Edelman boosts public affairs in Canada by acquiring Devon Group

Staffers at the agency will be absorbed by Edelman Canada's public affairs team.

TORONTO: Edelman has bolstered its public affairs services in Canada by acquiring the Devon Group, effective Wednesday.

The firm has been folded into Edelman Canada.

Staffers at the agency will be absorbed by Edelman Canada’s public affairs team, which offers services in health, energy, infrastructure, market access, real estate, and industry associations, among other areas.

Bob Richardson, former president of the Devon Group, has joined Edelman as EVP and national practice lead for public affairs for Edelman Canada, while principal Gordon Ashworth will be an independent consultant.

John Clinton, CEO of Edelman Canada, said the acquisition will help the agency build its national presence because it is "not just a Toronto play." He said that adding the Devon Group allows Edelman to become a serious contender in the Canadian public affairs space.

Clinton added that Richardson and his team will fit well at the firm because they approach business similarly. He also praised their ability to "straddle political lines."

Devon Group’s staff will move into Edelman’s Toronto offices, expanding the team there by nine, said Richardson.

He added that the deal will allow the firm to compete for national clients and business and expand the services it can provide to clients. Richardson pointed to Edelman’s digital services, which could be complimentary to its work in the public affairs space.

"There are big issues coming in terms of pipelines and railways that will require a lot of public consultation, public debate, and public interaction," he explained.

In 2013, Edelman achieved global revenue of $740.9 million, including $450.3 million in the US.

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