Bill Meaney, president and CEO of Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM), participated in a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITweek: Virtual Investor Conference (being held June 2-4).
Meaney said that Iron Mountain has been examining its safety procedures in an effort to protect its associates and customers around the world, and that the REIT has been able to keep the impact of the coronavirus relatively low as a result. As an essential business, about 96% of Iron Mountain’s facilities remain in operation worldwide.
Meaney said that while some of Iron Mountain’s customer service has not changed over the course of the pandemic, another segment of customers has moved to largely work-from-home.
“Image on Demand, which is effectively a scanning service, combined with our artificial intelligence platform called Insight, allows us to be able to securely allow people to operate from home and to collaborate,” Meaney said.
Looking ahead, Meaney said he expects the service to continue to grow as a result of companies adopting a “hybrid” work platform in which some employees will work from the office while others will continue to work from home.
He added that because the backbone of Iron Mountain’s business is a highly secure and highly vetted logistics network, the REIT was able to add several health care customers that have asked it to store and assemble kits associated with PPE and other medical equipment so they could free up space in their own facilities to treat patients.
Meaney said that 75% of Iron Mountain’s service revenue comes from its hard copy/records management business and shred business, which has been impacted by 40% to 50% with widespread work from home due to COVID-19.
The REIT’s data center business though, which represents the other 25% of Iron Mountain’s service revenue, has been extremely robust during this period. “It’s continuing to meet or exceed our expectations,” Meaney said.
Meanwhile, Meaney noted that the company recently self-disclosed that one of its foreign subsidiaries had breached U.S. sanctions against Iran. He noted that the REIT is in the process of ending the contracts in question and that going forward, Iron Mountain will automate the screening of sanctions lists in real time to ensure this doesn’t happen again.