Games, 2010 World Expo, 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Safe City project in South Korea, Philadelphia recreation centers and Dun Laoghaire Harbour in Ireland.

Established in 2001, Hikvision employs over 13,000 employees, including a research and development staff of more than 4,000.

[mk_circle_image src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Hu-hikvision.jpg” image_diameter=”500″]


Julie Kenny CBE DL
Founder, Chairman and CEO, Pyronix

Julie Kenny founded Pyronix Limited in 1986 and is now Chair and Chief Executive of the company and its parent company, Secure Holdings Limited. Based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, Pyronix manufactures an extensive range of electronic security equipment for intruder alarms. She is a Commissioner at the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/3-Julie-Kennie.jpg”]


Per Bjorkdahl
Chairman, ONVIF

ONVIF chairman since 2013 Per Bjorkdahl oversees a body which oversees the development of technical standards for IP, simplifying interoperability, a process that in the coming years we think will lead to a contraction in overall numbers of surveillance suppliers.

Now if that doesn’t meet the standard for ‘influential’ then we don’t know what does.

ONVIF, founded by Axis, Sony, and Bosch Security Systems, has 31 full members that also include Honeywell, Sony and Pelco and 438 member organizations in total.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/3-Per-Bjorkdahl-Chairman-ONVIF.jpg”]


Samir Samhouri
CEO, Xtralis

Samir is CEO, chairman and president of Xtralis, which manufactures smoke detection, gas detection and video surveillance security products for the early detection, visual verification, and prevention of fire and intrusion threats.

Joining the organisation in July 2007, Samir has doubled the size of the business and overseen the launch of successful products like ADPRO FastTrace.

Before Xtralis he was Executive Vice President and General Manager of Agere Systems’ $500m Networking Division.
Immensely ambitious, Samir once proclaimed his goals as not only transforming Xtralis but the industry in which it operates too: “My dream and hope is to make Xtralis the Cisco of security,” he said. “It’s not so much I want it to be a multibillion-dollar company, but it’s to change how business is done in the safety and security niche.” It’s reasonable to conclude that Samir is making good on his dreams and hopes.

Samir has also served as CEO of The VSK Group.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/3-Samir-Xtralis.jpg”]


James Kelly

As CEO of the British Security Industry Association James Kelly leads the biggest trade association for the professional security industry in the UK. Its members account for more than 70% of privately provided UK security products and services (by turnover) including the manufacture, distribution and installation of electronic and physical security equipment and the provision of security guarding and consultancy services.

Now at the helm for five years has overseen strong growth in media activity. In 2013-14, the Association’s messages reached an audience of 410 million people, a seven-year high and a 72.9% increase on the previous 12 months.

Speaking to Professional Security Magazine in 2012 Kelly outlined his goals for the BSIA thusly:

“The BSIA was an organisation that had a good reputation and was well regarded in political circles but what I have tried to do is bring together the different sectors of the association and manage it more as a holistic whole. So I have tried to get involved in both the manpower and the electronic sectors of the association.

“My arrival coincided with the formation of an association wide business plan/strategy document that Stuart Lowden [of guarding company Wilson James, former chairman of BSIA] introduced and I helped bring to conclusion. That afforded a central steer to what all the disparate parts of the industry are trying to achieve through their membership. So I guess what I have contributed is many years’ of experience running trade bodies and membership organisations that are traditionally run through a member board. I have a lot of experience working with those members to devise strategies and implement them.”

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/3-James-Kelly-BSIA.jpg”]


Bruce Schneier
Renowned author, speaker and “celebrity guru” (The Economist)
BT Managed Security Solutions

“I seem to be a security expert now”, shouted a headline on Bruce Schneier’s blog in response to our tribute to the man in our 2013 rankings. “This seems so obviously written by someone who Googled me on the Internet, without any other knowledge of who I am or what I do,” he fumed (well I assume he fumed. Without emoticons you never can tell).

Sorry, Bruce, but you’ve made the rankings again. Mindful of your contempt for Google as a research tool I won’t comment further, other than to say several of our independent experts were stridently insistent that he should grace these rankings once again.

