Zeno Group: Agency Business Report 2013

It was a huge year for Zeno Group. US revenue soared 48% to $20.8 million, with top-line, bottom-line, and profitability increases.

Principal: Barby Siegel, CEO
Ownership: DJE Holdings
Offices: Global: 13; US: 5 (New York; Chicago; Dallas, Redwood Shores, CA; Santa Monica, CA)
Revenue: Global: $24,412,282; US: $20,798,925
Headcount: Global: 205; US: 128

It was a huge year for Zeno Group. US revenue soared 48% to $20.8 million, with top-line, bottom-line, and profitability increases. New offices opened in Singapore, Jakarta, New Delhi, Tokyo, and London (joining existing global offices in Toronto, São Paulo, and Amsterdam), bringing total headcount to 205 from 77 in 2011 and global revenue to $24.4 million.

The agency was also named PRWeek's 2013 Midsize PR Agency of the Year for the third year running.

CEO Barby Siegel attributes success to talented staff, being nimble with little bureaucracy, and Zeno's culture, which values talent, creativity, fearlessness, and work-life balance. “Clients tell us our work makes a difference on their business,” she says.

Global expansion moves
The global expansion was a big step and new offices were either built from scratch, as in London, Tokyo, and New Delhi, or rebranded from existing DJE Holdings entities, such as in Singapore and Jakarta. An office in Beijing was due to open in April 2013.

Global work expanded with several clients, including Micron. “We had 58 employees in Asia doing real work when Zeno Asia was announced,” Siegel adds. “Offices we built from scratch are staffed by people hired from outside and Edelman people such as John Kerr, who wanted the chance to become MD of Zeno Asia.”

Additional senior appointments included Europe MD Steve Earl and Grant Deady was promoted from Chicago MD to chief culture officer, a new post. John Hollywood was tapped as MD of its New York office early this year. He succeeded Kate Karet, who was named MD of the New York office last summer, but left soon after to pursue other ventures.

Forty new wins fueled growth across all practices, with a particular boon being seen in healthcare. Zeno was named AOR for clients including Merck Vaccines, Allergan, Metagenics, and Catamaran. Growth in the tech practice surged 400% since its 2011 reboot. New AOR assignments came in from McAfee, Expion, and Brocade Communications Systems. Zeno also picked up work from existing client T-Mobile USA.

A major focus this year is growing its current offices worldwide. “Our big goal is to be a $100 million company,” she says. “It won't be in 2013, but we're on our way.”

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