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Kentec, a division of Hochiki, appoints Kevin Swann as Managing Director

For 100 years Hochiki has led the way in the design and manufacture of innovative life safety solutions. Its leading edge commercial and industrial fire detection and emergency lighting products have acquired global acceptance as the benchmark for high-integrity and long-term reliability.

Rockpools was retained to lead the executive search to appoint a new Managing Director of its subsidiary, Kentec. A global manufacturer and supplier of fire alarm control panels, Kentec offers the most comprehensive range of Conventional, Analogue Addressable Fire Detection and Extinguishant Control Panels available. They currenty provided protection systems to Tesco UK headquarters as well as safeguarding new escalators at Kings Cross St. Pancrass underground stations. 

Kevin Swann has been recruited as Managing Director of Kentec and replaces Kevin Restell, who is retiring after more than 25 years with Kentec’s parent company, Hochiki.

He brings 28 years of experience in the fire sector to the role, notably being influential in the development of Apollo’s protocol standard. More recently he had a spell at UTC Fire and Security as managing director (Global) and, before that, regional manager for UK and Ireland, responsible for international growth.

Restell will be a formidable act to follow given that turnover has risen 54% and its manufacturing capacity has doubled under his six-year stewardship – but Swann appears unfazed.

“It means we have the perfect platform to make Kentec the world leader in open-protocol and multi-protocol fire detection panels, as well as the first choice for fire extinguishing panels with our robust and industry-leading Sigma XT and Syncro XT technologies,” he said.

“My immediate priority will be on focusing the business on how we can make life even better for our customers, installers and partners, while maintaining our hallmark production quality.”

Kevin Restell joined Kentec when it was acquired by Hochiki in 2012 and oversaw its absorption into the large global corporation.

“Kentec is an end-to-end manufacturer, with everything sold being made in the UK,” he said. “The ongoing investment in production processes and factory expansion has not only allowed the company to grow and expand our reputation for quality life safety systems, but is also a fantastic story for the wider UK manufacturing industry.

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