Full-service firm particularly strong in corporate and financial communications
Founded in 1993, Ahrens & Bimboese was one of a new generation of public relations firms that helped take the business beyond media relations, taking advantage of a new demand for strategic corporate consultancy and the difficulties experienced by most of the American or British agency networks in the occasionally insular German market. Over the past 12 years, the firm has evolved to become one of the market leaders, with fees of €11.2 million in 2004 and about 100 people in offices in Frankfurt, Berlin, Hanover and Munich—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 supported by several subsidiaries: Ahrens & Bimboese framework, which specialize in market and communications research; A&B FD, a leader in financial and capital markets communication that operates as the German affiliate of Financial Dynamics; Ahrens & Bimboese face2net, which handles online communication; and an advertising and event management unit.
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 two additional managing directors, Lutz Golsch and Ivo Lingnau. All accounts have a high degree of partner and senior counsellor involvement.
Revenues in 2004 were up about 15 percent, with much of the growth coming from the financial, change, public affairs and crisis communications practices. New clients included Commerzbank, Baxter, Logitech, Lufthansa Airplus, Axa, DZ Bank, Audible, and Fresenius Medical Care, joining a roster replete with big names such as Axel Springer, AXA, Baxter, Beiersdorf, BMGS, BMWA, Commerzbank, DZ Bank, Fresenius Medical Care, Humana, JPMorgan, Lafarge, Logitech, Lufthansa Airplus, M&G Investments, SPD, Stadtwerke Hannover. The firm ranked number one in the market in M&A activity in terms of volume of deals worked (according to mergermarket) and number two in terms of value.