Editor, IFSEC Global

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Adam Bannister was Editor of IFSEC Global from 2014 through to November 2019. Adam is also a former Managing Editor at Dynamis Online Media Group.
June 19, 2014

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Top 40 Most Influential People in Security 2014

Bob forsythBob Forsyth has triumphed in this year’s countdown of the Most Influential People in Security, a decade after joining MITIE Total Security Management.

Read the Most Influential in Security 2016

Bob Forsyth was promoted to MD of MITIE in April 2010 after a string of achievements, not least the prestigious MITIE new business award and his pivotal role in the company’s 2006 merger with Initial Security.

One of those who endorsed his candidature praised his “efforts in creating an all-round better security industry in terms of what the industry can achieve, what it looks like from the outside and overall contributing towards making the industry a more professional sector to work within.

In his own words Bob’s guiding mission is to help the industry move from a “guarding-focused, low-end purchase” model “to a risk-based, technology-driven industry”.

Announced live this afternoon on IFSEC TV – debuting this year at IFSEC International 2014 – the latest roll call of luminaries recognises pioneers in product development, prominent voices in the industry’s most contentious debates and entrepreneurs and executives who have overseen surging revenues, profits and market share.

The top 40 is the upshot of hundreds of votes cast over several weeks, with an expert industry judge finalising the list based on nominees’ respective merits.

IFSEC Top 40 – final countdown

40. Sarb Sembhi CISM CISSP-ISSAP GCIH GAWN (Director – Consulting Services, Incoming Thought

39. Peter Webster (CEO, Corps Security)

38. Allan Hildage FSyI (Chairman, Association of Security Consultants and CEO, Griffin Security Group)

37. Michael Lamoureaux (Managing Director – Security, Servest Group)

36. Bill Butler (CEO, Security Industry Authority)

35. Tom Lapage-Norris (Security Manager – EMEA, Google)

34. John Davies (Managing Director, TDSi)

33. Bob Rose (Director of Security, ADS)

32. Matt Powers (Vice-President – Global Technology, Anixter)

31. Paul Mackie (Chairman and CEO, Camerawatch) (Read articles by Paul Mackie on IFSEC Global.com)

30. Richard Bell, FSyI (Strategic Security Planning & Audit Manager, Director at Security Institute and Board Advisor with Ten Intelligence) (Read 8 Steps to Security Assurance by Richard Bell on IFSEC Global.com)

29. Paul Schelhaas (Managing Director, Sunstone IP Systems)

28. Rob Moore (Director, Farsight Security Services)

27. Simon Banks (Group Managing Director, CSL Dualcom) (Read Could Your Business Live on 2% Margin, Like Amazon? An article from Simon Banks on IFSEC Global)

26. Don Randall MBE (CISO, Bank of England)

25. Mark Harding (Chairman, UK Crowd Management Association and Managing Director, Showsec)

24. Chris Burman-Day (Founder, Rural Crime Network)

23. Dr Mark Button (Professor of Criminology, University of Portsmouth)

22. Peter Hawksworth (CEO, Siemens Security Products)

21. Marcus Kneen (CEO, Indigovision)

20. Simon Whitehouse CSyP CPP PSP MIET MSyl MASC MIAPSC (Group Director, SGW Consulting Group)

19. Julie Kenny CBE DL (Founder, Chairman and CEO, Pyronix)

18. Martin Lee CEng MPhil MSc (Technical Lead on Threat Intelligence, Cisco)

17. James Willison MSyI (Founder – Unified Security and Vice-Chairman, ASIS International European Convergence/Enterprise Security Risk Management Sub-Committee) (Read articles by James Willison on IFSEC Global)

16. Peter French MBE (Managing Director, SSR Personnel)

15. Andy Williams CPP FSyI (Head of Security, Nomura and Chairman, ASIS UK)

14. Professor Martin Gill FSyI (Director, Perpetuity Research and Consultancy International)

13. Andy Trotter OBE QPM (Former Chief Constable, British Transport Police) (retired at the end of April to be replaced by Paul Crowther OBE)

12. Grant Lecky (Co-Founder, Security Partners Forum)

11. Per Bjorkdahl (Chairman, ONVIF)

Alf Goransson10. Alf Goransson (President and CEO, Securitas)

The CEO and president of Securitas – which brought man guarding back to IFSEC International  this year – couldn’t be overlooked.

Masterminding the 2010 acquisition of Reliance Security Alf Goransson helped make Securitas the second biggest security company in the UK and among Europe’s largest. Since then, he has worked hard to raise security guarding standards across the continent.

He is now leading an investment in technology and research in order to create a better customer experience built on a foundation of innovative new security solutions.

Bloodworth9. Keith Bloodworth (CEO, CNL)

Whatever your opinion on PSIM, CNL Software’s Keith Bloodworth has been influential in shaping the technology and his vision of a connected, intuitive physical security has helped propel PSIM to the forefront of the security industry.

He was also one of the co-founders of network camera manufacturer Axis Communications and married the logic of the IT industry with the security arena.

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.”

Gillespie8. Mike Gillespie (Managing Director, Advent IM)

The MD and founder of Advent IM is also director for cyber strategy and research at the Security Institute.

Advent IM, an independent information security and physical security consultancy, specialises in holistic security management solutions for Information Security, HMG Information Assurance, Business Continuity, PCI-DSS and Physical Security and notched many successful certifications.

One of his advocates on the ballot forms praised his “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.”

