A&B Communications Group
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A&B Communications Group

Holmes Report

Full-service firm particularly strong in corporate and financial communications


The past 12 months have seen considerably changes at the former Ahrens & Bimboese, which in April of 2006 announced a restructuring and a re-branding, a move designed to position the group for future growth. Ahrens & Bimboese, which since its launch in 1993 has established itself as one of the leading corporate and public affairs firms in Germany, has now been renamed A&B One and will function as a unit of A&B Communications Group, alongside A&B Face2Net (digital and online communications), A&B Framework (research) and A&B Financial Dynamics, the firm’s financial communications joint venture with the U.K.-based communications firm.

            A&B grew on the back of a new demand in the German public relations market for strategic corporate consultancy beyond simple media relations, and is now one of the market leaders, with fees of €13.1 million in 2005 and about 110 people in offices in Frankfurt, Berlin and Munich (a small Hanover office was closed last year)—enough to rank the firm in the top five in Germany, according to the most recent Pfeffers PR ranking.

            A&B is still best known for its work in corporate and financial communications and public affairs, but it offers a broad range of services, including brand marketing, organized into three divisions—corporate (including internal and external), public issues (policy communications and public sector work), and consumer—all underpinned by in-depth sector knowledge and supplemented by its expertise in research and digital communications and its partnership with Financial Dynamics, which gives it access to a very substantial international network. Last year saw a significant increase in the firm’s education and training work, as it partnered in the University of Management and Communication, based in Potsdam near Berlin.

Not surprisingly, given the nature of much of its work, A&B is heavy with senior talent, including five managing partners: Rupert Ahrens, who founded the firm after eight years at Leipziger & Partner; Hartwin Moehrle, another founder and a former journalist; Michael Reinert, a long-time executive at ABC who serves as joint managing director of A&B FD and leads the corporate and change practice; Lothar Doerr, formerly of PR Partner and a specialist in the IT sector; and Imran Ayata, who leads the Berlin office and the public affairs practice. The

A&B FD operation, meanwhile, has four additional managing directors: Lutz Golsch, Ivo Lingnau, and the recently promoted Markus Breidenstein and Dirk Schmitt. All accounts have a high degree of partner and senior counsellor involvement.

Revenues in 2005 were up about 17 percent, with growth coming from most of the major practice areas. The public issues team regained two major campaigns for the Federal Ministry of Health and continues two campaigns for the Federal Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs. The corporate team works for Commerzbank on several major projects and new clients included Messe Frankfurt, the biggest exhibition and trade fair company in

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