16,000 employees, but no face
Securitas – a discreet family company
The security group from Bern has experienced incredible growth since the turn of the millennium. However, the people responsible for controlling the group are hardly known.
Published: 01/22/2023 at 35 minutes ago
The Swiss security company Securitas was founded in Bern in 1907.
Thomas SchlittlerBusiness editor Sunday view
Every child knows the colored angel who watches over travelers in the Zurich train station. What hardly anyone knows: the sculpture by Niki de Saint Phalle unveiled in 1997 is a gift from Securitas to SBB.
It was one of the few times that the security company voluntarily exposed itself. Securitas employees are so present in Switzerland that their name is sometimes used as a synonym for all private security forces. However, the representatives of the Spreng family, which owns the group of companies with 16,000 employees, deliberately remain under the radar.
“This attitude is rooted in the tradition and also in the corporate purpose of Securitas AG,” says Head of Communications Urs Stadler. External restraint and trust are important values for customers.
After it was founded in Bern in 1907, the Swiss security company Securitas soon realized that no news is good news for a private security company. According to the anniversary publication from 2007, she felt resistance from the start – among other things, it was feared that she would interfere in police work.
Not least thanks to a major order from SBB to guard train stations, Securitas soon established itself as part of the security system in Switzerland. The angel in Zurich is the thank you for this start-up help.
In the past 20 years, many new security companies have sprung up. An ETH study came to the conclusion in 2015 that there are now more private security forces than police officers in Switzerland. The trend has probably intensified since then. At the end of 2022, the business information service Dun & Bradstreet counted 1040 private guard and security services in Germany. Securitas is still the biggest. In 2021, the group, which now comprises 26 companies and is also active in the field of alarm and security systems, achieved sales of CHF 1.4 billion. In 2000 it was still CHF 600 million.
Orders from the public sector and state-related companies also contributed to this growth. At Securitas AG, they account for around a fifth of sales, as the company reports.
Securitas recently experienced a generation change. After the death of long-time patron Samuel Spreng in 2021, his daughter took a seat on the board of directors, where her brother was also a member. However, the presidency was handed over to Armin Berchtold (57), who had led the group operationally for many years. Another long-serving employee, Daniel Liechti (50), took over the CEO post. Not much should change as a result: “The next generation of the owner family is clearly committed to the solid family business,” writes the media office.
There is not much reason for changes anyway: the “balance sheet” estimates the assets of the founding family Spreng at 300 to 350 million francs. Security is worth it.