PadillaCRT: Agency Business Report 2014

After Padilla Speer Beardsley acquired CRT/tanaka, creating an integrated firm called PadillaCRT last September, the merged companies saw a combined revenue increase of 8.2%.

CEO and chair Lynn Casey
CEO and chair Lynn Casey

Principal: Lynn Casey, CEO and chair
Ownership: Independent
Offices: Minneapolis; New York; Richmond, VA; Norfolk, VA; Los Angeles; and Washington, DC
Revenue: $32,333,400
Headcount: 192

After Padilla Speer Beardsley acquired CRT/tanaka, creating an integrated firm called PadillaCRT last September, the merged companies saw a combined revenue increase of 8.2% to $32,333,400, compared with the prior year. CRT/tanaka’s revenue up to September 1 was $9.3 million.

This is a significant change from 2012, when Padilla experienced a 5% decrease in revenue from 2011, which the firm’s CEO Lynn Casey largely attributed to continuing changes at its New York office, where it stopped working with clients including a division of Elsevier and BraunAbility.

"We had a small footprint in New York and we weren’t growing at a pace I was comfortable with," says Casey. "We had to find the perfect business and cultural fit. CRT/tanaka was it."

"For both companies," she adds, "the merger means new capabilities to offer clients."

True integration
Due to the firms’ similar sizes – Padilla was only 20% larger than CRT/tanaka – the 120-day integration period was "intense," according to Casey.

"It was true integration versus assimilation," she adds. "It required a lot of meetings of the minds, but we are employee-and client-centric and are both values-oriented."

The agency did not make any key senior hires last year, focusing instead on integrating senior staffs of both firms. There was no client or support system overlap and no acquisition-related staff changes.

To broaden its in-house research and in-sights team, the firm acquired Minneapolis-based SMS Research Advisors.

In all, there was 18% staff turnover, which included the departure of Dean Huff, SVP of the agribusiness practice, who left for ad agency Kruskopf Coontz. Riff Yeager, who joined Padilla in 2012 as a VP, replaced him.

Patrice Tanaka, chief creative officer at CRT/tanaka, was named chief counselor and creative strategist at the combined firm.

Recent business wins include engineering firm Golder Associates on a three-year assignment. Other client additions included Cargill Animal Nutrition, Datacard, Datalink, and Xcel Energy Solar.

In 2014, the agency – which works with clients in the manufacturing, tech, agribusiness, and healthcare sectors – is focused on bringing brand strategy and planning, research and insights, and full PESO creative to current clients, says Casey.

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