NEW YORK—Ruder Finn has acquired Switzer Communications, an independent public relations firm based in the San Francisco Bay area. The acquisition will combine the Northern California staffs of both agencies under the name Ruder Finn/Switzer Public Relations.
Jessica Switzer, principal of Switzer Communications, becomes managing director of Ruder Finn/Switzer. Former managing director of the Ruder Finn San Francisco office, Catherine Norman, will concentrate on major new business development as executive vice president, account director/technology, and focus on strategic support for the office.
According to Richard Funess, president of Ruder Finn Americas, “We’ve been looking to expand our overall capabilities in Northern California, and at the same time prepare for the resurgence of the overall technology market down the road, and after an extensive review, found Jessica Switzer and her company to be the right match for us.
“While they have proven strength in technology and consumer, representing companies like LEGO and Handspring, they also have the desire and staff expertise to broaden their reach into corporate affairs, healthcare and additional consumer areas.”
Commenting on the sale of her agency to Ruder Finn, Switzer cited the need of many of her clients to work with a global agency.
“After seven years as a boutique firm, our clients’ needs have evolved and we need to keep pace with their growth by providing both highly esteemed international offices as well as expanded services including IR and corporate communications. Ruder Finn is one of the best brands in PR and being number one in the New York PR market, makes this acquisition not only strategic, but very exciting for me and my employees.”
Together, RF/Switzer will number approximately 25 to 30 employees, with revenues in the $4.5 million range.
Switzer says the firm’s similar philosophies were an important factor in her decision to sell. “Our philosophies are in sync, especially in the areas of a passionate commitment to employees’ growth, client service and a desire to grow the business intelligently. And the fact that Ruder Finn is an independently owned agency, a rarity in today’s market, was definitely ‘a feel-good factor’ for us.”