Kekst, CNC combine

The new entity will be co-led by Kekst CEO Jeremy Fielding and CNC chief executive Bernhard Meising.

L-R: Co-CEOs Meising and Fielding
L-R: Co-CEOs Meising and Fielding

NEW YORK: MSLGroup’s Kekst and CNC have combined into a new financial and corporate communications firm.

The combined entity, known as Kekst CNC, will be co-led by Jeremy Fielding and Bernhard Meising, CEOs of Kekst and CNC, respectively. It will have more than 600 clients and 250 staffers in 12 offices, including in New York, London, Berlin, and Tokyo.

Kekst CNC is also launching an office in Hong Kong, to be led by Pui Shan Lee, who is joining the firm from FTI Consulting, where Lee was MD for Shanghai.

Kekst CNC’s specialties will include M&A, shareholder activism, corporate governance, crisis comms, restructurings, regulatory issues, IPO communications, and employee engagement.

As part of the merger, Kekst CNC has formed an advisory board chaired by former Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy, who also serves as chair of the holding company’s supervisory board. The board’s other members include former German Ambassador to the U.S. and U.K. Wolfgang Ischinger and former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson.

The combination was driven by cross-border transactions, an area that has proven to be lucrative for agencies that specialize in M&A, including competitors such as FTI and Finsbury.

In 2017, MSLGroup merged CNC with JKL, a Stockholm-based comms consultancy founded in 1985. JKL will retain its brand in the Swedish capital. Two years earlier, London-based Capital MSL was combined with CNC. Publicis acquired CNC in 2012.

In 2015, MSLGroup parent company Publicis Groupe said it was restructuring into four groups: Publicis Communications, Publicis Media, Publicis Sapient, and Publicis Healthcare.

A Kekst spokesperson wasn’t immediately available for additional comment.

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