Finn Partners: Agency Business Report 2014

Finn Partners' US revenue was up 62% versus 2012.

Principals: Peter Finn, chairman and CEO (pictured); Richard Funess, president
Ownership: Independent
Offices: Global: 9 wholly owned; US: 7
Revenue: Global: $44,283,790; US: $43,026,957
Headcount: Global: 298; US: 287

Finn Partners formally separated from Ruder Finn in 2011 and the process was completed when The Ruder Finn Group was dissolved early this year and the three constituent agencies became independent. 

US revenue was up 62% versus 2012, boosted by the acquisition in July of Widmeyer Communications. Part of the rise was fueled by new clients Fortuna Realty Group, Hilton Corporate, and Princeton University, among others, as well as growth of existing accounts such as IP Systems and Vonage.

Account losses included Clear Channel Outdoor America and the Singapore Tourism Board.

Expansion plans
The full-service agency now hopes to become more of a global player and has put together a strategy that includes expansion into Europe and Asia. That has already begun as Finn Partners opened a London office at the start of 2013. The outpost now has five staffers and is on track to do $1 million in fees this year.

"We know where we need to grow in order to serve our existing clients and attract new ones," says chairman and CEO Peter Finn. "It will be a step-by-step process over a five-year period."

Finn adds it is unlikely the agency will open any other new offices in Europe this year, while emphasizing that a key part of the plan will include strategic acquisitions.

Finn Partners strengthened its public affairs offering and pushed into education with the acquisition of Widmeyer, which has offices in New York and Washington, DC. Widmeyer contributed $10 million to Finn Partners’ 2013 revenues, $5 million from prior to acquisition. Still, while the firm has had a lot of success scaling out through acquisition, president Richard Funess says it is a careful exercise.

"It looks good on paper," he says, "but trying to integrate different people and processes is a challenge, especially when it is firms in digital, social media, and design."

This March, the firm opened an office in downtown Detroit. Dan Pooley, who oversees the firm’s Chicago office, will add Detroit to his responsibilities.

Finn Partners also continues to invest in fostering a positive workplace culture, which agency leaders attribute to helping keep its US staff turnover rate at 11.5%, down from 28% in 2012.

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