Principals: Tom Ryan, CEO (pictured); Don Duffy, president
Ownership: Privately owned
Offices: 6: New York; Norwalk, CT; Los Angeles; Boston; San Francisco; and Beijing
A struggling economy in 2009 saw many firms bracing for budget cuts. ICR was no exception.
"As we exited 2009, we really rationalized our expense structure," says CEO Tom Ryan. "Then, starting in mid-2010, our revenues really took off again. We began winning new clients at breakneck speed. We added about 63 net client wins in 2010. Our top line was rebounding throughout the year and our expenses were very much in check."
Growth on various fronts
In 2010, revenue was slightly more than $27 million, up 20% from 2009. Ryan attributes the uptick in client services to greater market volatility in 2010, a time when companies still must post their earnings, host conference calls, and deal with investors and media.
ICR saw growth in both the US and Asia because of significant IPO activity. The firm's strategic IR practice grew the most in 2010 with the rebound in US equities, adds Ryan. Besides strategic IR, ICR's practices include media relations and corporate communications, which incorporates crisis and digital media.
Client wins last year included Cumberland Pharmaceuticals, Costamare, Krispy Kreme, Green Dot, Swisher Hygiene, Bravo Brio Restaurant, Dole Foods, Molycorp, Royal Dutch Shell, Skullcandy, and QlikTech. The firm's losses were Redgate, Youbet.com, Genius Products, Force Protection, Switch and Data, Casual Male, Pike Electric, and Unica.
Meanwhile, ICR built out its real estate, healthcare, and energy expertise areas. However, Ryan points out that no one industry in particular stood out last year in terms of client wins.
"When you look at the stock market opposite the lows of 2009, it was very broad-based, where the market was up 80% or something like that," he adds. "Most sectors came back during that swing, which benefited us across the board."
Last year, ICR's US headcount slipped a bit to 88 from 91 in 2009. Major hires included Denise Garcia as SVP of Internet/e-commerce and Ted Lowen as MD of corporate communications.
In addition, ICR suffered the loss of its second cofounder to cancer when Chad Jacobs died last June. John Flanagan succumbed to the disease in December 2008.