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Hawkeye places $31m bet on Trinidad

Published:Friday | July 29, 2016 | 7:00 AMNeville Graham
Sean Clacken, CEO of Hawkeye Security.

Number two security outfit Hawkeye has started to expand operations into the Caribbean with the opening of its first overseas office in Trinidad, on which it has spent $31 million.

Hawkeye CEO Sean Clacken says the initial spend was just a way of getting a firm foothold in year one of their operations with a view to expanding.

"In the scheme of things, that's not a lot of money. We just did what we had to do, and as we explore the market even further, we will be looking for opportunities in adding more services," Clacken said.

Hawkeye has cemented its place as the number two among private security firms behind the Guardsman Group, and as a leading provider of electronic security solutions, armoured courier and residential armed response services for more than 28 years.

Clacken said the company has been in growth mode for some time, while noting that with a crowded Jamaican market, that growth could best come regionally.

"We have been over the last two years looking for areas to grow. We explored many different territories, and an opportunity (in Trinidad) just came up and we took advantage of it, because as a business, we want to continue to grow. We want to minimise risks. By being in one market, we are limiting our growth," Clacken said.

Hawkeye recently announced that the commercial guarding services that were the core business of Ranger Security have been merged into the Hawkeye operations.

"Bringing the companies under the single brand name Hawkeye is part of our strategy to drive growth by continuing to give all our customers the best value and quality by delivering more innovations in electronic security and guarding services," Clacken said.

Hawkeye has tapped former associate Joe Smith to run the Trinidad office. Clacken says Smith has been back in Trinidad working in the security field for over 10 years.

"Joe Smith?s experience is very heavy on the guarding side, so his ability to grow business in guarding is going to be very easy," Clacken said as he explained how the Hawkeye Trinidad operation will work.

The backbone of the vehicle-tracking service offered to Trinidadians will be housed in Jamaica. Clacken says the Jamaican operation has ample capacity and is so far ahead that the roll-out has been easy.

"The vehicle tracking is one where when we looked at our product that we're offering in Jamaica, it seemed to us that what have is much more advanced than what was in the marketplace (in Trinidad), so we thought that the product itself is such that we'd be able to compete effectively in the marketplace," Clacken said.

He said Hawkeye's journey into Trinidad followed deliberate, strategic steps and that the operation there should eventually prove a winner.

"We are building this new business from the ground up, focusing first on delivering two primary services - guarding services and vehicle tracking. Over time, we will expand to offer the full line of security solutions that we offer in Jamaica," the Hawkeye CEO said.

Hawkeye Security is operated by the DLM Group.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com