Corporate, financial and M&A communications advisory giant Kekst & Company announced today that it has merged with Publicis financial and corporate communications unit CNC.
The newly-merged entity, Kekst CNC, boasts a dozen offices and counts more than 250 staff members globally. It will be co-led by Kekst CEO Jeremy Fielding and CNC CEO Bernhard Meising. The agency will remain part of Publicis Groupe’s PR Agency Network.
CNC, an acronym for Communications & Network Consulting, was founded in Germany in 2002. Publicis acquired the firm in 2012 and folded it into MSLGroup. CNC had previously been affiliated with Kekst, partnering with the agency on numerous engagements over the years.
Kekst CNC co-CEO Jeremy Fielding told O’Dwyer’s that the merger comes as a response to clients’ demands for “consistent, quality strategic communications counsel around the world to assist in responding to their business challenges and engaging with the stakeholders that matter to them.”
Kekst CNC co-CEOs (from L to R): Bernhard Meising and Jeremy Fielding.
“Reputation has become a strategic asset for companies that want to grow, transform or protect themselves,” Kekst CNC co-CEO Bernhard Meising told O’Dwyer’s. “Reputation doesn´t stop at borders. That´s why our clients expect us to be able to serve them around the globe.”
Kekst CNC currently maintains offices in New York, Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, London, Tokyo, Brussels, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Seoul and Stockholm, where it operates under the moniker JKL, after MSLGroup merged CNC with the Stockholm-based corporate and financial shop of the same name last year.
Coinciding with today’s news, however, the newly-combined operation also announced that it had expanded its footprint into the China region with the launch of a new outpost in Hong Kong. That office will be led by Pui Shan Lee, an FTI Consulting alum who was also previously vice president of APCO Worldwide’s Shanghai office.
Kekst managing director Vanessa Neill, meanwhile, has moved across the pond, where she’s joined Kekst CNC's London leadership team.
Kekst CNC has also formed an advisory board in light of the merger, which will consist of global leaders specializing in fields pertaining to areas of concern for the agency’s clients. It will be chaired by Publicis Groupe chairman Maurice Lévy.