Hi-tech powerhouse TCW plans for the road ahead

BURLINGTON, MA: Two weeks after Fleishman-Hillard’s stunning acquisition of Lois Paul & Partners and the subsequent creation of hi-tech behemoth Technology Consulting Worldwide, details about the deal as well as the new group have begun to emerge.

BURLINGTON, MA: Two weeks after Fleishman-Hillard’s stunning acquisition of Lois Paul & Partners and the subsequent creation of hi-tech behemoth Technology Consulting Worldwide, details about the deal as well as the new group have begun to emerge.

BURLINGTON, MA: Two weeks after Fleishman-Hillard’s stunning

acquisition of Lois Paul & Partners and the subsequent creation of

hi-tech behemoth Technology Consulting Worldwide, details about the deal

as well as the new group have begun to emerge.



While LP&P had been approached by several global players in the past,

agency president and founder Lois Paul said that her reluctance to sell

was based on a desire to find the right partner, rather than simply

remain independent.



’We always said that it wouldn’t make sense to combine with anyone just

for the sake of adding clients or employees,’ said Paul. ’We did it now

because of what Fleishman has to offer: its culture, excellence of

offices and synergies.’



She added that another factor in her decision was Fleishman’s reputation

as an employee-friendly agency. ’They treat their staffers well,’ she

said.



’In the hi-tech industry, people are precious assets. It was extremely

important to add the ability to mentor and grow our people.’



LP&P had dollars 16.2 million in revenue in 1999 and represents clients

such as Lotus Development, Tivoli Systems and Nortel Networks.



Jan Van Meter, the Fleishman regional president who will serve as

co-chair of TCW, said that the agency’s acquisitions in the hi-tech

space over the past 13 months (including UpStart Communications,

Upstream Consulting and Toronto-based High Road Communications) provided

the impetus and resources to launch a separate technology practice. He

touted the move as a ’radical departure’ for the firm.



’We were given a golden opportunity, given the quality and reach of the

technology firms we acquired,’ he said. ’At the same time, we were

growing Fleishman-Hillard’s own technology business. Put together, this

covers the entire spectrum of web site design, strategic consulting for

technology firms and corporate positioning for everyone from start-up

dot-coms to the Fortune 500.’



Van Meter added that Fleishman’s hi-tech holdings, all of which retain

their name and identity, will pitch for new business together and

possibly share staff.



By allowing the acquired agencies to operate independently, Van Meter

said that Fleishman is trying to avoid the perception of ’big

Fleishman-Hillard taking over,’ while at the same time respecting the

agencies’ financial/organizational structures and culture. And while

operating independently eliminates client conflicts, LP&P, UpStart,

Upstream and High Road will enjoy access to Fleishman practice areas

such as IR, crisis management and Web design.



While there are no specific plans to add other agencies to the fold, Van

Meter said that TCW will do so where it makes ’strategic sense.’ With

more than dollars 90 million in revenues, TCW is now the largest

technology communications and consulting company in the world.



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