Finn Partners: Agency Business Report 2012

CEO Peter Finn formally separated about 30% of the Ruder Finn agency to set up Finn Partners in December 2011, after 18 months of speculation and a period of effectively working as distinct entities, in practice if not in name.

Principal: Peter Finn, CEO
Ownership: The Ruder Finn Group
Offices: New York; Chicago; Washington, DC; San Francisco; Los Angeles; Israel
Revenues: Global: $23,618,000, US: $23,063,000
(Ruder Finn – Global: $57,663,000; US: $37,790,000)
Headcount: Revised Finn Partners headcounts after Ruder Finn split: global headcount 196, with 189 of those in the US.

CEO Peter Finn formally separated about 30% of the Ruder Finn agency to set up Finn Partners in December 2011, after 18 months of speculation and a period of effectively working as distinct entities, in practice if not in name.

“We functioned as separate companies for most of the year,” explains Finn. “The teams were separate, there's a new server network, and we will have a separate Finn Partners reception.”

Finn formed the new entity with long-time associate Richard Funess, now president of Finn Partners, and Ron Rogers, founder of LA-based The Rogers Group, acquired by Ruder Finn last year.

Other managing partners include Finn's sister Dena Merriam, son Noah Finn, Howard Solomon, Alicia Young, Gail Moaney, Anne Glauber, and Philippa Polskin.

The firm posted audited revenues of $23.6 million in 2011 and Finn says it is set to surpass $30 million in fees in its first 12 months of operation. It says starting fees in 2012 were up 37% on 2011. About $2 million of the agency's revenues were contributed by Rogers.

Of the former Ruder Finn's large clients, Jamaica Tourist Board, Logitech, and Hyundai Hope on Wheels went with Finn Partners. Finn Partners is now AOR for all Logitech's consumer products. Other clients include Vonage, Rosetta Stone, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and Rovi Corp. Earlier this year, it won business with NetZero and Newegg. The agency's project work with Gatorade ended.

“I've never had new-business wins at the pace of the last year,” says Finn. “We've had 40 new retainers, most of them AOR relationships, plus 45 projects.”

Technology makes up 40% of Finn Partners' business, but Finn claims to be diversified across other areas including consumer, arts, corporate, digital, government relations and public affairs, multicultural, travel and economic development, and health.

Finn Partners still works with Ruder Finn to service client business in London and Asia, but Finn plans to expand and sees more acquisitions on the horizon, as well as a standalone London office by the end of this year. Its only global office is in Israel, a 12-strong operation that contributes about $1 million in revenue.

Book publicity firm Planned Television Arts, which was acquired in 1993, relaunched as Finn Partners Media Connect in March this year, with 20 staffers in New York and Washington, DC.

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