CHICAGO—Corporate and financial communications consulting firm The Weiser Group is closing its Chicago office—the firm’s headquarters for 24 years, to focus on its expanding operations in New York and Washington, D.C. At the same time, the firm will relocate its New York office to 909 Third Avenue.
Agency founder and chief executive Michael Weiser said the decision was a result of the realization that “we can’t be in all places at the same time” and the firm’s increasing focus on two areas: the capital markets and the public policy arena. Weiser has been working with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) on issues arising from Enron and other scandals, and with a coalition of technology companies concerned about mandatory expensing of stock options, among other financial services clients.
Weiser says the firm will continue to be represented in Chicago by Dennis McSweeney, a partner in the firm who was also head of its investor relations practice. “We will do a lot of work together,” says Weiser. The firm will also have a presence in Philadelphia, where partner Emily Mandel is currently based.
While Weiser expects the move to be neutral in terms of staffing, due to additional hires in New York and Washington, some Chicago personnel will be laid off. The most high-profile departure is that of former Hill & Knowlton investor relations professional Jeff Zilka, who was managing partner for client services. Zilka says he has not yet decided whether to open his own consulting practice or take a position with another Chicago-based firm.
“Chicago is still an outstanding market,” he says. “You can work nationally from Chicago and that’s what I intend to do.”