The appointment follows several years of explosive growth for the New York-based agency. It has gone from less than $200 million in billings more than three years ago to more than $500 million today -- that figure includes about $410 million from the New York office and almost $100 million from San Francisco.
However, co-founder and Co-CEO Jonathan Bond said it was more than growth that propelled 34-year-old Mr. Reitkopf upward.
"We've never had a real account person in the partner group and we've been missing that gene," Mr. Bond said. "We've never had an account manager before because no one could ever do the job before him -- because it's so hard."
Mr. Reitkopf is both loquacious and enthusiastic about the new post, even though he has been test-driving the position for several months already.
"With all the growth we've experienced and the type of larger and more developed clients we've taken on, the business model is evolving," Mr. Reitkopf said. "Our role in account management is moving toward the primary goal of building business. We play a different role now -- a much more macro role where we're more involved in the business plan of the client."
K&B's clients now include Andrew Jergens' Biore, Labatt USA's Sol beer, Tommy Hilfiger, and TV's History Channel and Home Shopping Network.
Mr. Reitkopf began a career as a precious metals trader, but quickly switched professions to advertising, joining McCaffrey & McCall Direct where he worked on the Mercedes-Benz USA account. He then worked his way up through several agencies including Ammirati Puris Lintas and Angotti, Thomas, Hedge before joining Kirshenbaum in 1997.
Even though three managing partners now will make New York office decisions -- Mr. Reitkopf, Ms. Ryan and Chief Creative Officer Bill Oberlander -- no one is concerned about dissension.
PARTNERS, GOOD FRIENDS
"I bring a creative business-building skill set that doesn't exist in one single person yet," Mr. Reit-kopf said. "And I know everyone says it, but we're also really good friends. . . . You know they had to give up some of their equity to make room for me and that really means something."
Mr. Bond added, "Rosemary, Bill and Aaron are the nucleus of what any agency needs. Creative, planning and account minds have always been the best triumvirate for a modern-day agency."