Brodeur buys back independence from Omnicom

BOSTON: Brodeur Partners bought back a majority stake from Omnicom without the help of private equity, confirmed Brodeur CEO Andy Coville.

BOSTON: Brodeur Partners bought back a majority stake from Omnicom without the help of private equity, confirmed Brodeur CEO Andy Coville.

The buy-back orchestrated by Coville and founder John Brodeur became official in January, and since that time the agency has won seven new business accounts in the healthcare, consumer, and manufacturing sectors, she explained.   

“I think the advantage is that we'll be able to really return to our entrepreneurial roots and focus,” she said. “What we really wanted to do was invest in new types of talent and new practice areas.”   

As part of the strategy, Brodeur reorganized its business within four groups, including Brodeur Communications, the branding, marketing, and PR arm; Brodeur ShiftPositive, a practice devoted to developing social change programs; Brodeur Digital, the social media practice; and Brodeur Strategies, which will support research, customer segmentation, and internal alignment initiatives.

Though she wouldn't disclose the firm's financials, Coville said the firm's 2010 growth was comparable to the percentages reported by the top 20 agencies, and it experienced an equal split between new business and organic growth.   

“Since the beginning of 2010 we've seen clients investing in growth again, and communications programs,” she said.   

The announcement follows similar news in January that a management team at MWW Group, including CEO and founder Michael Kempner, bought back the agency from Interpublic Group. He cited similar entrepreneurial goals.

Edelman, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, Ruder Finn, and APCO Worldwide rank among the top four independent firms based on global revenue, according to PRWeek's agency business report.  

Omnicom acquired Brodeur in 1993, and since that time the firm has diversified its business from its original heritage in the technology space, said Coville.

Brodeur founded the firm in 1985 and Coville joined two years later. Brodeur currently has about 150 employees and operates a number of global offices.

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