Offices:Global: 96 (not all global offices have a strategic communications practice); US: 10
Revenue: Global: $200.9 million; US: $65 million-plus
Headcount: Global: 700; US: 220
FTI Consulting reported revenue growth of 4% last year, which was slightly behind plans due in part to market volatility and uncertainty in Europe and the Middle East. It had no bottom-line growth in 2011.
The operations formerly known as FD Americas, renamed the Strategic Communications Practice of FTI Consulting as part of a global rebrand to fold FD into the parent company name, was a bright spot, with solid top- and bottom-line growth.
“We had continued growth in our core offerings – in helping clients with capital markets, crisis communication, and transactions, including M&As,” says Americas head Mark McCall. In financial information company Mergermarket Group's 2011 global M&A PR League Table, FTI led all competitors by volume of deals, with a significant uptick in work from the US.
McCall says US business was also strong in energy, financial services, and healthcare. Key wins included tasks from Novartis, Transocean, and Yongye International, spanning across more than three countries.
In 2011, the Strategic Communications arm worked to better align offerings with evolving client needs, as well as create more synergies with FTI Consulting globally.
Its special situations practice was split into three specialist units: M&As; restructuring and financial issues; and crisis and issues management. It also added new practices, most notably one devoted to employee engagement and change management led by MD Sheila Kindig with its own revenue targets and marketing dollars.
“We've tried to put our best, smartest people who were sometimes hidden under large practices forward to the client,” says Elizabeth Saunders, Americas chairman.
To also help highlight its staff as thought leaders, the strategic communications practice has formed partnerships in the Americas with organizations such as Cross Border Group (IR Magazine and Inside IPO) and the National Association of Corporate Directors. In the last 12 months, for instance, the Americas launched its first annual CEO Transitions Study.
“Our people in the business development office have the makings of important relationships with the C-suite,” says Saunders. “So we're trying to give them better materials, events, and social media opportunities to get that message across to that group.”