Finn Partners boosts tech practice with Horn Group acquisition

The deal will also expand the firm's footprints in New York and San Francisco.

NEW YORK: Finn Partners has acquired Horn Group in a deal it said will enhance its technology practice and grow its New York and San Francisco offices.

Finn Partners has named Sabrina Horn, president and CEO of the eponymous firm, managing partner and US technology practice leader, reporting to senior managing partner Richard Funess.

Peter Finn, founding partner of Finn Partners, said the deal came together because a mutual friend of his and Horn’s – Rick Gould, managing partner of Gould + Partners – understood Finn’s acquisition strategy and connected the two agency leaders.

"Technology is our largest practice area, and Sabrina Horn and her firm both have a terrific reputation as pioneers and innovators in the field," explained Finn. "And one of our goals is to strengthen existing offices and practices areas, so by combining with Horn, we’re going to have a very powerful technology practice."

Finn Partners’ technology practice will have 100 staffers, $20 million in fees, and 100 clients via the deal, he added.

The acquisition will also amplify Finn’s presence in New York and San Francisco, with Horn’s San Francisco office merging into Finn Partners West and its New York office integrating into Finn’s New York tech practice.

Horn Group partner and West Coast leader Debra Raine will report to Finn Partners West leader and managing partner Howard Solomon, while Horn Group New York head Brian Sinderson will report to Finn Partners managing partner Alicia Young.

Horn’s digital practice will merge into Finn Partners Digital, which is led by managing partner Noah Finn.

Both Finn and Horn said no client conflicts are taking place due to the acquisition, and all Horn Group staffers are transitioning to Finn Partners.  

Aside from Horn’s experience in the technology space, Finn praised the firm for its "values and commitment to creating a best-place-to-work environment."

After more than two decades in the business, Horn said she started thinking about selling, and Finn Partners was attractive because of its fresh thinking, independent stature, and culture. She noted that the deal will also expand its reach both in terms of geography and services. Horn’s security software clients may be interested in Finn Partners’ lobbying practice in Washington, DC, for example.

In 2014, Finn had 370 staffers worldwide and more than $52 million in global billings. Following the Horn acquisition, the agency will have about $70 million in annual fees and 500 employees.

Financial terms of the deal, which was facilitated by Gould + Partners, were not disclosed.

Finn said he has no more acquisitions planned for the rest of 2015, but he’s looking at a number of specialty areas and geographical locations to target more firms in the next year.

Last fall, Finn Partners bought UK-based technology specialist PR agency Johnson King and specialist agency gabbegroup’s health and education practice areas.

This story was updated to correct Alicia Young's title to managing partner.

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