It isn’t easy to change the way a company has done business for more than 150 years, but The Brink’s Company is doing it, and Marcie Kapaldo was brought in to help make it happen.
The Brink’s Company, which provides security-related services for a multitude of commercial and governmental customers—including banks, jewelry industries, pharmaceutical companies, and retailers—hired Kapaldo in 2014 to serve as its global head of real estate.
A major reason for that hire was the company’s effort to move from a decentralized business model, which had been used since the company’s inception in 1859, to a more centralized model. As Kapaldo explains, “The Brink’s Company operates in approximately 40 different countries, which typically meant at least 40 different ways of doing business when it came to property deals and development opportunities.”
In other words, lease payments in one country can differ from lease payments in another. Some countries have regulations on property acquisition and development while others don’t.
“There had never been anyone here who had experience with globalization,” she says.
Kapaldo’s charge is to unify the company’s procedures and create a strategy and standard by which The Brink’s Company can operate in all of its territories. She says local regulations will still cause some variation in the way deals are carried out, but at least everyone around the world will be working from the same template.
With that unified vision in place, Kapaldo says the company can better play to its strengths and fortify its portfolio.
“We’re capitalizing on what we can do, and putting a [greater] focus on expense management,” she says. “We can look at a property in a specific area and better decide if we want to build, buy, or lease.”
Kapaldo honed that kind of decision-making ability throughout the course of her career. Before joining The Brink’s Company, she worked as a business partner, relationship manager, and project manager with JDSU, Wachovia Bank, and Deutsche Bank. She says the “relationship management” aspect of her job—facilitating the communication between businesses and real estate companies and developing the strategy—is her favorite part of her role, and a skill set that made her uniquely attractive to The Brink’s Company.
“In a world such as this, you have to have a very broad background,” she says. “I have a track record of being able to build relationships and trust between two parties. A big part of that is having the courage to say, ‘This isn’t the right thing to do.’”
“We’re looking at how we can do things differently. How can we impact business? To do that, you have to be open to change, and some people aren’t. But I like change.”
Marcie Kapaldo, Global Head of Real Estate
Even with an established reputation, Kapaldo didn’t jump into her new role to hit the ground running. Instead, she sat back and observed.
“New eyes see things differently, and I ask a lot of questions,” she says. “For the first several months I was here, I made zero changes. I just spent that time asking questions about how we operate and the dynamics of different markets.”
In 2015, The Brink’s Company reorganized to bring more focus to markets in its portfolio where the company has a particularly strong presence.
“We’re looking at how we can do things differently,” Kapaldo says. “How can we impact business? To do that, you have to be open to change, and some people aren’t. But I like change.”
That’s a good thing, because after years of doing things one way, one change is leading to lots of others in the way that The Brink’s Company does business.