Allied Universal

Allied Universal
Founded2016; 6 years ago (2016)
Area served
Key people
RevenueIncreaseUS$18 billion (2021)[4]
Number of employees
Allied Universal patrol vehicle

Allied Universal is an American provider of security systems and services, janitorial services, and staffing. The company was formed in 2016 by the merger of Universal Services of America, a Santa Ana, California-based security and janitorial services company, and AlliedBarton Security Services, based in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.[5] At the time of the merger, the combined company was reportedly the largest provider of security guards in the United States, with 140,000 trained officers between the two companies.[5][6]

In October 2021, Allied Universal completed a US$5.1 billion takeover of British security firm G4S, creating a combined company of 800,000 employees, with revenues of more than US$18 billion.[4]

The company maintains two corporate headquarters, one in Santa Ana, California and the other in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.[5]


Allied Universal started as two different companies: AlliedBarton and Universal Protection Services.[7]


AlliedBarton was founded as Allied Security in 1957 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as a provider of contracted security guards and related services.[8]

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.[9]

Universal Protection Service

Universal Protection Service was founded in 1965.[10] It started as a janitorial company and expanded into security by 1969.

Post merger (2016 - present)

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.[7]

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.[11] 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.[12] 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.[11] In July, Allied Universal announced the purchase of Georgia-based US Security Associates along with its affiliate Staff Pro for $1.5 billion.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15]

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.[16] The acquisition was completed in April 2021, creating a combined company of 800,000 employees, with revenues of more than $18 billion USD.[4] The merger was completed in October of 2021.


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.[17]

The company's divisions are Allied Universal Security Services; Allied Universal Technology Services; Allied Universal Risk Advisory and Consulting Services; and Allied Universal Event Services.[7]


Allied Universal operates in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Honduras, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Nicaragua.[2] The company maintains its headquarters in both Santa Ana, California (West Corporate Headquarters) and in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.[5] As of February 2022, it employed about 800,000 people.[4] As of July 2021, Steve Jones was the company's chairman and CEO.


  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 d e "California security company Allied Universal to hire hundreds in Central Florida". Orlando Business Journal. July 9, 2020. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d "How the nation's largest security-guard firm adapts to changing threats". LA Times. August 4, 2016. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  6. ^ "Universal Services to Merge". OCBJ. May 3, 2016. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Cosgrove, Anne (August 1, 2016). "New Allied Universal Formed, Offers Security Services". Facility Executive - Creating Intelligent Buildings. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "Allied Security to acquire Barton Protective Services - Atlanta Business Chronicle". Atlanta Business Chronicle. May 24, 2004. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  10. ^ Nichols, Meagan (July 28, 2015). "Memphis security giant Guardsmark bought". Memphis Business Journal. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Durham City Council Approves Contract With Company Accused of Harassment, Discrimination". Indy Week. May 18, 2018. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  12. ^ "LaDonna". This American Life. May 18, 2018. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  13. ^ "Allied Universal to buy U.S. Security Associates for $1 billion". Reuters. July 15, 2018. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  14. ^ "Maze ransomware shuts down with bizarre announcement". Computer Weekly. November 2, 2020. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  15. ^ "Allied Universal Holder Completes Sale". OCBJ. December 16, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  16. ^ "G4S agrees to be acquired by Allied Universal". Security Systems News. December 8, 2020. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  17. ^ "Allied Universal Security Services LLC". Bloomberg. Retrieved January 19, 2021.

External links