Makovsky: Agency Business Report 2013

Makovsky expanded outside New York this year with the opening of an office in Washington, DC.

Principal: Kenneth Makovsky, president
Ownership:
Independent
Offices: New York; Washington, DC
2012 revenue: $13,500,000

Makovsky expanded outside New York this year with the opening of an office in Washington, DC. Led by GM Andy Beck, who joined the firm last October, the Washington branch focuses on a recently launched energy practice. Agency president Ken Makovsky estimates that the energy group has already brought in about $400,000 in revenues this year.

"Energy is going to be one of the most important sectors in our future economy. Particularly as dependence on Middle East oil sources declines, [the US] is going to be looking at natural gas and alternative energy development," Makovsky says. "We want to be part of it."

In 2012, the agency increased overall revenue about 8% to $13.5 million. The healthcare division was a large driver of growth, Makovsky says. He declines to name clients, but says the group made up about 45% to 50% of business last year.

"The pharmaceutical business is one of the major growth industries. It has sustained well in what has been a slow economy," he adds.

Makovsky also credits the healthcare group's success last year to talent such as Lee Davies and Tom Jones, who joined as group VPs in 2011. The agency promoted Kristie Kuhl to EVP, Lindsey Thompson to group VP, and Laney Cohen Landsman to assistant VP in the practice.

Meanwhile, the financial and professional services practice makes up about 25% to 30% of revenues, Makovsky says. Client wins in the group last year included asset manager Mirae Asset Global Investments, financial services firm JG Wentworth, and the Investment Program Association.

The digital branding group, which offers services in areas such as website development, brand and corporate identity, social media, and mobile, was also a key driver of growth last year, Makovsky says. Internally the agency has undertaken a digital education program in which it brings in digital and social media leaders each month to offer training and guidance to employees.  

Makovsky lost clients Swank Capital, Stroz Friedberg, Alexion, Transparent Value, and Aspex Eyewear last year. The technology practice saw slower growth due to tight budgets among startups and high-tech companies, Makovsky explains. However, in 2013 the tech group has seen "new energy," he says.

"We have a number of current opportunities which could significantly enhance our growth," he adds.

Going forward, the firm will focus on growing and investing in its current practices rather than new practices or acquisitions, Makovsky says. He adds the agency is on track to meet revenue forecast this year.

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