PARIS--Ketchum Pleon Paris has merged with fellow Omnicom Group agency DDB Financial, in a bid to enhance Ketchum's  financial communications offering.

DDB Financial provides financial communications counsel as it relates to analyst and investor relations, shareholder communications, corporate positioning, reputation management and financial media relations. DDB Financial will retain its name. Fabrice Baron, president of DDB Financial, will continue to lead the DDB Financial team of experts, which will operate out of Ketchum Pleon's Paris office.

"The addition of Fabrice and his team of highly skilled financial communicators rounds out our presence in the world's major financial centers," said David Gallagher, senior partner and CEO, Ketchum Pleon. "In France, it will clearly reinforce the agency's corporate offering, giving our clients the opportunity to work with a talented group of financial communications experts. It is crucial for us to be able to offer our clients this expertise at a time when more and more businesses around the world are looking for insights on capital markets communications."

A 20-year financial communications veteran, Baron has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, privatization, investor relations, and media relations for both French and multinational corporations. In addition to his time in Paris, Baron has worked in a number of major financial capitals, including London and Hong Kong.

Baron said: "We are pleased to join forces with Ketchum and to partner with the Ketchum Pleon team in Paris. It will give us the opportunity to develop synergies locally and extend our offering internationally. We help our clients articulate messages that meet the increasing pressure from financial markets for providing detailed, comprehensible and timely information, but we are very keen to do so while conveying a clear and coherent strategic vision. Consistency in the messaging delivered to various audiences is key to ensuring the promotion and the protection of corporate reputations."

Baron's leadership team includes senior expert Isabelle Laurent, who has been a director with DDB Financial since 2006. Prior to this, Laurent served as investor relations manager at Sanofi for six years. Overall, she has more than 20 years of experience with a diverse background in strategy, marketing and communications, having handled several consulting and in-house assignments for industrial and pharmaceutical firms.

DDB Financial's clients span a wide variety of industries, including automotive, banking, aerospace, energy, real estate, metals and mining. Today, Ketchum Pleon France and DDB Financial share two significant client relationships – Vallourec and Klepierre.