Brunswick: Agency Business Report 2012

Brunswick has handled communications for some of the most high-profile business transactions in the past year, including Kraft Foods' announcement that it will create two new independent companies, Skype's $8.5 billion sale to Microsoft, Express Scripts' $29 billion acquisition of Medco Health Solutions, and Autonomy's nearly $11.5 billion sale to Hewlett-Packard.

Principals: Alan Parker, group chairman; Susan Gilchrist, US managing partner; Steve Lipin, US senior partner
Ownership: Independent
Offices: Global: 19; US: 4
Headcount: Global: 600; US: 140

Brunswick has handled communications for some of the most high-profile business transactions in the past year, including Kraft Foods' announcement that it will create two new independent companies, Skype's $8.5 billion sale to Microsoft, Express Scripts' $29 billion acquisition of Medco Health Solutions, and Autonomy's nearly $11.5 billion sale to Hewlett-Packard.
 
In 2011, efforts by the San Francisco office expanded its client list to include Dropbox, Airbnb, Klout, and Groupon. This year, it began representing Facebook on corporate matters, including its recent IPO filing, one of the most anticipated in many years. The firm also works with companies eyeing global expansion, such as Novo Nordisk, Thomson Reuters, and BNP Paribas.
 
Setting up shops
US managing partner Susan Gilchrist would not disclose revenues, but said during the past two years global revenues increased 35% with US revenues up 63%.
 
The latter climbed in part due to a Dallas/Fort Worth office opening early last year, led by Jim Wilkinson, a managing partner from the San Francisco office who is now moving to PepsiCo, and Mark Palmer, who had been at Sysco and before that Enron. Other key hires include Bill Miller, formerly with the US Chamber of Commerce, in the Washington, DC, office, and Tripp Kyle, formerly at Finsbury Group, in New York.
 
Outside the US, office openings in 2011 included Shanghai, the agency's first in China, and Munich, its third in Germany.
 
“A consulting business is only as good as its people,” says Gilchrist. “We have a great team both in the US and across the world.”
 
The firm's staffing model includes partners and directors, allowing it to focus on offering senior counsel.
 
In 2012, Brunswick hopes to expand in markets such as Asia and South America.
 
Currently, high growth areas include providing advice and support on a global scale; digital and social media communications; crisis and litigation communications; public affairs; and data privacy and security. The firm is also seeing clients in emerging markets such as Asia, Africa, and the Middle East seeking communications advice as they look to enter North America and Europe.

“Communications issues companies face have never been more complex,” Gilchrist says. “Our goal is to build a multidisciplinary firm with deep specialist expertise.”

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