FD acquired Dittus to boost its public affairs operation

NEW YORK: Financial Dynamics (FD) has acquired Washington, DC-based Dittus Communications in an effort to expand its international public affairs practice.

NEW YORK: Financial Dynamics (FD) has acquired Washington, DC-based Dittus Communications in an effort to expand its international public affairs practice.

Dittus will operate as Dittus Communications, a Financial Dynamics company. Founder and CEO Gloria Dittus will continue to head up its operations and will join the FD-US board of directors.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Dittus has been on our radar screen for some time," said Declan Kelly, FD-US CEO. "We see a considerable convergence and growth in the international public affairs and regulatory environment."

FD will maintain its Washington, DC office, which was opened almost two years ago by Stan Collender, who continues to run the operation.

Kelly noted that he did not even consider folding the Dittus brand into FD.

Gloria Dittus added that the 13 years of work put into the agency made keeping the name an obvious decision.

"I don't think it's a smart business move to take a brand [like that] and tinker with it," Dittus explained. "It's not an ego issue; it's a business issue. We weren't going to do anything with any potential partner that would endanger our ability to deliver value for clients."

This is FD's fourth acquisition this year, and its second public affairs acquisition. It acquired LLM, a UK public affairs shop, in July.

Dittus' client roster includes Home Depot, Qwest, Tyco, Dell, SAP, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

In addition, FD and Dittus say they picked up some undisclosed clients together before finalizing their deal.

Kelly said FD's DC office would focus on providing IR and corporate communications counsel to clients there, and Dittus would focus on public affairs, providing clients with a more robust offering.

Dittus said that international growth had been a concern for her firm for some time.

"Every month for the past couple of years, I've had a client say, 'I have an issue in Brussels,' or ask, 'Can you recommend someone in Latin America?'" Dittus said.

FD held a global management summit in London last week where it began discussing how Dittus, LLM, and other public affairs offices would begin to share their knowledge.

"If you look at the US regulatory and legislative environment, there is a globalization of companies," Dittus said. "With the shrinking of the globe and the world becoming flat, it is incumbent to have solutions" for all of those situations.

The company now has 175 US employees.



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