2006 Agency Business Report: WeissComm Partners

WeissComm's specialty in biotech, pharma, medical diagnostics, and medical-device companies has fueled growth in recent years.

WeissComm's specialty in biotech, pharma, medical diagnostics, and medical-device companies has fueled growth in recent years.

The San Francisco company achieved its goal of opening a New York office in 2005, which now has seven staffers, with a goal of 10 this year.

"We continue to grow," says CEO Jim Weiss, "[but] with more modest growth this year, because we are investing in more people."

The new relationship with Resolute Communications "has given us the ability to offer clients a global presence and programming in PR and investor relations," adds Weiss.

Name of global CEO:
Jim Weiss

Name of person, if any, the most senior person named above reports to
N/A

What is your current headcount, and how has it changed from this time last year?
Current headcount as of December '05 was 27 professionals, which represents 58% increase over 2004

What was the percentage of staff turnover?
Staff turnover was 15%

Did you make any senior hires in 2005 (VP and higher)? Please state name, title, and previous company.
Terri Clevenger – Executive Vice President, independent consultant
Jani Bergan – Associate, Ogilvy Public Relations
Liz Falcone – Associate, University of Pittsburgh
Karen Halsey – Associate, independent consultant
Jennifer Larson – Associate, independent consultant

What senior staff have departed the firm? Please state name and previous title
Rick Roose – EVP, Director of Client Services; left to pursue opportunity with one of our clients

Have you made any acquisitions in the past year, or merged with another agency?
No

How many offices do you have globally?
North America:
San Francisco and New York

Europe:
In 2005, WeissComm Partners established a strategic alliance with UK-based Resolute Communications, a leading independent public relations firm that was recently named Agency of the Year by PR Week in London. Through this alliance, we have network affiliates in London, France, Spain, Germany, Portugal and Italy.

What offices opened in 2005 or early 2006?

New York (2005)

Is there a particular region, US and globally, that is growing right now?
US is growing

Is there a particular region, US and globally, that's shrinking?
No

How many practice areas do you have?
WeissComm Partners is exclusively focused on serving the corporate and product communications needs of leading biotechnology, pharmaceutical, device and diagnostic companies. The company has four key practice areas – corporate communications, investor relations, product communications, and clinical trial recruitment

Which ones are new?
N/A

Of those, which ones are part of the core strategy of the agency?
They are all core as we see it as a continuum of services

Which practice areas have been phased out in the past year?
N/A

What practice areas showed the most growth?
Product communications

What is the distribution of accounts across practice areas?Corporate communication and investor relations: 66%
Product communications and clinical trial recruitment: 34%

What key account wins did you have in 2005? (Please exclude non-US business)
Abbott Molecular, Biomarin, Connetics, CV Therapeutics, Fox Hollow, PDL BioPharma, Pfizer, OTN, NeoRx, Celera Diagnostics, Metabolex, Threshold, Antipodean

What key accounts did you lose in 2005? (Please exclude non-US business)
InterMune

Did you expand any existing accounts into new domestic or international markets?

Yes. Genentech, Affymax, Rigel, Nuvelo, Genomic Health, El Camino Hospital

Did any dormant clients start to spend with you again?
Evalve


What proportion of your clients are on a retainer?
40% of our clients are on a retainer

Has this changed over the past year?
Yes. In 2004, 71% were on a retainer. Product communications projects have increased substantially

What was your 2005 US revenue (as entered into the separately submitted Rankings Form)?
$5,819,239 - Fee revenue
$8,094,343 - Gross revenue (including pass through expenses)

What was the % change over 2004 US revenue?

42% change in Fee revenue
56% change in Gross revenue (including pass through expenses)

What was your 2005 global revenue (as entered into the separately submitted Rankings Form)?
$5,819,239

What was the % change over 2004 global revenue.
20%

Did you experience top-line or bottom-line growth in the past year?
Yes, both areas experienced growth. Top-line (fee revenue) = 42%, Top-line (gross revenue) = 56%, Bottom-line 38%.

How did your performance, in terms of revenue and growth, meet expectations you had for the year?
Revenue performance met expectations (+ 0.6% more revenue than projected in February, 2005)

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