Finn Partners spins off from Ruder Finn

NEW YORK: Peter Finn, former co-CEO of Ruder Finn, spun off new agency Finn Partners on Wednesday.

NEW YORK: Peter Finn, former co-CEO of Ruder Finn, spun off new agency Finn Partners on Wednesday.

The New York-based firm has offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, San Francisco, and Israel made up of former Ruder Finn staffers. Finn said he expects the agency to see at least $30 million in 2012 revenue.

The former Rogers Group, acquired earlier this year, is also operating as part of Finn Partners, which has a staff of about 180 employees. Its clients include The Jamaica Tourist Board, Liz Claiborne, and The North Face.

Finn is running the agency with the title of founding partner. His sister, Kathy Bloomgarden, will continue to manage Ruder Finn as CEO.

“The reality is that [Bloomgarden] and I have different philosophies about how we want to run the business,” said Finn. “[Bloomgarden] is a great professional and does great work for her clients, but her focus is different than mine. I honestly think it will be better for everyone involved for her to run her business the way she wants to and for me to run this business.”

Noah Finn, Richard Funess, Anne Glauber, Dena Merriam, Philippa Polskin, Gail Moaney, Ron Rogers, Howard Solomon, and Alicia Young are serving as managing partners at Finn's firm. Noah Finn is the son of Peter Finn.

Bloomgarden maintained that Ruder Finn is keeping 70% of the firm's business and nine of 10 of its largest clients, including the bulk of its global business. Ruder Finn reported $97 million in 2010 global revenue, including $78 million in the US, for PRWeek's 2011 Agency Business Report. Finn disputed that Ruder Finn will maintain 70% of the agency's business.

Bloomgarden said all of Ruder Finn's healthcare clients, including pharmaceutical giant Novartis, are staying with the agency. She said the two companies are “splitting” personnel from various offices, and that Ruder Finn will continue to focus on corporate reputation, technology, health and wellness, and consumer lifestyle work.

Bloomgarden added that the two firms will separate offices completely, but they “may share a building for a while.”

“I think there's a business logic to this that makes a lot of sense,” she said, characterizing the move as “a good thing, and a good thing for the group.” She also explained that the split would allow each business to focus on clients more effectively, adding that “the two units are very, very different.”  

Ruder Finn launched a technology practice in May and hired sector veteran Sabrina Guttmann as its global tech lead, based in the Bay Area. She left the firm within three months.

The ownership structure of the Ruder Finn Group will remain the same, with the four children of cofounder David Finn owning an equal share of the business and reporting to a board of directors. Sibling Amy Binder set up RF Binder Partners in 2001, while sibling Merriam is one of Finn Partners' managing partners.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the position of Dena Merriam. She is a managing partner at Finn Partners. 

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