When Bob Coleman left ManTech earlier this year, many wondered about his next move. Then came news Coleman had launched Six3 Systems, a company focused on acquiring government services providers focused on national security. Six3 Systems has since acquired Harding Security Associates. Now comes its second acquisition: BIT Systems, Inc., an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance company. “I see the potential of what we’re building and how far we can take it, that’s exciting,” says Coleman, in an exclusive interview with ExecutiveBiz. Here Coleman debriefs on his plans to build Six3 Systems into the next major mid-tier player.
“Six3 represents our six core values, serving our three key customers: The federal intelligence, Department of Defense, and civilian community.” — Bob Coleman, CEO, Six3 Systems
ExecutiveBiz: For the uninitiated, let’s start with the name: Six3 Systems. What does it mean?
Bob Coleman: Six3 represents our six core values – integrity, ethics, people, partnership, innovation, and quality, serving our three key customers: The federal intelligence, Department of Defense, and civilian community. I wanted to stress the importance of our values to the business and I couldn’t think of any better way than to make them part of our name.
ExecutiveBiz: Turning to your upcoming acquisition of BITS, what attracted you and private equity firm GTCR to the company?
Bob Coleman: We founded Six3 Systems with a plan to build a highly strategic, national security company, with specialized capabilities in biometrics and identity intelligence, cyber, and intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). We believe that BIT Systems is one of the best companies in the ISR space and we view them as a national security asset. They have some very unique capabilities, touch some very important missions, and they have a culture of innovation and success.
They also share our values and passion for the mission. These guys love what they do and their excitement is contagious. We see opportunities to leverage their capabilities and tradecraft into the identity intelligence and cyber areas of our business. We’re all really excited to have them on the team.
ExecutiveBiz: On top of your acquisition of Harding Security Associates (HSA), and now BITS, what future growth might we expect from Six3 in 2010?
Bob Coleman: We will start the year with over $200 million in revenue and a growth-focused strategy. I would look for us to extend and expand our business. That means bidding and winning larger opportunities. We also see opportunities to leverage our capabilities and become more solutions-focused going forward. Obviously we will continue our acquisition strategy with a particular focus on cyber in 2010.
ExecutiveBiz: We’ve heard you’ve hired some good people. Who else has joined your management team?
Bob Coleman: First off, we have Jack Pearlstein as our CFO. Jack has been through a number of extremely successful deals with GTCR and his knowledge and expertise has been invaluable. Anyone who has followed Jack’s career knows he’s been very successful, not just in the defense industry but in every company he’s been involved in. We also recently hired Mike Kushin whom we’ve dual-tasked as our CTO and our cyber lead. Mike is a well-respected cyber professional and his background and experience will be extremely valuable as we look to build a cyber capability within Six3. Michele Cook has also joined us as vice president of business development. Michele will help us to improve our business development capability and take down larger bids.
Finally, I want to point out that the management teams that came with HSA and BIT Systems also are first-rate. Mike Zembrzuski and his team have done a fantastic job driving the HSA business forward and Tom Ladd, along with Brad Worsham and Tim Lewis, has done an outstanding job building BIT Systems.
ExecutiveBiz: Where do you see national security and defense intelligence needs headed for government clients in 2010?
Bob Coleman: We’re focused on the growth opportunities we see in cyber, ISR and biometrically-enabled intelligence. I believe that companies, like Six3, that are innovative, agile, and can develop and deliver cost-effective solutions in this space will be very successful in this space.
ExecutiveBiz: Where will we see Six3 Systems in the midst of those needs?
Bob Coleman: You will see us working at the core of our customer’s missions in each of our key focus areas. HSA delivers strong capabilities in biometrically-enabled intelligence and BIT Systems provides outstanding ISR and cyber capabilities. I think we have a unique approach that will allow us to leverage capabilities across each discipline to provide comprehensive solutions that meet our customers’ needs.
ExecutiveBiz: On a personal level, what makes you tick?
Bob Coleman: I get excited about what we’re doing with Six3 Systems. We’re not only building a business, we’re creating a company that supports the national security of our nation. It doesn’t get any better than that.