If you want to find out more you’ll just have to Google him.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/3-bruce_schneier1.jpg”]


Simon Banks
Group managing director, CSL Dualcom

Simon Banks is Group Managing Director and founder of CSL DualCom.  Simon is a keen supporter of the Engineers of Tomorrow initiative and also sits on the Government’s Trailblazer development group which has written the new curriculum for the 2017 Apprentice academic structure.

He co-founded the Apprenticeships for Security campaign in early 2011, placing over 2300 young apprentices into careers within the Security Industry so far.

Considered an expert within the Security Industry, he was appointed to the NSI Board of Directors to represent the security sector.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/3-Simon-Banks1.jpg”]


Pauline Norstrom
Chief Operating Officer of Dedicated Micros, AD Group and FIreVu
BSIA – Non-Executive Chairman

Pauline is a key driving force behind AD Group‘s diversification and evolution as a video surveillance technology provider, developing its international customer base to generate an increased return on investment for end users in power generation, petrochemical, retail, waste to energy and banking sectors.

Focused on the value proposition through its key brands, AD Network Video, FireVu, TransVu, NetVu Connected and Dedicated Micros Norstrom seeks to leverage technology differentiators inherent in it’s video server core and to increase stakeholder value.

Joining AD Group nearly 15 years ago Pauline has held a statutory board position since 2009 following various senior management roles. She is responsible for the day to day running of the Group and driving its strategic direction across all functions.

Pauline brings nearly 30 years’ experience to AD Group, with strengths in innovation, strategy, business management, diversification, cost base management, change management and sales and marketing.

Pauline has also been Non-Executive Chairman of the BSIA since July 2014.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/3-Pauline-Norstrom1.jpg”]


Ben Bradford
Managing Director, BB7 Fire

Holding dual professional status as both a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Surveyor Ben Bradford brought a wealth of multidisciplinary experience when he founded BB7, a specialist firm of consulting engineers operating in fire safety, security and business continuity.

Now managing director Bradford specialises in auditing fire risk management systems and the development of policy, strategy and procedure for organisations with complex fire-risk management challenges as well as intepreting building legislation and fire safety codes and standards.

Before establishing BB7 he served as director for a large independent fire engineering consultancy operating in emerging economies like Vietnam, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Libya, Qatar and Nigeria. As a Chartered Building Control Surveyor in London and the South East he also acquired experience and knowledge in building pathology, Construction, Building Legislation, Codes and Standards.

Ben – who is also one of IFSEC Global’s prolific contributors – has chaired the FIA Fire Risk Assessment Council’s Professional Standards Working Group for several years and was a founding member of the Fire Engineering Council. As the Principle author of PAS 7: Fire Risk Management Systems Specification from the British Standards Institution Ben has had a profound impact on best practice for organisational fire risk management strategies and operational challenges.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/3-Ben-Bradford1.jpg”]


Fujio Mitarai
Chairman and CEO, Canon

Even in a market as fragmented as video surveillance Canon – a giant in the world of consumer cameras – has generally been a bit player. Speaking to IFSEC Global last year the company’s product strategy and planning director admitted that its market share was “probably less than half a percent”.

So how to explain the appearance of Canon chairman Fujio Mitarai in the lofty position of 10th place?

Well, the company’s security arm has been rather busy recently. In February we reported that the company was buying Swedish surveillance pioneer Axis, for an eye-watering £1.85bn.

Not content with buying the world’s biggest retailer of network video products, it also acquired Milestone, the renowned innovator in open platform video management software.

As acquisitions go, it could hardly get bigger or bolder. If 12 months ago Canon seemed like a minor player then it certainly isn’t one now.

Fujio Mitarai was President of Canon in the US until 1989. Now chairman Mitarai has blended eastern and western managerial styles – dubbed “the Mitarai way” – in steering the company, which was founded in Tokyo in 1937.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/5-Fujio-Mitarai-Chairman-and-CEO-Canon.jpg”]


Garry Evanson
Chairman of Security Institute

Garry is the Head of Security & Emergency Planning for Westminster Abbey having previously been Head of Group Security Operations for DeLaRue plc and prior to that a Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Military Police where he saw service in Africa, Iraq and the Falklands.

