Principal: Michael Kempner, CEO
Offices: 10; 9 in the US, 1 in London
Last year, MWW launched a new corporate logo and tagline Matter More, while revamping its digital presence. The rebrand was an important step in redefining the agency's image since its split in late 2010 from Interpublic Group, says CEO Michael Kempner. “We've hired new people, broadened practice areas, and expanded our social and digital offerings,” he says.
Since becoming independent, MWW has targeted double-digit growth for both its top- and bottom-line results. The agency achieved that again in 2012 as revenues were up 11% compared to 2011, while its profit margin was 15%.
Its consumer lifestyle marketing practice enjoyed a $3 million increase in client billings, growth of 34% over 2011. Account wins include Atkins, Kendall-Jackson, Booking.com, and OfficeMax. The firm's tech-practice revenue rose $1.1 million, representing growth of 43%.
MWW picked up more than 20 key wins, which accounted for 60% of the firm's growth. Account losses included Azumio, Ming Wang, and WebThriftStore.
For the second consecutive year, IR had the least amount of growth among all practice areas, which the agency attributed to the economy and relatively few IPOs. In Q1 2013, however, MWW worked on a successful IPO for community bank chain ConnectOne.
“Investor relations is such a cyclical business,” explains Kempner, “but 2013 has the potential to be a robust year for IPOs.”
Significant staff investment
Kempner says the start of 2013 was shaping up to be MWW's best first quarter ever. He predicts the firm will have 250 employees by year's end. “We brought on significant new talent last year,” reports Kempner, “and they are rapidly beginning to pay dividends across the firm.”
The more than 15 senior-level hires included John Digles, EVP in Chicago, and Laurie Armstrong, SVP in Dallas.
The firm expanded its Los Angeles and San Francisco offices with the June acquisition of Enso Communications. It named Enso founder JP Schuerman EVP and GM of MWW LA. The agency also acquired Capital Public Affairs in Trenton, NJ.
The firm also expects to soon announce a much larger operation in London, its first overseas presence where MWW currently has several on-the-ground employees.