Ruder Finn plans spinoff agency with Peter Finn at helm

NEW YORK: Ruder Finn is considering spinning off a separate agency within the next few months, with co-CEO Peter Finn at the helm.

NEW YORK: Ruder Finn is considering spinning off a separate agency within the next few months, with co-CEO Peter Finn at the helm.

PRWeek can exclusively reveal that Finn, along with Richard Funess, president of the Americas, will serve as leadership of the firm, which is expected to operate independently of Ruder Finn and have approximately $13-$20 million in annual billings, according to a source. The new agency is expected to comprise Ruder Finn's offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington, DC.

Peter Finn and Kathy Bloomgarden, also co-CEO, are the children of founder David Finn, considered by many to be one of the founding fathers of the post-war PR industry, along with Dan Edelman, Harold Burson, and Al Golin.

Bloomgarden told PRWeek that no plans for a spinoff agency have been finalized, but that the agency has been considering several options as it looks to "what the agency of the future will look like."

"More and more of our large clients are coming to us and asking for groups that are very experienced and global in their thinking, because it saves costs,” she said. “What we have talked about is some of our regional offices and smaller units, which is where you get that [revenue] range.”

She added that, given the firm's experience and success in such areas as healthcare, corporate communications, crisis, consumer, corporate marketing, digital/interactive, and travel, figuring out how to grow the other areas is a top concern going forward.

According to PRWeek's 2010 Agency Business Report, Ruder Finn's 2009 global revenue was $89,175,000, down 7% from 2008; US revenue was $71,071,000, down 8% from 2008.

Peter Finn said: “I am focused on working in partnership with my colleagues. I'm very committed to creating an environment where my company is one of the best places to work in the industry, whether that's at Ruder Finn or another agency.”

Traditionally, Bloomgarden has been heavily focused on client work, particularly with marquee client Novartis, while Peter Finn works on the day-to-day business management of the firm. David Finn, who now serves as chairman, is still very involved with the firm, according to industry sources.

In addition to Novartis, some of Ruder Finn's clients include Hotels.com, King Pharmaceuticals, and Microsoft's Health and Life Sciences Group.

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