Capital MSL to merge with sister agency CNC and boost London investment

MSLGroup has announced plans to merge its Capital MSL and Communications Networking Consulting (CNC) companies in a move that is set to see greater investment in the combined business' London operation.

Richard Campbell: Capital MSL and CNC are both "running hot"
Richard Campbell: Capital MSL and CNC are both "running hot"

The new entity, which will retain the CNC name, will begin operations on 1 January 2015, running 11 offices in eight countries and working on more than 200 accounts globally.

Capital MSL CEO Richard Campbell told PRWeek that CNC’s London team based in Lincoln's Inn Fields would initially move into Capital MSL’s Fitzrovia office. "We are moving into a flash building in Chancery Lane halfway through next year," he revealed.

Asked if redundancies were planned, Campbell replied: "Absolutely not at all. There’s no need. They are two businesses we can put together in London very easily. They are both running hot in terms of increasing revenues and increasing profits at the moment. It’s about investing in more people, not fewer."

He added: "The focus will definitely be on organic growth, investing organically in the highest quality of people. We want to do more in London; we’re building something very big, very special in London. We’ll have nearly 50 people in London now as a result of this and we want to grow faster."

Campbell and Roland Klein, currently the managing partner of CNC London, will become joint managing partners in London, also overseeing the growth in the Middle East. Claire Maloney and Nick Bastin, both shareholders and managing directors of Capital MSL, will join Kevin Soady at London-based CNC Partners, and will take the overall number of partners in the CNC Group to 13.

Campbell said there were plans to invest in the combined group’s other offices across the world including South America, Japan, South Korea and India.

He declined to reveal the combined revenue of the new CNC but said: "It’s going to be tens of millions of Euros.

"It’s a much bigger organisation, much greater scale, much more opportunity for growth and investment."

Campbell said the reason for losing the Capital MSL name was that the word capital was "a bit limiting in the sense that it’s strongly associated with the financial markets".

He added: "That’s great but the world is moving to a much more integrated place and a huge amount of the work we do is of a corporate nature. For some time we’ve felt it narrowed our brand a little bit to be called Capital MSL.

"Rather than having some halfway house we thought we should get on with it and operate under a single brand from the start."

At present the two companies represent a range of major clients including BP and Uber. CNC has worked on a number of recent deals including the IPO of Zalando, Siemens’ $8bn acquisition of Dresser-Rand, and Infineon’s $3bn acquisition of international Rectifier Corporation.

CNC was bought by MSL Group’s parent company Publicis Groupe in 2012.

Christoph Walther, CEO of CNC, said: "When we joined Publicis two years ago, it was our primary goal to offer our clients the same level of service internationally as has been valued in Germany for many years. Through the merger with Capital MSL we are creating a strong and competitive presence in the strategically important London market and extending our network into the Middle East.

"Increasing collaboration on large cross-border mandates with our US partner Kekst and JKL in Scandinavia demonstrates that our strategy to become increasingly international is working, and that we can add significantly more value to our clients today than we could a few years ago."

Anders Kempe, EMEA president at MSLGroup, said: "MSLGroup’s financial and related speciality communications teams together generate well over €100m in revenue, making us a top-three player in the space globally, and one with an impressive and growing hub in the important London market."

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