Corporate and financial communications specialist
There are a number of world-class public relations consultancies headquartered in continental Europe, capable of competing with the best firms in either the U.S. or the U.K. Hering Schuppener is in the front rank of those firms, with broad strategic corporate communications capabilities—from CSR to change management—of unrivalled sophistication and a financial communications practice that ranks among the biggest and best in Europe.
Founded in 1994 by Ralf Hering and Bernd Schuppener, Hering Schuppener today has three operating companies: Hering Schuppener, the corporate communications consultancy; Hering Schuppener Consulting, the financial communications consultancy; and GCI Healthcare (Grey Advertising, now part of WPP Group, is a shareholder in the firm). It ranks number three in Germany in terms of fee income (€15 million in 2004) according to PR Report’s industry ranking; number one in terms of quality reputation according to a 2004 survey by PR Magazin and the University of Muenster; and number one in the mergers and acquisitions business in Germany according to mergermarket’s analysis of deals activity.
One of the things that distinguish Hering Schuppener from its rivals is the depth and experience of its management team. Hering was previously managing director of international operations for former German market leader ABC and chairman of Europe for GCI Group in the late 90s. Schuppener is a former TV journalist and was head of strategic planning and chief of the political department at public TV channel ZDF before joining ABC. Alexander Geiser, who heads the M&A practice in Frankfurt, has a management consulting background and is a nine-year veteran of the firm. Matthias Poth was global head of the corporate centre at Infineon and an investment banker in New York before he joined HS in 2004. Tina Schulte, head of the restructuring practice, joined HS in 1998 from Citigate in Germany. Horst Muether, head of healthcare, joined in 2001 from Burson-Marsteller.
The firm guards its client list jealously and respects client confidentiality diligently, so details on its work are hard to come by. It represents 12 DAX and M-DAX companies, six leading private equity firms, a major German car manufacturer, two multinational pharmaceutical companies, a major airline and three major banks. Among clients whose work with Hering Schuppener is in the public domain are Novartis (corporate and product communications), E.on (change management in the wake of a series of acquisitions), and BMW (support for the company’s America’s Cup sponsorship). But in recent months, HS has also handled CEO positioning for a major aerospace company, crisis preparedness for a major airline, and ongoing investor relations activity for a major telecommunications company.