Allied Universal

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Allied Universal
Company typePrivate
Founded2016; 8 years ago (2016)
Area served
Key people
RevenueIncreaseUS$18 billion (2021)[4]
Number of employees
SubsidiariesG4S STAFF PRO
Allied Universal patrol vehicle

Allied Universal is an American private security and staffing company, based in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania and Irvine, California. Formed in 2016 by the merger of AlliedBarton and Universal Services of America,[5] Allied Universal is the world's largest provider of private security guards.[6][7] It is also the third largest United States–based employer globally with 800,000 employees.


Allied Universal started as two different companies: AlliedBarton and Universal Protection Services.[8]


AlliedBarton was founded as Allied Security in 1957 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as a provider of contracted security guards and related services.[9]

In 2004, Allied Security acquired Malden, Massachusetts-based Security Systems Inc. (SSI) and Atlanta, Georgia-based Barton Protective Services to form AlliedBarton Security Services - creating the largest American-owned contract security services company in the United States.[10]

Universal Protection Service[edit]

Universal Protection Service was founded in 1965.[11] It started as a janitorial company and expanded into security by 1969.

After the 2016 merger[edit]

In 2016, AlliedBarton and Universal Services of America merged to form Allied Universal. In February 2017, the company officially began operations under its new name. After the merger, Allied Universal was considered the largest security company in North America.[8]

In January 2018, the company paid $90,000 to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit from a Muslim employee in California who sought a religious exemption to the company’s grooming standards and was fired.[12] Also in 2018, the radio program This American Life ran an hour-long feature story about sexual harassment and racism within Allied's operations at JFK airport and the company's responses to it.[13] In response to the allegations, the company issued a statement saying these “isolated incidents are not indicative of our culture and work ethic,” and it has “zero tolerance against sexual harassment.” A related case was later voluntarily dismissed at the plaintiffs’ request.[12] In July, Allied Universal announced the purchase of Georgia-based US Security Associates along with its affiliate Staff Pro for $1.5 billion.[14]

In 2019, the company was attacked with a ransomware scheme by the Maze group that turned out to be a stunt designed to warn companies about system security flaws.[15] In December, majority owner Wendel sold most of its stake in Allied Universal to a Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), and a new investment group led by investment company Warburg Pincus and an affiliate of the investment company J. Safra Group.[16]

In January 2021, Allied Universal acquired Atlanta-based competitor SecurAmerica.[17]

In December 2020, the Board of Directors and shareholders for British security firm G4S unanimously accepted a takeover offer of 5.1 billion USD from Allied Universal.[18] The acquisition was completed in April 2021, creating a combined company of 800,000 employees, with revenues of more than 18 billion USD.[19]

In June 2023, it was reported that Allied Universal subsidiary G4S would be divesting completely from Israel in response to years of campaigning from the G4S Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement for its involvement in Israel and the resulting “reputational damage”.[20] Allied Universal was also said to have divested from Israel.[20]

Services and operations[edit]

Allied Universal provides security products and services, including access control, intrusion, alarm detection, and IP-based video systems; janitorial; transition planning; green cleaning; and staffing services.[21] Allied Universal operates in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Honduras, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Nicaragua.[2] As of February 2022, it employed about 800,000 people.[4]


  1. ^ "Offices - Allied Universal". Retrieved February 24, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Mark Mullison, CIO at Allied Universal Discusses Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security, and the Launch of HELIAUS". Business World IT. June 20, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  3. ^ "Steve Jones Chairman/CEO". Bloomberg. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "California security company Allied Universal to hire hundreds in Central Florida". Orlando Business Journal. July 9, 2020. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  5. ^ Pelts, James F. (August 4, 2016). "How the nation's largest security-guard firm adapts to changing threats". Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ "Universal Services to Merge". OCBJ. May 3, 2016. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  7. ^ "G4S saga ends as shareholders accept $5.3 billion Allied Universal offer". Reuters. March 16, 2021. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  8. ^ a b Cosgrove, Anne (August 1, 2016). "New Allied Universal Formed, Offers Security Services". Facility Executive - Creating Intelligent Buildings. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  9. ^ Bray, Chad (June 30, 2015). "Wendel Agrees to Acquire AlliedBarton Security for $1.67 Billion". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  10. ^ "Allied Security to acquire Barton Protective Services - Atlanta Business Chronicle". Atlanta Business Chronicle. May 24, 2004. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  11. ^ Nichols, Meagan (July 28, 2015). "Memphis security giant Guardsmark bought". Memphis Business Journal. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Durham City Council Approves Contract With Company Accused of Harassment, Discrimination". Indy Week. May 18, 2018. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  13. ^ "LaDonna". This American Life. May 18, 2018. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  14. ^ "Allied Universal to buy U.S. Security Associates for $1 billion". Reuters. July 15, 2018. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  15. ^ "Maze ransomware shuts down with bizarre announcement". Computer Weekly. November 2, 2020. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  16. ^ "Allied Universal Holder Completes Sale". OCBJ. December 16, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  17. ^ "Allied Universal acquires SecurAmerica". Security Magazine. January 21, 2021. Archived from the original on February 2, 2021.
  18. ^ Ragusa, Paul (December 8, 2020). "G4S agrees to be acquired by Allied Universal". Security Systems News.
  19. ^ Shabong, Yadrisa (March 16, 2021). "G4S saga ends as shareholders accept $5.3 billion Allied Universal offer". Reuters.
  20. ^ a b "Report: Private security firm G4S to divest from Israel". Middle East Monitor.
  21. ^ "Allied Universal Security Services LLC". Bloomberg. Retrieved January 19, 2021.

External links[edit]