Martin Gren7. Martin Gren (Co-Founder, Axis Communications)

Co-founder of Axis Communications in 1984, Martin Gren has been at the forefront of the recent IP camera revolution. In 1996 he helped invent the world’s first network camera, which left the organization in a prime position to become the world leader in the network camera market.

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 maintains a 10.6% shareholding.

Praise from the nomination form: “Martin has through the years shown consistent talent for new application areas and ways to use technology, and he has always had good sense in what technologies to avoid. Few can match his extremely good sense what makes products and technologies usable for real people.”

Widup6. 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.

Samir5. 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.

Martin harvey4. Martin Harvey (Head of European Regulatory Affairs, Tyco International)

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.

David omand3. Sir David Omand (Visiting Professor, King’s College London)

Knighted in 2000 Sir David Omand worked for the Ministry of Defence for a number of years before his appointment in 1996 as director of GCHQ, the government department recently embroiled in controversy following a Guardian investigation. In 2002 he became the first Permanent Secretary at the Home Office and UK security and Intelligence Co-ordinator.

Sir David is currently visiting professor in the War Studies Department of King’s College London.

One of those who championed his nomination wrote: “Sir David has provided much needed balance to the high profile public debates which followed the biggest security story of the year: the intelligence leaks by the former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden. The implications of the leaks are serious for the UK and Sir David has raised awareness of the potentially dangerous implications of the affair, the realities of intelligence work, and the principles which should guide those who are involved in national security.”

emma shaw2. Emma Shaw MBA CSyP FSyl FCMI, chairman, The Security Institute; MD, Esoteric

Appointed chairman of the Security Institute last year after eight years on the board, Emma Shaw has leapt 28 places from last year’s rankings to reflect her elevated status.

“Emma is a committed and dedicated security professional who promotes the interests of security leaders across Europe,” runs one paean to Emma on our ballot forms. “She has campaigned to raise the level of security for many years in a variety of roles and deserves to be recognised for her commitment to this.”

Shaw also finds time to perform her role as MD of Esoteric, the specialist espionage countermeasures company she founded in 1998.

An MBA graduate and Chartered Security Professional (CSyP) Emma spent her early career with the Royal Military Police and later the Ministry of Defence.

Her other accolades include Security Consultant of the Year at the 2012 Security Excellence Awards and reaching the finalof both the Association of Security Consultants’ (ASC) Imbert Prize 2012 and Director of the Year Award at the 2013 Toast of Surrey Awards.

Bob forsyth1. Bob Forsyth, MD, MITIE Total Security Management

Managing Director of Mitie Total Security Management since April 2010, Bob Forsyth has notched a number of notable achievements at the company he joined in 2004.

Under his stewardship MITIE Total Security Management, which provides security guards as well as management and private security services, has grown turnover to beyond £280m and won IT Initiative of the Year and Guarding Company of the Year at the Security Excellence Awards.

Bob, a member of the Security Institute, Institute of Directors (IOD) and RISC, was the driving force behind the formation of a dedicated security risk and business resilience team at MITIE.

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

Bob has continued to change the shape of the security industry by taking MITIE Security into a risk-based approach on the provision of security solutions,” commented one of his supporters in the poll. Bob has ensured that “customers receive a holistic solution to their requirements based on risk, blending people services with electronic solutions.

“Bob never stops in his drive to [keep] the company’s strategy fresh and industry leading. He still acknowledges the people who deliver service at ground level and has continued to invest in technology that allows both officers and managers to do their jobs better and more efficiently at the same time as providing customers with real-time access to their rosters, accounts and incidents.

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).

Read Bob Forsyth’s views and prescriptions for the security industry on his blog, infologue.com. Follow him on Twitter @BobTSM. MITIE’s MD has also written for IFSEC Global.

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June 18, 2014 7:21 pm

How many FSO cases has the Barrister been involved in? Is it more than 120?

June 18, 2014 9:01 pm

I believe this should have been edited out of #23: *Note that it is Dr Mark Button and not Martin Button as listed on the spreadsheet

June 19, 2014 11:00 am

Safer got perfect exhibition at the IFSEC 2014!

June 20, 2014 2:13 am

Well done to Andy Trotter (Former Chief Constable, British Transport Police) who I nominated.

Andrew Wallace on Twitter.

Simon Whitehouse
Simon Whitehouse
June 20, 2014 8:19 am

A very nice and unexpected surprise to make it on your top 40 list. Not sure who voted for me, but thank you 🙂 A big congratulations to UBM for a fantastic IFSEC. I’m sure a lot of soul searching by the management team went in to making the decision to switch from NEC to ExCeL, but from the feedback I’ve heard and the experience of my visit, I’m sure it has proved to be a great decision. With thanks, Simon

Adam Bannister
June 20, 2014 9:57 am

JenBanksYEG Thanks for your comment. I’m not sure I follow what you mean though?

Adam Bannister
June 20, 2014 9:58 am

Simon Whitehouse On behalf of IFSEC Global, congratulations Simon!

June 20, 2014 2:12 pm

Well done Bob, and well done Emma for coming in at number 2 – great achievement to be the only woman in the top 10.

June 23, 2014 12:55 pm

Well done you all and it’s great to see a young lady Emma at the top


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February 13, 2015 11:25 pm

I wonder how many MITIE security guards would name their beloved managing director as the most influential person in the industry? Or indeed have a kind word to say about him?
Not very many…