A discussion with Steve Turner, the founder of Turner Business Centre
Online PR News – 04-June-2020 – Manchester, Lancashire – The Stephen Turner Interview
Turner Business Centre is yet another recent achievement of Mr Stephen Turner, who bought the building in 2017 as part of the main group of companies, Associated Securities Group (ASG), of which he is MD. The warehouse element of the building houses stock and manufacturing equipment for ASG.
The front part of the building lends itself as a two-storey Business Centre, which has been tastefully revamped; dragging it from a tired 1980’s building, into a smart, accessible and professional place to do Business. It offers small and medium sized companies within the North West an idyllic spot to work from at incredibly affordable rates.
Stephen Turner - who is he?
Stephen agreed to be interviewed within the confines of his lavish city centre office in Manchester. He surrounds himself with high class oak and highly polished chrome furniture. His wall to wall elegant bookcase clumsily adorned with many photos and memorabilia from the past, just oozes with pride. Anything from a National Award to a photograph of his beloved parents, along with his coveted Manchester City plaques. Having OCD (self confessed) everything sits proudly in its place. Nothing stands out as the owner of this bookcase, yet it all clearly boasts of having a purpose and a meaningful spot on the shelf.
Born in 1963, New Moston, Manchester to an English Father and a Scottish Mother, a Virgo (a perfectionist at heart and not afraid of a challenge) Stephen was one of five children. His brother Roy is also a Director of the company, his three sisters also have an interest in the company. All five of the Turner children became somewhat involved with the family business, offering a level of stability and growth to the company, which is why ASG still has some of the existing clientele all these years later.
Originating in 1945, JS Brosten was a Locksmith/Blacksmith on Angel Street, in the heart of Piccadilly, Manchester.
Then owned by Stephen’s Uncle, little did they know this would later become the success story that it is today.
Stephen in his teens
Although at school, Stephen often took an interest to work alongside his Uncle. He openly admits he didn’t do well at school, he didn’t enjoy school during his 1974-1979 secondary education years, the teachers opted to ensure Stephen felt disrespected.
He was often pushed to the back of the class and overlooked, quoting “in those days, if you didn’t do well you were put down”. Stephen was asked what his favourite subject was at school; “Mathematics” he replied “adding and taking away, making sure there was a profit at the end of it” …..which given his success sounds about
right. His disregard and his contempt of the teachers on the final day at school, led him to dropping a few eggs on the head of one of them, clearly not a violent man but on the last day of school, Stephen wanted to thank his teacher for everything!
We wonder if Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg who also left school without finishing, managed to throw a few eggs when they left?
At the age of 16, leaving his maths and algebra behind him Stephen started work. Looking up to his older brother Roy, then 18, whom he very much admired and respected, his philosophical mind knew he could learn more outside of school than in it. His first job was doing what was known as ‘Entry work’ for Norweb. A challenging job as ‘Entry work’ is another term for knocking on the front door of someone’s home, knowing that you need to cut the supply of electricity to the house due to unpaid bills. Stephen recalls, “there was many a time you would be confronted by an angry tenant, be thrown downstairs, punched in the face, in the 1980’s Health and Safety was unheard of”.
This was a steep learning curve for the slight frame of a 5ft 7” young man. He often visited homes of poor people, unable to afford the bills, some of these houses had young families, but the resilient and robust Stephen Turner, left having cut off the electricity supply, it just became a part of his life, which would teach him so much in his future.
Stephen was given the opportunity to join the family business. Having just 3 people to work within the confines of the company in 1982, it was really hard. Stephen the apprentice Locksmith, cutting keys to locks, matching locks to keys, taking locks apart, see how they worked and then put them back together again. Like a mechanic would do with an engine, Stephen would do with a lock.
The ideas started to flow for Stephen, a change of name was sought, Associated Securities, chosen by Roy (Senior) it had to start with ‘A’, so they could be at the top of the list of advertisements in the Yellow Pages.
Growing from strength to strength, by the time Stephen was mid to late 20’s (married then with children, Kay, Becky and John) an opportunity arose for the business to purchase Durose Manufacturing in Stoke on Trent. Durose at the time had a large contract with the COOP Group. Stephen increased the longevity of this contract to 5 years, with a turnover of £1/2m per year, which in 1988 was quite an achievement. More than 30 years later ASG still have this contract.
The next acquisition came from Bradford, in the shape of a company called Adamant Safe and Lock. Stephen inherited a few contracts such as Yorkshire building society, Leeds and Skipton Building Society, Yorkshire Co-op and Sheffield Co-op, even more contracts to add to the portfolio....
Blackburn Security Centre was the next purchase to grow the empire; a few years later, not happy with staying in the north of the country, the young entrepreneur travelled to London to East Ham, and purchased T O’Connor Security Services. There was a lot of development happening in Thurrock, on the outskirts of London, so the opportunity arose to relocate towards Thurrock’s Lakeside shopping centre.
Not satisfied with the middle and south of the country, Safes International, in Glasgow was next.
Finally, 5 years ago, Telford was thrown into the mix when The Safe Manufacturing Company was acquired, which continues to manufacture the safes and strong rooms.
Associated Securities Group enjoys a turnover of £16m.
‘Any more plans for the future Steve’ he was asked,
“Yes I do, he replied, “but I will be keeping those to myself” ‘
Another Business Centre perhaps’
“If I can find the right building you never know but let’s fill this one first”
Coke, or a lager top, not a keen spirit drinker
Favourite Movie? This week I've just watched 1917; brilliant. I like 007 anything James Bond. Shaken not stirred, even my number plate is 007
When did you last visit the Cinema?
10 years ago
If you could live anywhere else other than where you live now where would it be? Probably Mallorca on a boat.
Playing pool, watching football and golf. My handicap is 21 but im not a member of a club, I don’t have enough time to go every Sunday
Where was your last holiday?
Mallorca, and to Ireland Port Rush,
How many cars do you drive?
3 – Aston Martin, Bentley Continental & a Range Rover
What is your favourite?
Final question - what does the next 5 years hold for you Steve?
I’m looking at various other businesses and diversifying. I’ve just bought a 50% share in a gold business in London, I don’t know why but I have, but I would like to get involved in more commercial properties. Turner Business Centre is the first one of a pilot Scheme should we say?
Stephen was sat in a well known Italian Restaurant in Manchester 4 years ago, when he was approached by (a nameless person) and informed of a perfect business opportunity. An Italian restaurant in Knutsford. He bought it. The restaurant has turned into a very hard working Hobby/interest, he has made no money, but actually lost money, but very much enjoys visiting it once a week. Rumour has it, he can be seen serving his customers drinks from behind the bar on a Saturday evening.