SMI was founded by Martyn White and Alastair Stobart, two ex-colleagues from Portals Ltd, at the time, the world’s largest commercial banknote and high security paper maker. Their aim for SMI was to provide an expert source of advisory services independent of technology and supplier to a sector faced with developing threats from modern digital reprographic technology.
The design and production of banknote and high security documents is by necessity an industry sector which is discreet, with high barriers to entry. SMI embodies the value of the sector and brings extensive knowledge gained through years of experience and independence of any manufacturer or technology, providing suppliers, Issuing Authorities and Central Banks with informed, relevant and expert advice.
SMI are a group of industry sector experts whose employees are instrumental to our success. Our clients, whether they are Central Banks of a G7 nation or a small technology-based producer of security features receive the best – expertise gained by years of personal experience in the industry and the security of knowing that SMI is supported by a large, worldwide Group while being safe in the knowledge that we always operate independently and autonomously in terms of our advice to customers.
Shiremoor International Engineering Ltd was born as SMI acquired the engineers and assets originally of the engineering support facility of De La Rue Plc. The new company enabled SMI to widen its expertise into manufacturing services, specialising in engineering services to the banknote and high security printing industry, largely involving the repair and refurbishment of banknote printing presses manufactured by Organisation Giori and its successor companies.
SMI was acquired by G4S plc with the aim of combining SMI’s unique banknote consultancy expertise with G4S’ global experience in the ‘post-issue’ cash cycle to deliver an all-encompassing consultancy to central bank clients internationally. SMI was now able to offer a wider range of expertise, but maintain its independent and unique relationships with both the supply and demand side of the sector.
New premises were required as SMI recruited more specialised consultants and analysts, while enhancing its database and search capabilities. The new offices stayed true to the company’s collegiate culture and origins, remaining in Kingsclere, UK but moving to purpose built premises on the Kingsclere Business Park.
From its modest beginnings, today SMI has become widely regarded as the world’s leading independent technical and commercial cash and payments advisory company, and a leading provider of engineering services to the banknote printing industry.