BURLINGTON, MA: Two weeks after Fleishman-Hillard’s stunning acquisition of Lois Paul & Partners and the subsequent creation of hi-tech behemoth Technology Consulting Worldwide, details about the deal as well as the new group have begun to emerge.
BURLINGTON, MA: Two weeks after Fleishman-Hillard’s stunning
acquisition of Lois Paul & Partners and the subsequent creation of
hi-tech behemoth Technology Consulting Worldwide, details about the deal
as well as the new group have begun to emerge.
While LP&P had been approached by several global players in the past,
agency president and founder Lois Paul said that her reluctance to sell
was based on a desire to find the right partner, rather than simply
’We always said that it wouldn’t make sense to combine with anyone just
for the sake of adding clients or employees,’ said Paul. ’We did it now
because of what Fleishman has to offer: its culture, excellence of
offices and synergies.’
She added that another factor in her decision was Fleishman’s reputation
as an employee-friendly agency. ’They treat their staffers well,’ she
’In the hi-tech industry, people are precious assets. It was extremely
important to add the ability to mentor and grow our people.’
LP&P had dollars 16.2 million in revenue in 1999 and represents clients
such as Lotus Development, Tivoli Systems and Nortel Networks.
Jan Van Meter, the Fleishman regional president who will serve as
co-chair of TCW, said that the agency’s acquisitions in the hi-tech
space over the past 13 months (including UpStart Communications,
Upstream Consulting and Toronto-based High Road Communications) provided
the impetus and resources to launch a separate technology practice. He
touted the move as a ’radical departure’ for the firm.
’We were given a golden opportunity, given the quality and reach of the
technology firms we acquired,’ he said. ’At the same time, we were
growing Fleishman-Hillard’s own technology business. Put together, this
covers the entire spectrum of web site design, strategic consulting for
technology firms and corporate positioning for everyone from start-up
dot-coms to the Fortune 500.’
Van Meter added that Fleishman’s hi-tech holdings, all of which retain
their name and identity, will pitch for new business together and
possibly share staff.
By allowing the acquired agencies to operate independently, Van Meter
said that Fleishman is trying to avoid the perception of ’big
Fleishman-Hillard taking over,’ while at the same time respecting the
agencies’ financial/organizational structures and culture. And while
operating independently eliminates client conflicts, LP&P, UpStart,
Upstream and High Road will enjoy access to Fleishman practice areas
such as IR, crisis management and Web design.
While there are no specific plans to add other agencies to the fold, Van
Meter said that TCW will do so where it makes ’strategic sense.’ With
more than dollars 90 million in revenues, TCW is now the largest
technology communications and consulting company in the world.