ICR: Agency Business Report 2013

ICR continued last year to expand its work beyond the firm's roots in investor and financial communications. The agency increased revenue 14% from 2012 to $37.3 million.

Principals: Tom Ryan, CEO (pictured) and Don Duffy, president
Ownership: Independent
Offices: New York; Norwalk, CT; Boston; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Beijing 
Revenue: $37,339,790
Headcount: Global: 98; US: 91

ICR continued last year to expand its work beyond the firm's roots in investor and financial communications. The agency increased revenue 14% from 2012 to $37.3 million. CEO Tom Ryan attributes the growth to new clients, selling additional services, and modest price increases.

The revenue growth came with only a 6% increase in US staff, Ryan adds. ICR hired Deidre Campbell, formerly of Burson-Marsteller, as senior MD. Anton Nicholas, previously at Sloane & Company, was named MD, while Philip Denning joined the firm as SVP after serving as principal at RLM Finsbury.

Attracting top talent
ICR attracts top talent because it attempts to differentiate itself by its deep background in the capital markets, Ryan explains. “We bring to the table a capital markets background and knowledge of how companies can improve their value,” he says. “If we bring in seasoned agency corporate communications pros, they can plug into our model. When you put those things together, ICR looks different.”

Founded in 1998 by a trio of former analysts and portfolio managers with a focus on investor and financial communications, ICR still faces a challenge in raising awareness of its broader array of services, Ryan admits. Practice areas now include IR, corporate communications, crisis management, and digital media.

New business wins came primarily from the retail, technology, energy, and healthcare industries. ICR provided counsel during the IPOs for restaurant chain Del Frisco's, luggage brand Tumi, travel website Kayak, and English soccer club Manchester United. It also assisted Green Mountain Coffee Roasters with IR and communications during issues with a shareholder activist and CEO transition.

ICR ended work with a number of Chinese companies such as Duoyuan Global Water and Yayi International, losses that Ryan attributed to economic deceleration in China and business problems faced by some Chinese companies in the US.

Besides its office in Beijing, the bulk of ICR's business is domestic and the firm plans to keep it that way for now as it sees plenty of opportunity in the US, Ryan says.

He predicts revenues in 2013 will exceed $40 million, which would be a “big milestone” for the agency.

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