Matt Lauer
Matt Lauer

Publicis Groupe has sold Washington-based PA shop Qorvis Communications to a management group led by its long-time executive Matt Lauer.

The French firm acquired Qorvis in 2014 when it ranked No. 10 on O’Dwyer’s rankings of independent firms with fees of $30M and 80 staffers.

Lauer, who joined Qorvis in 2004 and launched its public diplomacy brand, will helm what he calls a “reborn agency” that is ready to serve “in the nexus of finance, transparency and public affairs.”

Maria Jose Abad, a ten-year Qorvis veteran who has counseled consumer and corporate clients, will serve as COO of the independent firm.

Grace Fenstermaker will take on the managing partner–EMEA position based in Dubai, while CFO Ozkan Yilmaz will be stationed in Geneva.

Qorvis has provided PR services to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since it took over crisis duties from Burson-Marsteller in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

Saudi Arabia’s fees hit the $6.3M mark during the 12-month period ended Sept. 30, 2022.

The Mecca-based Muslim World League spent $2M at Qorvis during the same period.