LONDON: Marketing services giant WPP is backing a new international holding company majority-owned by nine specialist agencies including Halpern PR.
According to Campaign, The&Partnership spans ten disciplines: advertising, design, CRM, media, data, analytics, PR, social, digital, and product creation.
It will be majority-owned by the founders of the constituent agencies, and WPP will be a significant minority shareholder.
CHI & Partners, the ad agency that acquired 50.1% of Halpern last month, appears to have led the creation of the group, which will have a single bottom line.
The&Partnership's global chief executive will be CHI & Partners founding partner Johnny Hornby, and its CFO will be the same agency's managing partner, Peter Walker. WPP owns a 49.9% stake in CHI.
In addition to Halpern and CHI, the group comprises ad agency Bates CHI & Partners; media agency network M/SIX; CRM and digital agency Rapier; social media agency The Social Practice; creative innovation practice Matter; The Box, which offers clients a bespoke agency service; and a new data service.
“Traditionally, entrepreneurs start businesses, build them up, sell them and disappear after their earn-outs. In our new model, the entrepreneurs and founders stay involved and share ownership amongst each other and with their senior partners,” Hornby said.
“Not unlike the law firm model, we are owner-drivers who realize that to develop truly modern campaigns, it isn't a baton-passing exercise. It's about senior experts across disciplines working together,” he continued. “Having one bottom line removes the politics and nonsense that holds back so many of our competitive traditional networks.”
The&Partnership will have more than 1,400 staff spread across 23 offices in 17 countries.