ICF SCM: Agency Business Report 2015

ICF SCM was fueled by acquisitions in 2014, which helped trigger revenue growth of 56.3% year over year in the US and expanded the agency's presence to new global markets.

Kris Tremaine
Kris Tremaine

Principal: Kris Tremaine, SVP, ICF SCM International
Ownership: ICF International
Subsidiary agencies: ICF Macro, ICF Z-Tech, ICF Jones & Stokes, ICF Consulting Services, Mostra, Citytech, Olson, PulsePoint Group, and Olson Canada
Offices: Global: 10; US: 3
Revenue: Global: $74,141,640; US: $52,668,564
Olson Engage: $22,584,920
Headcount: Global: 528; US: 392

ICF SCM was fueled by acquisitions in 2014, which helped trigger revenue growth of 56.3% year over year in the US and expanded the agency’s presence to new global markets.

Last fall, ICF SCM acquired integrated agency Olson, including its PR arm Olson Engage, for $295 million in cash. Olson’s 100-plus staff across its PR and social media division joined ICF, which gained access to Olson’s offices in Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, New York, Toronto, Austin, and Los Angeles.

While ICF SCM’s strategic comms and marketing group has historically focused on public affairs, government, energy, and healthcare, the Olson deal expanded its scope of work into the consumer space.

Expanding into new areas
Olson saw significant growth in food and beverage, which has been a foundation of the agency’s business. It picked up Kraft Foods’ Planters brand, as well as PF Chang’s. Additionally, the firm expanded into consumer, CPG, and consumer tech adding Trulia, Cabela’s, Sharp Electronics, Everysight, Pixie, a technology solution that allows consumers to locate, protect, and organize important items, and universal payment card Stratos Card.

Client losses for ICF SCM were Building Owners and Managers Institute and Disabled American Veterans. Olson lost Cars.com and ACH Foods, but its multicultural work strengthened in 2014, with work for MillerCoors, Kraft, and Sharp.

In 2015, Olson expects to continue enhancing its multicultural expertise and expanding its CPG portfolio into different categories such as personal care and consumer tech.

Kris Tremaine, SVP of ICF SCM, says she sees many opportunities going forward to bring Olson into ICF’s utility work and pitch for business in an integrated fashion. The latter also acquired Brussels, Belgium-based Mostra last year, giving the agency a footprint outside of the US and adding to its government and utilities capabilities.

Mostra’s primary clients are in Europe, such as the European Commission and European Parliament and it’s looking to expand into more commercial areas, such as health, energy, and transportation, she adds. ICF SCM also bought Citytech, which handles commercial work for Adobe, with the aim of collaborating to help drive more of that work.

From an ICF SCM perspective, the firm saw government work increase last year. It was awarded contracts for the National Cancer Institute’s anti-tobacco efforts and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, among others. Tremaine adds that she wants to get ICF SCM’s story out this year about how it’s a "major player in the industry," especially with its recent acquisitions, which have developed its reach and expertise. 

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