Ruder Finn hires Ketchum's Monica Marshall to run new purpose practice

She was previously SVP and director of Ketchum Purpose.

NEW YORK: Ruder Finn has hired Ketchum’s Monica Marshall to serve as global lead of its new purpose practice, known as RF Relate.

Previously, Marshall was SVP and director of Ketchum’s purpose practice.

Marshall joined Ruder Finn on March 29, reporting to CEO Kathy Bloomgarden. Marshall does not have a set number of direct reports; instead she is developing an ad hoc team of corporate communications, issues, advocacy, sustainability and policy consultants from the firm.

"That’s why we positioned it as a global lead," Bloomgarden said. "It’s not about operating with one group siloed inside the agency."

Marshall will help Ruder Finn’s clients develop and manage their corporate purpose, social responsibility, sustainability and social impact programs, the firm said in a statement.

Ruder Finn’s decision to create a dedicated practice is a reflection of the current business environment, Bloomgarden said.

"Something has really shifted in the corporate world, and it’s calling for a different way of thinking and a different lens," she said. "Societal expectations and the expectations in business leadership have shifted, and we wanted to crystalize that work in a single leader. [Marshall] is a great leader who knows just how to do that."

Marshall said she decided to switch agencies "because I’ve got very high aspirations in this space for the ability for companies, NGOs and governments to come together."

"As I got to know [Bloomgarden], she really pushed my thinking about this space," Marshall added. "Her level of intellect and the connections at Ruder [Finn] convinced me that this is a place where I could bring this philosophy to life, both with their current and prospective clients."

Ketchum declined to say if it will replace Marshall. Its purpose team is being overseen by John Bradbury, partner and MD of its issues and crisis practice.

"We wish Monica well in her new role, and we are grateful for her contributions in her 16 years with Ketchum across a number of roles and offices," a Ketchum spokesperson said.

Marshall also spent more than nine years at the U.N. in numerous roles and had a previous stint at Ketchum.

Ruder Finn’s revenue was up 4% last year to $70.5 million.

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