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Gallagher celebrating 80th anniversary

Gallagher is celebrating its 80th anniversary as a leading technology company in the security, fuel systems and animal management industries.

The family owned-and-operated global security giant was founded in 1938 by the late Bill Gallagher Senior and 80 years ago was a ten-person business that designed and delivered New Zealand’s first electric fence. Today, the company employs 1,100 people across a global network in ten countries. Research and development alone makes up 135 of the workforce, 75 of whom are software developers. To celebrate 80 years, Gallagher will hold a series of events for customers and employees throughout North America, Europe, Asia, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Gallagher chief executive and chairman Sir William Gallagher says: “The innovative spirit of my father, our founder Bill Gallagher Senior – who 80 years ago worked to solve our first problem – is alive in the generations of our people who continue to deliver previously unthought-of solutions. Each year, for 80 years, our customers have experienced continual increases in the power of Gallagher technology to transform their working lives. Our longevity is a credit to our employees, business partners and customers whose dedication to the brand are absolutely key to our success. We’ll be celebrating throughout our anniversary year the strength of those partnerships built over decades.” A milestone ceremony kicked off the anniversary year at the Hamilton headquarters, where workers from across the globe and all New Zealand employees and their families gathered for a celebration of headline entertainment, fun family activities and food inspired by office locations across the globe.

Celebrating the spark

The focus on innovation has given rise to a new strapline, ‘80 years of celebrating the spark’, which is captured in a giant ‘spark’ graphic that now adorns Gallagher’s head office. Gallagher will capture key moments over the eight decades in a commemorative digital format, to be published at the end of the year, as a reflection of the brand’s presence over the past 80 years.

The digital book will be available to view online at and Gallagher’s customers and business partners have been asked to contribute heritage archives via

The brand entered Europe in the 1990s and Gallagher Security (Europe) Ltd celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. Regional manager Dave Bentley has been with the business almost from the beginning. He was the first on site in the UK at customers like Severn Trent Water, EDF, United Utilities and National Grid, which has evolved to be Gallagher’s largest UK client and its biggest worldwide for perimeter, covering 700 sites via channel partners via the Gallagher Command Centre in 2 Alarm Receiving Centres.

Making it work

He recalls: “If product releases weren’t quite behaving as we expected, I was there at the sharp end making it work for the client. One evening, I was working late in the warehouse mending some fence controllers when Sir William walked through and asked who I was. That’s where our relationship started 23 years ago, and my huge respect for him, his father and the energy that drives the company.” He explains that innovation has been key to the success of Gallagher Security, with Sir William spotting the opportunity to develop the electric fence his father had invented for agricultural purposes, into a perimeter security fence to deter would-be intruders. The purchase of PEC in 1999 was a real game changer for the company, adding access control to its portfolio. It meant Gallagher moved from perimeter protection to providing an holistic solution. This has continued to develop with recent developments allowing users to access buildings with their mobile phones using Gallagher Mobile Connectivity. Bentley says: “There are two things about the Gallagher culture for me. Innovation is the first, it’s an exciting environment to be in, always changing, and it means that nothing is impossible. The second is that when you find yourself part of a team that has integrity, respect, a great work ethic and trust flowing from the top down, it’s something you want more of because it’s special.

“That’s the spark, that’s what makes Gallagher such a great organisation, and that’s why our business is growing so fast. What a great thing to be a part of!” Gallagher marked the 80th anniversary last month with an event at key customer King’s College London attended by Sir William, its approved channel partner network, customers and industry representatives. Bentley says: “The event was a great way to thank our team and customer base for their business and celebrate in London – an area in which we’ve invested heavily and have seen considerable growth as a result.” Sir William concludes: “We’ve achieved a lot in the past 80 years, but we are just getting started.”


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