Expansion into Asia was perhaps the highlight for Wag Ed in 2005.
Its acquisition of Shout Holdings helped the agency with its foray, with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Beijing.
"While we haven't opened any new practice areas, we are heavily focused on our Asian expansion," says CEO Melissa Waggener Zorkin, in an e-mail. Geographic growth is a direct reflection of client satisfaction, she adds. Moving into a new region such as Asia "represents our clients' faith in our partnership as their communications counsel."
As the firm has grown, Waggener Zorkin says one of the greatest challenges has been balancing the growth of the client portfolio along with geographic expansion and developing new practices. Wag Ed will remain independent this year, but will be open to more creative partnerships.
It will concentrate on growing its major accounts, including Microsoft, AMD, and Texas Instruments, while adding major clients, particularly global brands. And it will also focus globally on its practices, systems, and processes, making the firm an easier partner for clients to work with across regions.
The agency will also ramp up its own marketing and branding, and will continue its focus on a healthy agency culture, one that has a 79% retention rate, and saw more than 220 employees promoted in 2005.
Name of subsidiary companies:
Maloney & Fox, LLC
Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Communications Limited
Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Holdings Limited
Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Communications (Beijing) Co. Ltd.
Waggener Edstrom Worldwide singapore Pte. Ltd.
Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Ltd.
Waggener Edstrom, SARL\
Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, SPRL
Waggener Edstrom, GmbH
Has your ownership status changed in the past year?
Name of global CEO:
Melissa Waggener Zorkin
Name of person, if any, the most senior person named above reports to
What is your current headcount, and how has it changed from this time last year?
We finished 2005 with 641 employees worldwide an increase of 11% from 2004. 64 full-time employees were hired from internal referrals in 2005.
What was the percentage of staff turnover?
Our 2005 global employee retention rate was 79.3%, one of the industry's highest rates.
Did you make any senior hires in 2005 (VP and higher)? Please state name, title, and previous company.
Richard Jones, SVP, General Manager, East Coast Region
David Ko SVP, Managing Director, Asia
Joyce McClure, SVP, Microsoft Account Worldwide COO
Soon Beng Yeap, SVP, Asia
John Bentz, SVP, Microsoft Account Worldwide Consumer
Christina Kaul, SVP, Brussels
Mark Manoff, VP, Broadcast
Daniel Gallagher, VP, Research
Other senior management changes:
Claire Lematta was promoted to President, EMEA
Frank X. Shaw was promoted to President, Microsoft Account Worldwide
What senior staff have departed the firm? Please state name and previous title
Diane Aboulafia-D'Jaen, SVP
Jonathan Gandal, VP
Kristin Hilf, VP
Karyn Thale, VP
Rowan Benecke, VP
Carol Sacks, VP
Sally Elizabeth Julien, VP
Sandra Kelder, VP
Gina Sorice, VP
Andrew Naugher, VP
Kathy Lewton, SVP
Birgit Goldenbow, General Manager
Have you made any acquisitions in the past year, or merged with another agency?
Yes, we acquired SHOUT Holdings Ltd. with offices in Hong Kong,
How many offices do you have globally?
North America: 8; US headquarters Seattle, WA; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; Austin, TX; Dallas TX; Boston, MA; Stamford, CT; Washington DC
4; European headquarters London, England; Paris, France; Brussels, Belgium; Munich, Germany
North & South Asia:
3; Asia headquarters Hong Kong; Beijing, China; Singapore
What offices opened in 2005 or early 2006?
Our Brussels location opened December 7, 2005
What offices closed in 2005 or early 2006? (State when):
Is there a particular region, US and globally, that is growing right now?
London, with a growth of 77% in 2005
Is there a particular region, US and globally, that's shrinking?
How many practice areas do you have?
4; Public Affairs, Consumer Marketing, Bioscience and Healthcare and Corporate
Which ones are new?
Of those, which ones are part of the core strategy of the agency?
All of our practice areas play a vital role in the agency's unique methodology – Innovation Communications – which is optimized for global organizations impacted by innovation and change.
Which practice areas have been phased out in the past year?
What practice areas showed the most growth?
What is the distribution of accounts across practice areas?N/A
What was your 2005 US revenue (as entered into the separately submitted Rankings Form)?
What was the % change over 2004 US revenue?
What was your 2005 global revenue (as entered into the separately submitted Rankings Form)?
What was the % change over 2004 global revenue.
Did you experience top-line or bottom-line growth in the past year?