WEST PALM BEACH, FL: FTI Consulting has acquired lobbying firm C2 Group as it looks to expand its public affairs services.
C2 will operate as part of the public affairs group within FTI's strategic communications unit. The firm will retain its brand and Washington DC office during a transition period.
C2's 12 staffers, including founding partners Tom Crawford and John Cline, have joined FTI. Crawford and Cline will work in senior MD roles. Crawford specializes in tax policy and regulation, budget issues, corporate governance, and retirement security, while Cline focuses on the energy, financial services, and transportation sectors.
While FTI's strategic communications arm previously advised executive teams and boards of directors on public policy issues, this acquisition will allow the agency to expand its public affairs services to include government relations and direct advocacy. The deal will also add “enhanced digital intelligence” through C2's digital advocacy platforms, said Mark McCall, senior MD and Americas head of strategic communications at FTI.
“Our clients look at a broader spectrum of communications. I think the offering we have now allows us to engage those clients on all of those levels rather than having to parcel them out to separate firms,” McCall said. “We can manage those constituencies consistently with one core message.”
Joining FTI was a good fit for C2 because lobbying has evolved as business and government become more integrated, Crawford explained.
“Traditional lobbying, where we would work the halls and talk to staff, isn't enough anymore because there's so much external force – consumer activism, environmental activism, NGOs, and all these other groups that are influencers now. There will always be a place for lobbying, but it will become an obsolete business if we don't change to what the new world is,” Crawford said. “What is unique in this offering is not the lobbying piece, but the FTI piece. We're introducing into Washington that bottom-line, enterprise value proposition in FTI's advisory services.”
C2 represents companies such as PepsiCo, Comcast/NBCUniversal, eBay, Porsche, AXA, and 7-Eleven.
“Our clients shouldn't see any drop-off or rearrangement of their services,” Crawford said. “They'll have access to a greater platform of services.”
FTI and C2 previously worked together on a couple of client engagements, such as Comcast, McCall said.
The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.
FTI Consulting's strategic communications unit reported a 2.2% year-over-year revenue increase to $50.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.