Makovsky & Company: Agency Business Report 2009

With the recession here to stay for the foreseeable future, this year's theme is "persistence." Providing exceptional client service and a quick turnaround on assignments will be critical.

Outlook
With the recession here to stay for the foreseeable future, this year's theme is "persistence." Providing exceptional client service and a quick turnaround on assignments will be critical.

The firm is also looking to the green space in 2009 with the Interaction Group, a consortium of experts from a variety of areas, including architecture and environmental science, says CEO Ken Makovsky.

"We just recently participated in an RFP with a company that's asking for all this multiplicity of expertise," he says, adding that the firm's level of client and staff retention was a 2008 highlight. So far in 2009, the firm has brought Marian Cutler on board as SVP for the health practice.

"The economy has headwinds," adds Makovsky. "All you can do is try to [find] strategic solutions to battle those."

Staff
Current headcount is 50, up 8% over 2007. SVP Hulus Alpay left. Mike Meikson joined as creative director and VP of the branding and interactive group.

Practice areas
Five. The firm saw the most growth in branding and interactive (up 145%), financial services (up 21%), and health (up 18%). IR was down 34%. The firm also has a tech and business services practice, comprising about 10% of total accounts.

Accounts
Key account wins included Bausch & Lomb, Schering-Plough, and Russell Reynolds. The firm expanded work with a number of clients, including Arrow Electronics and AMB Property Corp. It experienced 37% organic growth and 63% growth through new business; 85% of its clients are on retainer. Makovsky lost Penn Treaty, Diageo, Association of German Mortgage Bankers, and Sepracor.

Financial performance
Revenue totaled $11.1 million for the year, a 20% increase from 2007.

Key facts
Principal: Kenneth Makovsky, CEO

Ownership: Independent

Offices: One, in New York

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