Principals: Margery Kraus, founder and CEO (c); Neal Cohen, president and COO (l);
Robert Schooling, president of the Americas (r); Brad Staples, president of international
Offices: 30 wholly owned globally; 7 in the US
Revenue: Global: $113.4 million; US: $75,007,100
Headcount: 566 globally; 257 in the US
APCO Worldwide reported significant growth in 2010. Its US revenue climbed 25% to $75,007,100. "It was one of our best years in history on all cylinders," says founder and CEO Margery Kraus.
She cited APCO's acquisitions of Dubai-based JiWin and London-based Eloqui, a new office in San Francisco, and continued growth in the firm's corporate, healthcare, energy, and financial services offerings.
Kraus restructured the executive team, giving up her president duties and promoting Neal Cohen to president and COO; Robert Schooling to president of the Americas; and Brad Staples to president of international.
These moves allow her to focus on longer-term strategy. She expects sustained growth in healthcare and energy. Within energy, Kraus lists renewables as a key growth area.
"Energy will be a really big issue," she says, "especially with what's going on in Japan."
The firm won business with the University of Phoenix, Intuit, and Techsnabexport, a Russian-owned nuclear energy company with a $3 million budget. It stopped working with the Financial Services Roundtable.
New sources of success
APCO launched three new offerings in 2010: Global Political Strategies, an international advisory group; the APCO Insight healthcare research practice; and APCO Radius, a transportation practice.
It also expanded business with longtime clients Microsoft, Mars, Tyco Electronics, and Kodak. Most of the firm's business, says Kraus, is worked on by five or more offices.
Kraus also noted the success of the financial practice, which gained wins with ICBC, The Hartford, and the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts.
"The strength is the link between New York and Washington, which is symbolic between the regulation and the practice," she adds. "With all the changes that have happened in the way we govern financial services, this is a strong opportunity for us."
APCO's global revenues in 2010 grew 13.1% to $113.4 million. Global headcount rose 12%, with the year ending with 566 employees. The firm doesn't disclose profit.
Along with many senior-level promotions – EVP Kirk Stewart took on responsibility for client relationship management and SVP Evan Kraus added global practice management to his role – APCO made a number of significant hires, including SVPs Ira Kasoff and Vada Manager, EVP Mark Medish, VP and creative director for APCO Online Jim Quindlen, and MD Cherie Stewart, who leads the new San Francisco office, which opened in February 2010.
Departures included Timothy Cost, who became global chair of healthcare last June before leaving for an EVP role at PepsiCo; VP Anne Womack-Kolton, who left to lead BP's US communications; and SVP Maggie FitzPatrick, who was named CCO at Cigna.
The difference a year makes
The firm's 2010 results are a sharp contrast to 2009, when APCO reported global revenue fell 10.8% and global headcount dropped 10%, as compared to 2008.
"We left in a big crescendo and started a bit slower," says Kraus about the firm's 2011 start. She remains "cautiously optimistic" about this year, but still expects APCO to report double-digit growth in 2011.