This broad professional background has been complemented by him holding several Boardroom appointments in the SyI including Standards Director, Deputy Chair, External Relations Director and now Chairman, as well as leading on the Wilf Knight Academic competition for several years. He achieved registration as a Chartered Security Professional (CSyP) in 2011 having initially been a member of the working party for writing the CSyP framework.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/3-Garry-Evanson1.jpg”]


Mike Gillespie
Managing Director, Advent IM

Mike Gillespie, MD and founder of independent information security and physical security consultancy Advent IM, is also director for cyber strategy and research at the Security Institute.

Advent IM is specialises in holistic security management solutions for Information Security, HMG Information Assurance, Business Continuity and PCI-DS.

Gillespie is also a prolific thought leader, writing for Computer Weekly and Tomorrow’s FM, among other publications. Mike is also a CLAS consultant, while Advent IM is licensed to use CESG IA Policy Documents to support and deliver a range of HMG IA Training Courses.

One of his advocates on the ballot forms praised Gillespie’s “determination to address the cyber security threat by being involved in the sharing of information, engaging in training and assisting security professionals wherever possible in this arena.”

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/3-Mike-Gillespie-Managing-Director-Advent-IM1.jpg”]


Professor Martin Gill FSyI
Director, Perpetuity Research and Consultancy International

Profession Martin Gill FSyI is a Professor of Criminology, an author of 13 books and over 100 articles, and editor of the Security Journal. He maintains a close involvement in research with ASIS, and as the founder of the Security Research Initiative.

Gill won numerous plaudits for the second edition of his book the Handbook of Security, which he published last year. “Martin Gill has done more to advance the science and practice of security than anybody else around,” wrote Marcus Felson, Texas State University, of he book. “Gill has used his considerable professional networks and knowledge of the field to assemble generalists and specialists to produce the most thorough array of chapters on security that I have seen so far.”

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/4-Martin-Gill.jpg”]


Keith Bloodworth
CEO, CNL Software

A regular in the top 10 Keith Bloodworth’s influence continues to reverberate. Bloodworth, who co-founded Axis Communications with Martin Gren (who also makes the top 10) has since become a key figure in the emergence of PSIM (Physical Security Information Management) at the helm of the company he founded, CNL Software.

Forty years as an entrepreneurial IT expert Bloodworth has been well placed to exploit the growing covergence of physical and digital security.

One of his supporters during nominations said: “Keith represents one of the few who established basis for what security technology is today and in future as one of the founders of AXIS, a pioneer in IPCCTV and founder of CNL Software, the pioneer of PSIM. Keith is a visionary and I do consider that security industry should thank him.”

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/4-Keith-Bloodworth.jpg”]


Jonathan O’Neill
Managing Director, Fire Protection Association (FPA)

Jonathan, who became Managing Director of the Fire Protection Association back in 1999, sits on numerous government and ministerial advisory bodies including the Business & Community Safety Board, the Arson Control Forum, the Integrated Risk Management Advisory Board and the Operational Guidance Strategy Board.

During 16 years in the role O’Neill has overseen the opening of a fire test facility to keep the organisation at the forefront of fire protection innovation and represented UK insurers on the Prevention Forum of Insurance Europe, sat on the Executive of the Fire Sector Federation and sat on the boards of BASEC, SSIAB and BAFE.

He has also guided the FPA through two relocations and managed the RISC Authority research budget

One of his advocates during nominations called Jonathan “one of the most recognisable and respected names in the fire sector. He has transformed the FPA during his tenure as managing director. He is a known campaigner, lobbier of government/authorities and a regular speaker at a wide-range of international industry events.”

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/4-Jonathan-ONeil.jpg”]


Dr Alison Wakefield
Senior Lecturer in Security Risk Management, University of Porstmouth

As Senior Lecturer in Security Risk Management at Portsmouth University Dr Alison Wakefield is course leader of the BSc Risk and Security Management and the Professional Doctorate in Security Risk Management.

Alison is also Vice Chairman of the Security Institute, the UK’s main member association for security practitioners. She recently chaired a Security Institute working group that mapped out the pathways to becoming a Chartered Security Professional and undertakes consultancy work in security strategy, recently supporting the global engineering company Arup on a major project for the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, South Africa.

Alison has authored Selling Security: The Private Policing of Public Space (Willan Publishing, 2003), which was shortlisted for the British Society of Criminology Book Prize 2003, and she is editor of The Sage Dictionary of Policing with Jenny Fleming (Sage, 2009).

