Our Founders.

Rethink how you navigate complex and sensitive environments.

Stratum’s co-founders Mitchell McAlister and Fred Ruiz bring a wealth of public and private sector experience to the firm. 

Mitchell McAlister is Stratum’s co-founder and Chief Operations Officer.

Mitchell dedicated over of 10 years of service in the Australian Army with most of his career served within Special Operations Command. Mitchell completed three combat tours to Afghanistan and spent the last two years of his career serving with Australia’s most elite counterterrorism task force: the Tactical Assault Group - East.

Mitchell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Security, Terrorism and Counterterrorism as well as a Master of Security Management degree. He is currently studying a Master of Legal Studies at Pepperdine University’s Caruso School of Law. 

In 2014, Mitchell founded the Australian Veteran Owned Business which is the only organisation of its kind in Australia. AVOB is a non-profit third-party certifier which promotes the recognition of Australian Defence Force veteran owned and operated businesses. AVOB has many certified members and represents a diverse range of Australian veteran entrepreneurs. 

Fred Ruiz is Stratum’s co-founder and Chief Operations Officer.

Fred is a former United States Navy SEAL who dedicated over nine years of service within this elite and challenging role. Fred worked across a wide range of operational military environments and deployed on multiple combat tours to both Iraq and Yemen.

In addition to overseeing Stratum’s security operations, Fred is also Stratum’s lead firearms instructor where he develops and trains our personnel in the safe handling, maintenance and operation of equipment and weapon systems. Fred draws on his extensive special operations experience as well as his role as a Naval Special Warfare combat shooting instructor to provide relevant and realistic training to our armed agents. Fred is also a master class competitive shooter and holds a Bachelor of Science degree. 

Mitchell and Fred are seasoned executive managers who have gained experience working with corporations and prominent figures across the globe. In 2022 and after 33 years of combined experience, Mitchell and Fred decided to launch Stratum Risk Advisors to continue to make their mark in the private security industry. 

Operating under his philosophy of Stratum being “an employer of choice; a destination company dedicated to best practices and standards in order to attract, develop and retain the best and brightest talent in the security industry”, Mitchell and Fred have cultivated a reputation for service excellence delivered to our clients by the industry’s finest security professionals.