Retired Mercury President Returns As Open Options President

By Dan Gelinas, Published Mar 18, 2019, 11:36am EDT

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

****** **** ******* ************* ****** ************ ****** ******** ****, ******* the ******* ********** ** it ******** ** ***** on ******* ** ******* ******* ACRE.

**** ******* *********** ******* ** **** that ***** ****** ***** replace ****** ** *********.

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

**** ******* ********* ****** had **** ******** *** company ******* *** ***** stages ** *********** ** holding ******* **** **** he ************ ****, ******* the ******* ** *****, according ** ******:

**** ******** ****** ** was * **** *** shock ** *** ********. And **** *** ******** was ***** **** *** it *** *** *** events ** * *** week ******.

****** **** **** *******, they ****** ******* ** run *** ******* *** him ******* *** **** made ***** ** **** parties, **** **** ********* Joe ****** [**** ** longer *********] ******* *** to ***:

**** ****** ******* ** run **. * *** known *** **** ******* guys *** * *****. I **** ********* ***** .... Joe ****: '****, ***’** an ******** ** ****, this ** * ****** for *** ** **** after ** *** ** will **** ** ***.'

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

****** ** ******* ** keeping ****** ***** ** a ******** ********* *** helping *** ******* ** grow:

***** *** ** *********** for ** ** **** and *** *** ******** on ****** ** **** and *** *** ******** up *** *** ******. And ****’* **** *’* doing.

*******, ** *** *** admission, ****** *** **** catching ** ** ** since ** *** **** nearly *** ******* ***** he *** **** ** the ******** **** ** the ****** *****:

**’* **** ** ***** since *’** **** ** the ****** ******* ********* business. *** ********* *** me ** ** *** kind ** *******. ******* for *** **** ** years *’** **** * component ********. ******** *** always **** ** *** game, *** ** ****’* mine.

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

****** **** *** **** is ** ****** *** business ** * *****. Open ******* ****** ******* was $** ******* ** 2018, ********* ** * presentation ** ********. **** puts *** ****** ** $40 ******* *** * CAGR ** ~**%. ***** this ** ***** ****** control ******** *******, **** is ********* ******** ** achieve, ********** **** ****'* resources, ***********, *** ********* of *** ****** ******* market, ***** **** **** Options ************ ******* ********** reach.

****** **** *** ***** to ******* **** **** included "*** ******** **" what **** ******* *** already *******:

* **** * *** of **** ** ** sails **** **** ******* having **** *** ********** in *** **** * years. **’* *** ******** from *******. **’* * fast ****** ****. ** job ** ** **** the ***** ** *** this ******** **** ****** have *******. ****’** **** a ****** **** *** of ******** ***** ******** over *** **** *** years *******. ** ********* is ** *** ***** it **.

Staying *******

**** ******* ********* ********* who **** **** *******, Wagner ****. *** *****, he ****, *** ** allow **** ** **** doing **** **** *** done ******* ** *** where **** ***:

* ***’* *** * lot ** *******. ** was ****-***, *** ** was ****-******* *** *****’* a *** ** ******* there **** *** ****** who **** **** **** do. * ***** ******* that *** ******* ****** of ** **** ******* employee ** **-** ***** and *** *******’* **** 20 ***** ***.

Leveraging **** ******

**** ** * ******* company **** *** ************ * *** ** money ** *** **** few ***** ** ******** its ******** ** *** ****** ******* market. **** ******* ***** existing ****  ************ ******* Security, **********, ***, *** ComNet. ******'* ****** ******* Mercury *** ******** ****** *** **** ** HID ** **** *** * ***** ******.

****** **** ** *** excited ** ******** ***** sister *********' ********* *** efficiencies ** ******* "*********** glide":

** *** **** ** the **** *********, * lot ** **** *** the **** **** **** Options **. *** ******* ACRE *** ***** **** for * *****, ****’** established **** ********* ******* themselves **** ** *** use. ** ** *** use *** ***** ****-****** systems—Finance, ***, ***—** *** leverage *** ********** **** has ******* ****. **** gives ** * *** of *********** ***** **** we ***’* **** ** create ** *** ***.

** * ******, *** the ******* *** ********* with *** ********* **** be **** *********** *** sophisticated, ****** *******.

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

*******, ****** **** **** while ****'* ********* ***** not ***** *** **** "lift" *****-****, *** ***** did **** *** ******* of * ******* ********** and *** ***** ** combined **********:

****’* ********* **** ******* Open ******* *************. **** of *** ****** **** does *********-**** ** **** give ** *** ****** to ****** ******* *** make ** ** ******** waters. ****'* ***** *** a *** ** ***** that ** *** **** behind. **** *** ******* 3 ** * ********* that *** **** ******** it ***** ** * lot ** ****** *****.

*******

*** **** **** **** Options *** ********* ** ACRE, ***** *** **** rolling ** *** ********** access ******* ******** ** recent ***** **** ***************** ******** ~ $*** million***** **** *** *** chances.

*******, **** *** **** pockets *************** ******* ****** ****** it. **** **** ******* can ** **** ** strengthen *** ***** *** expand ************* **** *** dealers *** *********. *********** like *********** **** ************** ** ******** ****** program, *** **** **** Options ** *** *** to ******, ** ****, if *** ******* ****** any **** ******** ** existing *** *** *******, which ******* ** ** seen.

**** *******, *** ***** by ****, ** *** aiming ** '*******' *** 'revolutionize' *** ******** *** has * **** ****** to ******* ** *** 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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