Qorvis completes management buyout, splits from Publicis Groupe

The DC-based firm known for its work with government entities will retain its name, but launch a new brand identity in the coming weeks.

DC-based Qorvis split from Publicis at the end of the year. (Photo credit: Getty Images).

WASHINGTON: A team of Qorvis executives has completed a management buyout, wholly acquiring the public affairs specialist shop from holding company Publicis Groupe. 

The change went into effect on December 31, 2022, according to an agency statement. Led by CEO Matt Lauer, Qorvis’ management buyout team includes Maria Jose Abad, COO; Samantha Sault, chief editorial officer; Richard Silipigni, chief development officer; and Özkan Yilmaz, CFO.

Other staffers taking part in the buyout include managing partners Grace Fenstermaker, EMEA, and Brad Klapper, Washington, DC, and Brian Lewis, global head of compliance. 

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“As Qorvis is a 20-year brand with a storied past, we are pleased to have this new opportunity to join with our partners to take this to the next stage by adding additional and deeper levels of services including editorial, digital, financial compliance and transparency," Lauer said via email.

Qorvis, which will retain its name, will also continue to be headquartered in Washington, DC, the firm said in a statement. The agency is planning to launch a reimagined brand identity and vision in the coming weeks, with immediate plans to build on its presence in Dubai, Geneva, Brussels and Barcelona. 

In the meantime, Qorvis will continue to support existing clients.

France-based holding company Publicis acquired Qorvis in 2014, merging it into the MSLGroup network. In 2018, MSL tweaked its structure by moving Qorvis outside its branding

A Publicis representative declined to comment on the acquisition. 

Qorvis recently partnered with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the U.S. on a range of communications services. The contract expired at the end of 2022. The firm has also worked with governments including the Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, the British Embassy in Washington, Brand Mexico and the Mexico Tourism Board and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to its website. 

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