Williams Takes Helm at L.A. Office of Ruder Finn
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Williams Takes Helm at L.A. Office of Ruder Finn

James Williams, formerly managing director of the L.A. office of Ogilvy , is joining Ruder Finn as managing director and will be responsible for day-to-day leadership of the L.A. office

Paul Holmes

LOS ANGELES, January 14—Five years ago, Ruder Finn was essentially a one-office agency, the third largest firm in New York but an also-ran in the other markets where it maintained a presence. But more recently, Ruder Finn has emerged as a player in Chicago—its technology-based operations there surviving the recession—and in Washington, D.C., where the past year saw the addition of two veteran counselors: Ken Rabin and Nancy Glick.
 
Now the firm is turning its attention to another market where it has struggled historically, Los Angeles. James Williams, formerly managing director of the L.A. office of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, is joining as managing director and will be responsible for day-to-day leadership of the office, as well as elevating Ruder Finn’s presence and visibility in Southern California.
 
It will be an interesting challenge: Ruder Finn has yet to penetrate the top 20 in L.A., and in 2000 reported revenues of around $2 million.
 
“James’s enthusiasm and keen insight will be a welcome addition to the Ruder Finn family,” says Richard Funess, president of Ruder Finn Americas. “We look forward to the added value he’ll provide to our current clients, as well as to the establishment of new relationships throughout Southern California. His leadership and strategic approach to building business will go a long way towards raising the visibility of Ruder Finn in the Los Angeles market.”
 
Williams is best known for his work in the consumer marketing, healthcare and technology clients, but says one priority will be building on the agency’s strength in PR for the arts and humanities and adding an entertainment practice.
 
Says Williams, “I think there’s a tremendous opportunity to expand upon existing relationships with healthcare and corporate clients, as well as to establish an enhanced presence in the business-to-business, consumer and entertainment sectors.”
 
Williams previously served as a partner and associate director of Ketchum’s Los Angeles office, and has held executive positions at Edelman, Hill & Knowlton and DeVries Public Relations.
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