NEW YORK—Public relations agency veteran Art Stevens, who sold his firm LobsenzStevens to Publicis Dialog four years ago, has joined forces with accountant and consultant Rick Gould to create a new firm that will devote itself to public relations agency mergers and acquisitions and building value in readying a firm for a sale.
Stevens and Rick Gould, a CPA, who has provided counsel and services to over 100 PR firms, have formed StevensGouldPartners. The firm will be headed by Stevens and Gould as managing partners and will also include associates who have held senior positions in public relations agencies and other marketing communications firms.
The new consultancy will counsel top management of independent agencies throughout the world and facilitate the steps necessary to prepare them for a potential acquisition. StevensGouldPartners has been retained by eleven firms to help them grow, manage and increase their profitability, in preparation for a sale within the next two years.
According to Stevens, “We bring together a complementary set of skills and experience and feel we are uniquely qualified to become a catalyst and facilitator for buyer and seller”.
The company will focus primarily on the public relations industry but plans to expand into such related fields as direct marketing, list management, corporate identity, graphics design, sales promotion and advertising.
Says Gould, “We believe we are the right players at the right time. Both economists and surveys created and administered by the Council of PR Firms predict that the public relations and marketing communications industry will emerge from its deep three-year doldrums and achieve rising revenue levels. Both of us have done extensive networking among public relations firms in our careers and are now poised to provide counsel, advice and direction.”