Ascent launches with an eye on hedge funds

The former CEO and founder of Spotlight Financial Marketing, Marc Weinstein, has launched marcomms firm Ascent Communications.

SOMERVILLE, NJ: The former CEO and founder of Spotlight Financial Marketing, Marc Weinstein, has launched marcomms firm Ascent Communications. 

The Somerville, NJ-based firm's main objective is to build brands and profiles for startup financial services and financial technology companies in the US, Asia, and Europe, helping them build market share in targeted regions. The consultancy launched late last month.

Ascent's services include media and analyst relations, social media, thought leadership, crisis communications, brand identity, and collateral development.

Weinstein said he wants to bring on clients in the asset-management area, with a focus on hedge funds.

“We have found that the small-to-mid-size hedge funds are in real need of comms strategies since the Securities and Exchange Commission gave them the green light to broaden their marketing capabilities,” he said. “That is our sweet spot and the area we are going to heavily target in the next year.”

A provision of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act allowed hedge funds to openly advertise their services for the first time.

Ascent's staffers include CEO and founder Weinstein, creative director Tim Kelly, and social media strategist Leah Shrieber.

“Since we are a startup, we are using our existing resources, but hopefully as business continues to grow, we will be adding more positions this year,” Weinstein said.

He did not disclose any Ascent clients or details about campaigns that the firm is working on.

Weinstein founded Spotlight in May 2010 and stepped down last December to set up Ascent. He said he could not confirm who replaced him at his former agency. The firm's website did not list a new CEO or other top staffers.

A representative from Spotlight was not immediately available for comment.

Previously, Weinstein was SVP at Spring O'Brien and VP at Trimedia, which is now known as Intermarket Communications.

This story was updated on February 20 to correct the role of the SEC in allowing hedge funds to market to the general public. We regret the error.

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