WASHINGTON: One month after the death of Levick founder and CEO Richard Levick, the agency’s staffers are moving to Leidar, an international advocacy, branding and communications consultancy, as it opens offices stateside.
Leidar, headquartered in Geneva, is opening offices in the U.S. for the first time, planting its flag in New York and Washington, DC. The hires, effective immediately, come as Levick winds down its operations.
Former Levick SVP Maxwell Marcucci will run the Leidar Washington, DC, office, and John Lovallo, former chair of Levick’s corporate, reputation and financial practices, will run the Leidar New York office as MD of corporate and finance. Four former Levick staffers will be based in New York and 14 will work in the DC office. There is a 100% retention rate of Levick employees.
Leidar has 60-plus employees globally and offices in London, Brussels, Geneva, Oslo, Dubai and Singapore.
The two firms have a history of working together. Leidar and Levick partnered and shared clients for the past decade, and Leidar global CEO Rolf Olsen and Richard Levick had talked about joining forces.
“I am sad Richard can't be part of this process, but this is [honoring] his wishes,” said Olsen. “His main concern was his team being able to continue to work together.”
Olsen launched Leidar in 2010. The firm provides clients with crisis, reputation and risk management globally, along with public affairs and advocacy, mergers and acquisition and corporate affairs work.
Olsen declined to name Leidar clients, but said his firm works with companies within the transportation, healthcare, insurance, financial and asset-management industries, as well as professional sporting bodies.
Asked if Leidar will take on all of Levick’s clients, Olsen noted that the clients “will make their own decisions,” but the response has been positive.
“There is something beautiful about being small and global and to have people really work together in an intimate fashion with a high degree of diversity in terms of language, culture, beliefs, skills and backgrounds,” said Olsen. “I am humbled and excited about having a new set of colleagues in the U.S.”
He added that New York and Washington, DC, are “important capitals of business and influence.”
Olsen was previously Weber Shandwick’s CEO of Continental Europe and the Middle East and North Africa between 2001 and 2009.
Levick, who died last month at age 65 of cancer, opened his firm in 1995.