WPP’s Finsbury Glover Hering agrees SVC merger deal

WPP-backed corporate communications firm Finsbury Glover Hering (FGH) has agreed a merger deal with US rival Sard Verbinnen & Co (SVC).

he new firm, which will employ around 1,000 people across 25 global offices, will seek to be a leader in strategic communications, WPP said.

WPP will become the largest shareholder of the new firm, with a 57.4% stake, while FGH managers will hold 25.9%.

FGH was founded initially as Finsbury by public relations executive Roland Rudd in 1994, who sold his majority stake to Sir Martin Sorrell seven years later but remained with the firm.

The firm became FGH last year after the London-based Finsbury merged with Washington DC firm Glover Park and Frankfurt based Hering Schuppener.

Mr Rudd, a prominent anti-Brexit campaigner, will become a co-chair of the new firm alongside Glover Park co-founder Carter Askew and SVC founder George Sard.

The deal is expected to complete in the current quarter of 2021 and the group operate under a new name from next year.

In a joint statement, Mr Rudd and Mr Askew said: “To generate growth, open markets, shape policy and attract capital, companies need to seamlessly communicate to more audiences and across more markets than ever before.

“This merger brings together the most accomplished communications professionals, operating within a global firm that will have the expertise and experience to deliver reputation advisory services to address critical c-suite concerns.”

Mark Read, chief executive officer of WPP, said: “The demand for board-level strategic advice on a growing range of financial, reputational and social issues has never been greater.

“As the reputations of companies and their brands become ever more closely linked, our leadership in this area is a core part of our offer as we support our clients’ continued transformation.

“WPP is delighted to support the ambitions of the leadership teams of Finsbury Glover Hering and SVC in creating a powerhouse in strategic communications, with the expertise, scale and footprint to provide unparalleled service to global clients.”

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