The Stagwell Group, an investment advisory firm formed by former Microsoft executive and political strategist Mark Penn, has acquired public relations and political consulting company SKDKnickerbocker. No financial terms were disclosed. Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis served as counsel to Stagwell on the transaction.
The Stagwell Group today announced its fund, Stagwell Media LLC, has acquired SKDKnickerbocker (“SKDK”), a nationally-recognized strategic communications and political consulting firm, with offices in Washington, DC, New York City, Los Angeles and Albany, NY.
Founded in 1968 by renowned political consultant Bob Squier, who was later joined by partners Bill Knapp and Anita Dunn, SKDK has become the one of the most prominent progressive political consulting firm in the US. Joined by partners Josh Isay and Jennifer Cunningham in New York and Hilary Rosen in Washington DC, SKDK is a fast growing and well-respected full service strategic communications firm in the US, offering its clients a suite of fully integrated services including public affairs, media relations, political consulting, opinion research, crisis communications, digital strategy, corporate reputation, paid advertising and brand positioning.
SKDK’s professionals come from a background in politics, journalism, advertising and public relations. Over the last few years, prominent political and media professionals like: JB Poersch, Jill Zuckman, Kerri Lyon, Doug Thornell, Bill Burton, Kelley McCormick, Karen Olick, Julie Norton and Jim Mulhall have added prominence and capacity at the highest level of services to clients.
The recipient of numerous awards for its work, in 2015 SKDKnickerbocker was named The Holmes Report Public Affairs Agency of the Year.
The Stagwell Group LLC is a registered investment advisory company, formed in June 2015 by Mark Penn who serves as the Managing Partner of Stagwell Media LLC, a private equity fund. The fund previously announced that Steve Ballmer is a core investor and has raised $250 million in capital and may leverage that to make up to $750 million in acquisitions.
“Stagwell is pleased to welcome SKDKnickerbocker as its first investment,” said Penn. “They are a terrific and talented firm in the critical growing area of strategic corporate and political communications. They have great potential to grow in the digital age, and we love the passion the leadership and their teams bring to their clients and causes.”
“We are excited about this new chapter for SKDKnickerbocker,” said Josh Isay, who will serve as the Managing Partner of the firm. “The ability to work with the Stagwell team and the companies they will have under their umbrella will enhance services for our clients, particularly in the growing fields of data analytics and digital innovation. At SKDK, we know that the long-term success of our company is predicated on our commitment to excellence on behalf of our clients and being the home of a world-class team of communications professionals. With today’s announcement, we are renewing that commitment.”
SKDK will continue to operate independently within Stagwell as a stand-alone public affairs unit run by the same management team and principals, who all are under long-term contracts with the firm.