New York- (Business Wire)–Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K), one of the world’s leading communications firms, today announced two related strategic moves: the acquisition of Jeffrey Group, the nation’s most respected independent corporate communications, public affairs and marketing consulting firm One in Latin America, making H+K the preeminent global communications agency in the region; and the company’s Brazil-based Ideal, which launched globally as an international brand, now focusing primarily on disruptive and emerging technology companies.
AnnaMaria DeSalva said: “With this transaction, Hill+Knowlton is taking two major steps forward – becoming a pre-eminent global player in Latin America through the combination of highly complementary and similarly sized businesses, and building a strong foundation for our largest industrial practice Create a second growth engine.” , Global Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We are benefiting from the significant momentum in our global business. These two initiatives further reflect our strategy and open up new avenues for growth.”
Building a leading global network in Latin America
The addition of JeffreyGroup builds on Hill+Knowlton’s outstanding international network, doubling the company’s footprint in Latin America and establishing the largest global agency in the region. Headquartered in Miami with offices in Mexico City, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Buenos Aires, JeffreyGroup has been a dominant force in Latin America for nearly three decades, developing innovative, award-winning brands and businesses Communication plans and public affairs strategies for clients in a wide range of industry sectors. Recently, JeffreyGroup was nominated for more than any other agency at PROvoke Media’s upcoming 2022 Latin American SABRE Awards.
As part of Hill+Knowlton, JeffreyGroup will continue to operate its unique brands in Latin America. Brian Burlingame, JeffreyGroup CEO since 2015, will lead H+K’s entire Latin American business, including two legacy businesses with similar net sales and headcount but different distributions in the Latin American market. Fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese, Burlingame has established operations in Latin America and the Caribbean and has advised various multinational companies for over 25 years. He will report to Richard Millar, CEO of H+K Americas, and join H+K’s Global Leadership Council. Jeffrey Group founder Jeffrey Sharlach will continue to serve as its chairman.
“For decades, JeffreyGroup has grown steadily, focusing on Latin America, serving the world’s most respected companies and global brands. JeffreyGroup and Hill+Knowlton are highly complementary companies that can optimize the strengths of both brands to shape the region leading global network,” Burlingame said. “Today’s Hill+Knowlton is a growth story, and we’re excited to be a part of it, leveraging the tools, capabilities and relationships to benefit our customers and employees as we continue to grow our business.”
“As one of JeffreyGroup’s clients, I admired them early on, and I’m delighted to welcome them to the Hill+Knowlton and WPP family,” added DeSalva. “Latin America is one of the most dynamic communications markets today, offering an ever-increasing amount of talent and innovation. Our combination with JeffreyGroup creates an opportunity for leapfrog change. I’m excited about what we can do together.”
Launching a new global brand to serve the technology industry
In a directly related move, Hill+Knowlton announced the global expansion of its Ideal brand, now focused on the growing market demand for strategic communications consulting services to support disruptive technology companies and those seeking a highly nimble communications partner . Ideal will operate as a global H+K subsidiary.
Brazil-based Grupo Ideal, originally acquired by H+K in 2015, serves some of the region’s best-known brands. Ricardo Cesar, who has led H+K’s Latin American operations since 2018, has been promoted to Ideal’s global CEO, responsible for bringing the Ideal brand and business model to the global market. Cesar will report to H+K’s Global Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and will continue to serve as a member of its Global Leadership Council.
“Ricardo has led sustained and impressive profitable growth, delivering innovation and creativity to a loyal and growing customer base,” said DeSalva. “We are delighted to expand the Ideal brand globally under his leadership, forming a second growth engine for our largest industrial practice. This is a unique opportunity to position H+K as a preferred technology communications partner.”
Cesar will work closely with H+K’s Technology+Telecoms Global Chair, Sara Gourlay, who will continue to oversee the company’s end-to-end technology division growth strategy, enabling H+K to serve a full range of technology clients, from disruptive Startups to established global companies accelerating digital transformation.
“I’m incredibly proud of the partnership we’ve established with Ideal in Brazil, and I’m excited about the opportunity to expand the concept globally,” Cesar said. “We have seen demand for specialist agencies and now is an ideal time to maintain their unique experience in digital and content for our growing portfolio of emerging and disruptive technology clients. Working with Sara and the global technology team, Ideal will Help expand H+K’s already impressive reputation for technology dissemination around the world.”
Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Inc. is an international communications consulting firm serving local, multinational and global clients. With more than 70 offices in nearly 40 countries around the world and an extensive partner network, H+K provides award-winning events to clients across all industries and disciplines, with a focus on continuous innovation in the industry. Headquartered in New York, the company is part of WPP, one of the world’s largest communications services groups.
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JeffreyGroup is Latin America’s leading independent corporate communications, public affairs and marketing consultancy with 29 years of successful experience advising multinational corporations and global brands across a broad range of industries. Headquartered in Miami, JeffreyGroup employs more than 330 people with offices in Mexico City, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Buenos Aires, and is supported by a network of local agency partners that provide capabilities throughout the region. JeffreyGroup is proud to serve some of the world’s largest companies and best-known brands, including Amazon, American Airlines, AstraZeneca, Bacardi, Bayer, BlackRock, Johnson & Johnson, Marriott International, Salesforce, TikTok and Walter Disney World Resort, etc. www.jeffreygroup.com