FD International: Agency Business Report 2010

"Last year was very challenging," says Mark McCall, president and COO (Americas).

Principals: Charles Watson, group CEO (global); Edward Reilly, CEO (Americas)
Ownership: FTI Consulting
Subsidiary firms: FD South Africa, FD Blueprint-Belgium, FD Gravitas-Latin America, FD Sante-UK, FD K Capital: Source-Ireland
Offices: 9 in the US, 30 globally

Staff
Global headcount is approximately 700, with 275 in the Americas. This marks a 5% decrease globally, a 17% decrease in the US.

FD named Jeannine Dowling and Evan Goetz as MDs in the corporate communications practice; and David Press as MD in the special situations practice. Gloria Dittus left her post as head of public affairs.

Practice areas
Six, including capital markets, corporate, special situations, public affairs, design and digital, and strategy.

Accounts
Key wins for the year include American Express Travelers Cheques, Flextronics, and Barclays Wealth. Diageo, Coca-Cola, HSBC, Maples & Calder, Poder, TATA, and Travelex were new global accounts.

Financial performance
FD reported global revenue of $180.1 million in 2009, down 19.8% from 2008. US revenue was between $50 and $100 million.

Analysis
"Last year was very challenging," says Mark McCall, president and COO (Americas). "We came into Q1 with more realistic expectations. In the last quarter, we've seen our retained business show steady increase."

McCall adds that the Obama administration opened up opportunities in healthcare and energy, and the firm made key hires in corporate communications. Where some posts opened up from voluntary turnover, he says some areas opted not to refill spots.

McCall also notes success in Latin America, while saying the US "held our own." In 2010, the agency plans to institute a tuition reimbursement program to help train and retain talent.

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