NEW YORK: Ruder Finn has hired Christie Anbar to lead its global healthcare practice as MD.
Anbar, who is based in New York, started in the role on January 2. She reports to Ruder Finn CEO Kathy Bloomgarden. The company has yet to determine how many direct reports she will have.
The last person to lead the global healthcare practice at the firm was Sally Ann Barton, who exited in June 2018 to become an EVP leading healthcare in New York for Porter Novelli. Barton joined Ruder Finn in 2016.
Anbar said one of her first priorities will be enhancing Ruder Finn’s data and analytics abilities.
"I think the growth of our agency hinges on the ability to get to insights quickly and apply them to smart thinking and programming for our clients," she said. "And getting to insights quickly requires two things: strong research, analytics and data and experience. We have a strong foundation of research and analytics here and I want to build on that and make it more robust."
Anbar said she’ll also be growing Ruder Finn’s healthcare practice with new hires in the coming months.
Bloomgarden said she was about halfway through an extensive search for Barton’s replacement when she first spoke to Anbar in April last year.
"Part of [the decision] of course was her background," Bloomgarden said. "But another part was chemistry, because when you are pushing the envelope you want to have good chemistry and a good fit."
Ruder Finn’s "what’s next?" mindset and commitment to its staffers attracted Anbar.
"When people are thriving the agency thrives," she said. "It’s the people that really create long-term client partnerships. It doesn’t just happen. People don’t just innovate. They need to feel safe and inspired."
Prior to Ruder Finn, Anbar was MD of Chamberlain Healthcare Public Relations. Chamberlain declined to comment on her move.
Anbar’s hire is the latest of several recent people moves at Ruder Finn. In November, the firm selected Monica Marshall to lead its new Washington, DC, office. Marshall had joined Ruder Finn earlier last year as global head of its purpose practice RF Relate.
Also last November, Ruder Finn hired Travis Murdock, former global head of marketing at Xinova, for a newly created EVP role to lead a new office in Seattle. And in September, the firm acquired New Jersey-based healthcare internal comms agency SPI Group.
Revenue at Ruder Finn grew 4% to $70.5 million in 2018, according to the PRWeek Agency Business Report 2019.