Finn Partners: Agency Business Report 2013

In its first full year since its separation from Ruder Finn, Finn Partners grew revenues by 15%, with 75% of that coming from new business.

Principal: Peter Finn, CEO and chairman
Ownership: The Ruder Finn Group
Offices: New York; Chicago; Washington, DC; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Fort Lauderdale; London; Jerusalem
Revenue: Global: $27,360,000; US: $26,546,000
Headcount: Global: 215; US: 205

In its first full year since its separation from Ruder Finn, Finn Partners grew revenues by 15%, with 75% of that coming from new business. Wins included Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Clear Channel, Fujitsu America, and email marketer ExactTarget.

The firm did lose four accounts – Radware, CTIA-The Wireless Association, Sungard, and StubHub.

With the recent acquisition of Healy & Schulte, a Chicago-based marketing and PR firm, and M. Silver Associates, a travel specialist agency, revenues are now up by about 36% versus this time last year. In Chicago, business is up by more than 50%.

“We pitch accounts as one team and share accounts across offices,” says CEO and chairman Peter Finn in emphasizing how offices don't operate as silos. “That has been a major factor in our growth in Chicago.”

Acquisitions prove vital
“Acquisitions will continue to be key for our growth,” says Finn. “The acquisitions we make this year will be aligned with building market share where we have offices or extending practice areas that are very synergistic with the work we're doing.”

Finn expects revenues to be up 30% to 35% at the start of 2014. Technology is the firm's largest practice area. It also services consumer, corporate and public affairs, arts, digital, health, and travel and economic development.

“Within tech, we're seeing a lot of growth from mobile as we create different apps and specialty sites for clients across all practice areas,” says managing partner Alicia Young.

Finn says the goal is to foster long-term relationships with clients, 70% of which are on retainer. To offer existing clients a gateway into Europe, Finn Partners opened an office in London at the start of 2013. Chantal Bowman-Boyles, former head of Waggener Edstrom's technology practice in the UK, leads that office. The three-person operation is working on accounts such as ExactTarget and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Another key objective for the firm, which saw a US staff turnover rate of 11% in 2012, is “to become one of the best places to work in PR,” says Finn. “We want to retain, recruit, and reward the brightest talent.” New staff perks include health food bars in offices and a wellness subsidy for employees.

This article was updated on May 2 to amend the agency's staff turnover rate to 11%. Finn Partners initially submitted an incorrect figure of 28%.

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