Former FTI executives launch stakeholder relations boutique

Clermont Partners debuted with offices in New York and Chicago and a focus on financial comms and issues management.

Clermont Partners founders Chris Kettmann, Victoria Sivrais, and Hugh Barker
Clermont Partners founders Chris Kettmann, Victoria Sivrais, and Hugh Barker

NEW YORK: Former FTI Consulting executives Hugh Barker, Chris Kettmann, and Victoria Sivrais have founded Clermont Partners, a boutique stakeholder relations firm.

With offices in New York and Chicago, the agency is specializing on the link between financial communications and issues management. It is also working with partners in Europe and the Middle East. The firm’s areas of expertise include investor relations, mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, corporate events, executive media programs, restructurings, and reputation management.

"The premise for launching this firm was that we saw a gap in the market between the IR-specific firms and those that could handle effectively what we view as a changing financial communications landscape," said Barker.

He added that the nature of financial comms has shifted with new channels and global competition, as well as scrutiny from regulatory groups, governments, the media, and the public.

Barker explained that Clermont’s founders noticed an increase in institutional investors looking for reach beyond specific segmentations and international borders.

Barker, Kettmann, and Sivrais are leading the agency as founding partners, and partner Barbara Ryan is overseeing the healthcare practice. Barker and Ryan are based in New York, while Kettmann and Sivrais are in the Chicago office.

Sivrais said the agency will hire healthcare personnel in both Chicago and New York, and it also wants to build industrials, technology, and energy practices.

Kettmann explained that Clermont’s differentiating point from other firms is that its executives offer clients large agency experience and senior-level counsel, while being nimble and focused with a boutique feel.  

The founding partners declined to disclose clients, but Sivrais said they have seen "tremendous interest" since launching in mid-January. She added that the founders want to grow momentum and reach both nationally and globally.

Barker previously served as MD at FTI, where he led M&A work in New York and in the United Arab Emirates. Kettman was formerly the head of capital markets in FTI’s energy and natural resources practice. He also previously worked at Ashton Partners as SVP.

Before co-founding Clermont, Sivrais was deputy head of FTI’s capital markets practice. She also previously worked at Ashton Partner as a senior member of the investor relations team.

Ryan is the former leader of the healthcare and life sciences capital markets practice at FTI and a former pharmaceutical industry analyst for more than 30 years at Deutsche Bank and Bear Stearns.

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