Strategic reputation management counsel
One of the most common client complaints about public relations consultants is that they don’t understand the harsh realities of life in a large corporation. That’s a charge unlikely to be levelled at the principals of CNC. Christoph Walther trained as a lawyer before becoming global head of corporate communications at DaimlerChrysler, while partner Roland Klein worked as a financial journalist in Germany, the U.K., and the U.S. before joining the corporate PR staff at DaimlerChrysler and then going on the head global communications and investor relations for Ericsson. Together with a third principal, Siegmar Mosdorf, who was a member of the German Bundestag and parliamentary state secretary to the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology, they form a high-powered leadership team with a depth of knowledge in business, politics, and media.
CNC was founded in 2001 as a management consultancy specializing in communications, working with clients on issues at the nexus between corporate strategy and reputation, focused on three main audiences: financial, political, and the general public. It has built up a team of senior counsellors with expertise that includes investor relations and financial communications, public affairs and social responsibility, employee communications and change management. Chief operating officer Mark Lemcke is a former member of Daimler Chrysler’s planning and corporate strategy staff and headed the company’s TV production company; U.K. business leader Gerry Elias spent six years in crisis communications with Burson-Marsteller and was head of communications and IR for a global trading exchange; and on the financial communications team, Bernard Meising was previously head of Citigate Dewe Rogerson in Germany and Mirko Wollrab was a Reuters finance correspondent in Frankfurt.
Over the past 12 months, CNC has advised on a quarter of all major IPOs in Germany and has established itself as a major player in the M&A arena. On the corporate front, it provides counsel to Thomas Middelhoff, formerly of Bertelsmann, now CEO for retail company KarstadtQuelle and has advised Kabel Deutschland, formerly part of Deutsche Telekom, on political and financial communications. Other clients include DaimlerChrysler, EMI, Gazprom, GE, GPMA & GPWC (auto manufacturers involved in Formula One), Linde, and Vodafone.
For about half of its clients, CNC works directly with the CEO, and for many of them, it works so closely with the senior leadership team that it has been called on to provide interim leadership for the in-house communications team and to help in the search for permanent in-house PR leadership.
CNC now has 40 people working across wholly-owned offices in Berlin, London, Munich, and New York, with Moscow (led by former journalist Igor Reichlin) and Tokyo (led by Jochen Legewie, former head of global communications for Mitsubishi Motors) added over the past 12 months.