The former CEO of Integralis has been tasked with orchestrating a string of cybersecurity acquisitions in the UK and Europe for new employer Optiv, North America's dominant IT security services firm.
Simon Church says he has already opened talks with multiple targets after being appointed as European general manager of the $2.2bn-revenue giant, which is on an international growth push under new owner KKR.
Church (pictured) left Integralis - or NTT Com Security as it was by then known (it now goes by simply NTT Security) - in 2015 and has since then spent stints in private equity and at Vodafone.
"Now I'm back doing what I love doing," he told CRN.
"We'd been chatting for some time, and there's a good opportunity to continue what we started at Integralis."
Church said Optiv - a mash-up of US MSSPs Fishnet and Accuvant - is 10 times larger than in its nearest North American rivals, and is looking to carve out a similarly dominant position in Europe, starting with the UK, where Church is based. It has 1,800 employees and 7,500 customers.
"We need to be of a relative scale [to North America] in the next two to four years. We are looking to be quite significant in the marketplace," Church said.
He added that Optiv is hunting for "services-heavy" solution providers.
"First and foremost we are looking to acquire scale, initially in the UK but then growing into western Europe, and then over time we will grow further east and south, and will probably touch the Middle East," he said.
"We are clearly talking to quite a few people at the moment because, as you can imagine, it's quite an attractive proposition to be associated with Optiv and KKR as it brings a lot of business to that organisation."
According to Church, some of the pan-European outfits that were around during the Integralis days have lost their "secret sauce" after being swallowed up by telcos or infrastructure providers.
"Our goal is to be a global, pure-play security solutions provider. If you've got a problem with your knee, are you going to speak to your GP or the orthopaedic surgeon? My concern is that there are a lot of GPs out there, and not enough orthopaedic surgeons," he said.
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