ICF Next alum Bryan Specht opens consultancy

Specht is now CEO and managing partner of Salient Group Ventures.

Specht is now CEO and managing partner of Salient Group Ventures (Photo credit: ICF Next)
Specht is now CEO and managing partner of Salient Group Ventures (Photo credit: ICF Next)

CHICAGO: Bryan Specht, ICF Next’s former chief growth and innovation officer, has started a consultancy called Salient Group Ventures.

His consultancy is focused on advising startups and creative entrepreneurs and also investing in their ventures. Specht is CEO and managing partner of the firm and works with managing partner Todd Enders.

Specht left ICF Next, where he was also a managing partner, on January 3.

"I had the website [for my consultancy] up running about a week later," he said.

For now, Specht and Enders will be the sole employees of the consultancy and will contract out if they need additional capabilities. 

In a statement about the consultancy, Specht wrote that future comms disruption will come more on the content side, and not as much technically. Specifically, he predicts a creative renaissance in earned-led concepts involving performance and long-form platform content. 

Specht has been named to the PRWeek Power List several times, most recently in 2018.

While his exact role will not be replaced at ICF Next, Kris Tremaine, chief transformation and operations officer, will lead ICF Next's overall growth efforts, among her other responsibilities.

ICF Next was created in December 2018 via the combination of Olson Engage, Olson Digital, Olson1to1, PulsePoint Group, the Future Customer, We Are Vista and other shops. In January 2019, it promoted Specht to managing partner and chief growth and innovation officer from president of Olson Engage.

Specht served as president of Olson Engage from 2012 to 2017, before his role was expanded to lead Olson. Before that, he was COO of Olson Engage, known previously as Dig Communications, until 2012.

ICF Next’s revenue in the U.S. last year was down by 3% to $197.4 million. Globally it was up 8% to $248.6 million, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report.

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