|Revenue ($ in millions)||2019||2018||% chg|
Asterisk (*) indicates figures are Ad Age estimates.
The Stagwell Group is an investment firm that invests in new media and digital marketing services. Stagwell is led by Mark Penn, a former Microsoft Corp. and WPP executive.
Deals and strategic moves:
Stagwell in March 2019 invested $100 million in MDC Partners, an agency company, by purchasing $50 million in MDC common shares and $50 million in non-voting convertible preference shares. As part of the deal, Penn, Stagwell's president and managing partner, joined MDC as CEO and a board member.
Following the transaction, Stagwell owned about 19.5 percent of MDC outstanding common stock. Assuming full conversion of the preference shares into MDC common stock, Stagwell would own about 29.2 percent of MDC outstanding common stock. Assuming conversion of both Stagwell preference shares and outstanding Goldman Sachs preference shares issued in 2017, Stagwell would own about 24.8 percent of MDC outstanding common stock.
Assuming full conversion of the preference shares into MDC common stock, Stagwell controlled 29.4 percent of MDC outstanding common stock as of March 31, 2020.
The Stagwell deal came after MDC in September 2018 announced the planned exit of Chairman-CEO Scott Kauffman; a search for a new CEO; and MDC's "intention to explore and evaluate potential strategic alternatives, which may result in, among other things, the possible sale of the company." In announcing the deal with Stagwell, MDC said: "This represents the conclusion of the strategic review process and CEO search."
Penn became MDC's CEO on March 18, 2019, and was named chairman effective April 18, 2019.
Other deals and strategic moves:
Stagwell in February 2020 acquired Sloane & Co., a New York-based public relations agency that specializes in financial PR, public affairs and crisis-related PR. Sloane had been owned by MDC.
Stagwell in January 2020 acquired Headliner Labs, a technology consultancy that specializes in chat and voice capabilities, and aligned it with ForwardPMX.
Stagwell in December 2019 acquired The Search Agency, a digital agency in San Francisco, and aligned it with ForwardPMX.
Stagwell in September 2019 acquired Emerald Research Group, a market research firm in Bellevue, Washington.
Stagwell in April 2019 acquired MultiView, a digital business-to-business agency based in Irving, Texas.
Stagwell in October 2018 acquired a majority stake in travel media and marketing agency Ink Global through its Stagwell Media fund.
Stagwell in April 2017 acquired health care agency Scout through its Stagwell Media fund.
Stagwell in April 2017 bought a minority stake in MMI Agency, a digital agency in Houston.
Stagwell in September 2016 made a preferred share investment in FINN Partners, a public relations agency. As part of the deal, Stagwell bought preferred stock in FINN Partners carrying future conversion rights to a minority interest in the agency.
Stagwell in August 2016 acquired a majority stake in digital and direct marketing agency PMX Agency through its Stagwell Media fund.
Stagwell in January 2016 acquired a majority stake in digital agency Code and Theory through its Stagwell Media fund.
Mark Penn founded The Stagwell Group in June 2015. Before starting Stagwell, Penn held senior executive positions at Microsoft Corp. including oversight of its $2 billion advertising budget, and at WPP.
In its own words: The Stagwell Group is the first and only independent, digital-first, and fully-integrated organization of size and scale servicing global brands across the continuum of marketing services. The group includes over 3,000 employees operating in more than 25 offices around the world. Collaborative by design, Stagwell is not weighed down by legacy points of view and its people are united in our desire to innovate, evolve, grow and deliver superior results for our clients. Stagwell's high growth brands include experts in four categories: digital transformation and marketing, research and insights, marketing communications, and content and media. In 2019, The Stagwell Group doubled down on its investment into its shared services and created a central marketing team, which focuses on bringing integrated offerings to market Stagwell's key segments. In addition, we added new leaders at the center like Ray Day (vice chair) and elevated internal candidates to lead three of our brands: James Townsend (ForwardPMX), Andy Keith (Multiview) and Maggie Malek (MMI).
Mark Penn, managing partner; James Townsend, CEO, ForwardPMX; Jae Goodman, CEO, Observatory
The Stagwell Group/1808 I St. NW, Floor 6, Washington, 20006/Phone: (917) 765-2638