Retired Mercury President Returns As Open Options President

By Dan Gelinas, Published Mar 18, 2019, 11:36am EDT (Info+)

Open Options experienced major changes in 2018, including being acquired by ACRE and losing its President and General Manager, John Berman [link no longer available] who passed away unexpectedly at the same time.

Now, Open Options has recruited formerly retired industry veteran (Checkpoint Systems, HID, Mercury) to run Open Options.

[link no longer available]

In this note, based on our talk with new Open Options President Steve Wagner [link no longer available], we look at the following points:

  • Two big changes in two weeks
  • Challenge: Getting current
  • Objective: Double the business in 5 years
  • Staying focused
  • Leveraging ACRE brands
  • ACRE Ownership Will Offer Purchasing Power
  • Outlook

****** **** ******* ************* ****** ************ ****** ******** ****, ******* *** ******* challenged ** ** ******** ** ***** on ******* ** ******* ******* ****.

**** ******* *********** ******* ** **** **** ***** Wagner ***** ******* ****** ** *********.

Two *** ******* ** *** *****

**** ******* ********* ****** *** **** ushering *** ******* ******* *** ***** stages ** *********** ** ******* ******* ACRE **** ** ************ ****, ******* the ******* ** *****, ********* ** Wagner:

**** ******** ****** ** *** * very *** ***** ** *** ********. And **** *** ******** *** ***** sold *** ** *** *** *** events ** * *** **** ******.

****** **** **** *******, **** ****** someone ** *** *** ******* *** him ******* *** **** **** ***** to **** *******, **** **** ********* Joe ****** [**** ** ****** *********] reached *** ** ***:

**** ****** ******* ** *** **. I *** ***** *** **** ******* guys *** * *****. * **** everybody ***** .... *** ****: '****, ***’** an ******** ** ****, **** ** a ****** *** *** ** **** after ** *** ** **** **** us ***.'

Challenge: ******* *******

****** ** ******* ** ******* ****** going ** * ******** ********* *** helping *** ******* ** ****:

***** *** ** *********** *** ** to **** *** *** *** ******** on ****** ** **** *** *** the ******** ** *** *** ******. And ****’* **** *’* *****.

*******, ** *** *** *********, ****** has **** ******** ** ** ** since ** *** **** ****** *** decades ***** ** *** **** ** the ******** **** ** *** ****** world:

**’* **** ** ***** ***** *’** been ** *** ****** ******* ********* business. *** ********* *** ** ** to *** **** ** *******. ******* for *** **** ** ***** *’** been * ********* ********. ******** *** always **** ** *** ****, *** it ****’* ****.

Objective: ****** *** ******** ** * *****

****** **** *** **** ** ** double *** ******** ** * *****. Open ******* ****** ******* *** $** million ** ****, ********* ** * presentation ** ********. **** **** *** target ** $** ******* *** * CAGR ** ~**%. ***** **** ** above ****** ******* ******** *******, **** is ********* ******** ** *******, ********** with ****'* *********, ***********, *** ********* of *** ****** ******* ******, ***** with **** ******* ************ ******* ********** reach.

****** **** *** ***** ** ******* this **** ******** "*** ******** **" what **** ******* *** ******* *******:

* **** * *** ** **** in ** ***** **** **** ******* having **** *** ********** ** *** last * *****. **’* *** ******** from *******. **’* * **** ****** ship. ** *** ** ** **** the ***** ** *** **** ******** that ****** **** *******. ****’** **** a ****** **** *** ** ******** their ******** **** *** **** *** years *******. ** ********* ** ** not ***** ** **.

Staying *******

**** ******* ********* ********* *** **** long *******, ****** ****. *** *****, he ****, *** ** ***** **** to **** ***** **** **** *** done ******* ** *** ***** **** are:

* ***’* *** * *** ** changes. ** *** ****-***, *** ** was ****-******* *** *****’* * *** of ******* ***** **** *** ****** who **** **** **** **. * would ******* **** *** ******* ****** of ** **** ******* ******** ** 12-14 ***** *** *** *******’* **** 20 ***** ***.

Leveraging **** ******

**** ** * ******* ******* **** has ************ * *** ** ***** ** the **** *** ***** ** ******** its ******** ** *** ****** ******* ******. **** Options ***** ******** ****  ************ ******* Security, **********, ***, *** ******. ******'* former ******* ******* *** ******** ****** *** **** ** *** ** 2017 *** * ***** ******.

****** **** ** *** ******* ** leverage ***** ****** *********' ********* *** efficiencies ** ******* "*********** *****":

** *** **** ** *** **** portfolio, * *** ** **** *** the **** **** **** ******* **. And ******* **** *** ***** **** for * *****, ****’** *********** **** practices ******* ********** **** ** *** use. ** ** *** *** *** those ****-****** *******—*******, ***, ***—** *** leverage *** ********** **** *** ******* made. **** ***** ** * *** of *********** ***** **** ** ***’* have ** ****** ** *** ***.

** * ******, *** *** ******* now ********* **** *** ********* **** be **** *********** *** *************, ****** claimed.

ACRE ********* **** ***** ********** *****

*******, ****** **** **** ***** ****'* ownership ***** *** ***** *** **** "lift" *****-****, *** ***** *** **** the ******* ** * ******* ********** and *** ***** ** ******** **********:

****’* ********* **** ******* **** ******* operationally. **** ** *** ****** **** does *********-**** ** **** **** ** the ****** ** ****** ******* *** make ** ** ******** ******. ****'* brand *** * *** ** ***** that ** *** **** ******. **** you ******* * ** * ********* that *** **** ******** ** ***** us * *** ** ****** *****.

*******

*** **** **** **** ******* *** purchased ** ****, ***** *** **** rolling ** *** ********** ****** ******* industry ** ****** ***** **** ***************** ******** ~ $*** ************ **** *** *** *******.

*******, **** *** **** ******* *************** ******* ****** ****** **. **** **** ******* *** ** used ** ********** *** ***** *** expand ************* **** *** ******* *** customers. *********** **** *********** **** ************** ** ******** ****** *******, *** help **** ******* ** *** *** to ******, ** ****, ** *** program ****** *** **** ******** ** existing *** *** *******, ***** ******* to ** ****.

**** *******, *** ***** ** ****, is *** ****** ** '*******' *** 'revolutionize' *** ******** *** *** * good ****** ** ******* ** *** relatively ****** *********.

Comments (2)

This is an interesting 'story' to read, Dan. Instead of generic press-releases that are the norm, this actually connects many 'dots' behind the move, kudos to Steve's frankness.

Also, Joe Grillo/ACRE seems to make strong decisions.  I'm not sure how much of a push-goal 15% CAGR is, but it would not be surprising if Open Options achieves it.  Especially, since Dan notes above, the company is a modest-sized regional player at this point.

Also, it emphasizes the need for business succession planning.  In this case, losing Jon Berman was a terrible loss, and ACRE is something of a 'white knight' in getting an experienced/market savvy Wagner to take the reins.   Would other companies in our industry survive a similar loss?

Agree: 1
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Thank you, Brian. You pose an interesting question for any business owner. How prepared are they for their business to go on after they're gone?

Agree: 1
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