Demonstrating the tangible benefits of trade association membership is key to the British Security Industry Association’s future growth and success, says Geoff Zeidler, the Association’s newly-appointed Chairman.
In his inaugural address to BSIA members at the Association’s Annual Luncheon, Geoff stressed the importance of “absolute clarity” in setting the long-term direction of the Association against a challenging backdrop of a changing regulatory and market environment.
Pic: Geoff Zeidler
He said: “In support of this objective I want to ensure the BSIA can demonstrate the tangible benefits and commercial advantage that membership of the BSIA offers to all its active participants, which in turn will drive a long term growth in membership.
Reflecting on the past two years, Geoff acknowledged the achievements of his predecessors and pledged to build upon their successes: “Under Stuart Lowden’s chairmanship, the BSIA changed its leadership and started a challenging programme of restructuring to improve the capability of the Association to serve its members under a new Chief Executive.
“In the past two years, Julie Kenny has driven this even further, spearheading the Association’s Constitutional Reform Group to devise a new set of governance arrangements that wholeheartedly embrace the BSIA’s vision to become a fit for purpose, flexible and representative organisation that’s designed for success in the 21st century.”
Speaking about the future, Geoff described police reform and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as the two most imminent challenges for the UK’s private security industry:
“In these tough economic times we are all under pressure to demonstrate a return on our costs and investments, and our counterparts in the public sector are feeling this pressure even more acutely. Police forces across the country are beginning to explore different approaches to delivering a critical public service, and in recent months many forces have engaged with the private sector to investigate innovative ways of partnering to save cost and enhance service without compromise to their responsibilities for core policing.
“It is also impossible to talk about forthcoming challenges without making mention of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This represents a significant opportunity for our industry to demonstrate its professionalism under intense scrutiny by media and critics. In the months to come, the whole world’s attention will be focused on Olympic security, and we must all work hard to ensure that the reputation of our industry is upheld, while taking full advantage of the opportunities this brings to showcase our wide range of talent and innovation.”
Finally, Geoff called for renewed commitment to Association activities and widespread participation in establishing how a pro-active BSIA can best help its members and support the industry:
“The results of our recent members’ survey show membership is of greatest benefit to those who get involved, and the reason is simple. There is a tremendous amount going on in the BSIA, and it is guided and driven by those who actively participate. I look forward to working out how best to get even more members engaged, and so to ensure that the BSIA remains relevant and representative; and becomes even more effective for all current, and future, members.
Geoff will serve as BSIA Chairman for a two-year period, and will be supported in the first year by Julie Kenny CBE DL as Vice-Chairman.
Geoff Zeidler studied Manufacturing Engineering at Cambridge University and then joined the London office of the Strategic Consulting company, Bain & Co, as an Associate Consultant. In 1988 he moved to the Corporate Finance department of Robert Fleming & Co where he built the Business Development Team, becoming a Director in 1992 and specialised in advising global companies in the Defence, Industry and Technology sectors. In 1997 he joined Bowthorpe plc as the Director of Business Development leading the transformation of the business into a focused Communications group through a series of acquisitions.
The company was renamed Spirent plc and in 2000 he moved to an operational role as President of the Europe and Wireless Divisions which achieved significant organic growth through the market downturn. He left the company in 2005 and undertook interim roles at companies including De La Rue before being appointed the Commercial Director for the government owned Agency, the Forensic Science Service, in 2006 where he worked closely with the police and Home Office on the development of both the company and the commercialisation of the Forensic Services Market.
In September 2008 he was appointed the Country President of Securitas in the UK & Ireland, which is part of Securitas AB, the £6bn Swedish world leader in security. Following a re-invigoration of the core business he lead the acquisitions of Reliance in September 2010 and Chubb in January 2011 to create the UK’s second largest manned guarding business. He is a member of the SIA’s strategic advisory committee; and the RISC council and was appointed Chairman of the BSIA in 2012.