FD International: Agency Business Report 2011

Key industry sectors of growth for FD in the Americas were energy, healthcare, and life sciences, according to Mark McCall, the agency's Americas head.

Principals: Edward Reilly, global CEO (pictured); Geoffrey Pelham-Lane, global president; Mark McCall, Americas head; and Elizabeth Saunders, Americas chairman
Ownership: FTI Consulting
Offices: 10 in the US, 35 globally
Revenue: Global: $193.2 million; US: more than $50 million
Headcount: Global: 700; Americas: 300

Key industry sectors of growth for FD in the Americas were energy, healthcare, and life sciences, according to Mark McCall, the agency's Americas head.
 
"If you look at our core strengths in terms of practice areas, we continued to be very strong in capital markets, in trans-actions and crisis work, and an area that we call our special situations practice," he adds. "Additionally, we enjoyed strong growth in our digital practice, which continues to get integrated throughout the entire firm. Then, particularly later in 2010, came strong growth in our public affairs practice. We did some investment there and then just retooling to align it with the rest of our business."
 
Boosting global foothold
Overseas, FD reported transactions up in Australia and Latin America. Last year, FD opened an office in Sao Paulo, Brazil, giving it a presence in all of the BRIC nations. A new Toronto office opened to expand existing operations, as well as support companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
 
Headcount saw a less than 1% decrease, both in the Americas and worldwide.
 
"We do a tremendous amount of bankruptcy and restructuring work, in part because of our parent company FTI Consulting, but we're also very diversified in terms of crisis work and some of the other non-cyclical practices," says McCall. "We're positioned to grow regardless of the business cycle, but the business cycle definitely helps everything."
 
Key practice areas
The agency has six key practices: capital markets communications and corporate communications – which house the largest share of FD's business – special situations, public affairs, design and digital communications, and strategy consulting. Last year, the special situations practice handled work with Transocean, which had been involved in the Gulf oil spill. It also did restructuring and bankruptcy work for Sea Island Resort and Vertis Communications.
 
Client wins in 2010 included AARP, Dick's Sporting Goods, GE, MGM Resorts, and Talbots. Current clients that saw expanded work included Dubai World, Reader's Digest, Coca-Cola, and Zurich Financial Services. McCall says no key clients were lost last year.

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