NEW YORK—Ted Pincus, who founded and led the largest investor relations firm in the US and later served as a managing partner at consulting firm StevensGouldPincus, has died at his home in Chicago following a two-year battle with multiple myeloma (cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow). He was 78.

Pincus founded The Financial Relations Board in Chicago and built it into the third largest independent public relations firm in the US, with a staff of 300, before selling to Interpublic in 2000. It is now a part of MWW Group.

According to MWW chief executive Michael Kempner, “Ted was one of the first to recognize the vital role communication experts could play in helping a company’s executive leadership tell its story and build credibility among investors. He championed an emphasis on transparency and openness that grew FRB into the third largest independent PR agency at its peak and ultimately redefined how the C-suite communicates value to shareholders.”

In 2004, Pincus joined forces with Art Stevens, Rick Gould and Mike Muraszko to become one of the managing partners of StevensGouldPincus. He advised on numerous mergers and acquisitions in the PR agency business and consulted with numerous agencies.

“He approached his assignments with dedication and a unique sense of humor,” said his SGP partners in a statement. “His wisdom, passion and wit became part of our culture. He helped put our firm on the map in the PR industry and gave us the added clout he carried with buyers and sellers.”

Pincus was named PR Professional of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America in 2002. He also served as a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and an adjunct finance professor at the DePaul University MBA program. He was a consultant to the Obama presidential campaign in 2008.

GARDEN GROVE, CA—Peter Berghammer, a senior strategist working on technology, aerospace and public safety accounts at independent public relations firm Public Communications/Worldwide, died unexpectedly last week from heart failure. He was 51.

Previously, he was founded of The Copernio Holding Company, which grew from an IT solutions provider to an organization with divisions handling consulting, research, warehousing, and logistics; and Future Formats, an offshoot of the research arm of Copernio, dedicated to the consumer electronics industry and photonics research. He also served as vice president of sales and marketing for the on-line marketplace startup Avolo.

Prior to that, Berghammer served as director of worldwide communications for aerospace, defense, and industrial fastening systems manufacturer Fairchild Fasteners (now part of Alcoa).