“Alison has been an instrumental and driving force in the push to professionalise security management in the UK,” wrote one of her admirers in the voting round. “Not only does Alison inspire the next generation of security experts through her work as a lecturer at the University but she has also worked tirelessly to ensure high standards within the wider security community.” Another wrote that she had bridged “the academic-industry divide.”

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/4-Dr-Alison-Wakefield.jpg”]


Martin Gren
Co-Founder, Axis Communications

Martin Gren, who co-founded Axis Communications in 1984, topped the list in 2013 and is only one spot away in the latest rankings.

Always looking ahead and avoiding complacency (as evidenced by this recent interview on the internet of things on IFSEC Global) 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.

Still edging ahead of HikVision in terms of market share in network video Axis Communications has led the migration from analogue to digital video surveillance and is also considered to be the second biggest supplier of video encoders.

While Ray Maurittson has long since taken over as president and CEO of Axis Gren remains a senior member of the board and is as animated by innovation as he was starting out three decades ago.

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/4-Martin-Gren.jpg”]


Tom Lapage-Norris
Security Manager – EMEA, Google

Lapage-Norris’s experience in the security spans 20 years, taking in spells with the Military and later the corporate environment.

Now security manager at Google Norris has shown tremendous adaptability to move seamlessly from the traditional security world to the information age’s bluest of blue chips. Highly experienced in holistic corporate security design, formally trained in physical security design, counter terrorism protection, corporate risk and crisis management, kidnap and ransom, information security and extensive multi million pound project management both in the UK and internationally – Norris truly is a man of man talents in a world where mastery of multiple disciplines is increasingly vital.


Dr. Mahesh Saptharishi
Chief Technology Officer, Avigilon

Boasting 18 years’ experience in developing smart video analytics technology and network camera software/hardware Dr Mahesh Saptharishi leads the company’s engineering team and recently-announced Centers of Excellence R&D initiative. As CTO he is responsible for driving innovation in Avigilon’s product and intellectual property portfolios, identifying strategic technology capabilities and exploring new business opportunities.

Writing this piece for Forbes on what the security landscape might look like in 2020 Dr Saptharishi certainly leaves his mark on the debates shaping the industry’s strategic direction too.

Avigilon launched the world’s first 7K surveillance camera recently and has also moved aggressively in the burgeoning video analytics market, acquiring patents from Behavioral Recognition Systems Inc (BRS Labs), FaceDouble Incorporated, ITS7 Pty Ltd and the VideoMining Corporation for a total of just over $13m.

Dr Mahesh Saptharishi is speaking at IFSEC International 2015 about how High definition Surveillance and Self-learning Analytics can Reduce Incident-impact, Damage and Loss on 17 June, 16.00–17.00, in the Security Solutions Theatre. Dr Saptharishi will discuss how an end-to-end security system that includes self-learning analytics, high definition cameras, and intelligent bandwidth and storage management can help proactively mitigate the impact of incidents in progress —reducing damage and loss. Click here to register for the show and see Dr Saptharishi’s presentation

Plaudits from those who voted for him include: “Dr Saptharishi is a true visionary. A thought leader and knowledge leader of his subject matter; not least, a captivating presenter.”

He was also called “a respected leader and visionary in video analytics and artificial intelligence within the physical security industry” and “an inspirational and intuitive leader.”

And finally: “Long-term leadership in solving customer problems with video-surveillance solutions – specifically, with respect to the use of intelligent self-learning video analytics that enables proactive prevention of adverse security events.”

[mk_circle_image image_diameter=”200″ src=”//www.ifsecglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/4-Dr_Mahesh_Saptharishi.jpg”]

Free Download: The Video Surveillance Report 2023

Discover the latest developments in the rapidly-evolving video surveillance sector by downloading the 2023 Video Surveillance Report. Over 500 responses to our survey, which come from integrators to consultants and heads of security, inform our analysis of the latest trends including AI, the state of the video surveillance market, uptake of the cloud, and the wider economic and geopolitical events impacting the sector!

Download for FREE to discover top industry insight around the latest innovations in video surveillance systems.


Related Topics

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments